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Last minute equaliser from ex-Leeds striker sees Gypsies earn a share of the spoils in Limerick

Eoghan Stokes grabbed Bohemians a point at the death to deny Limerick at the Markets Field on Saturday.

21-year-old striker Eoghan Stokes.
21-year-old striker Eoghan Stokes.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

Limerick 1

Bohemians 1

Andrew Cuneen reports from Markets Field.

A LAST-GASP header from Eoghan Stokes ensured Bohemians earned a share of the spoils on Shannonside on Saturday.

Cian Coleman had given the hosts a 57th minute lead before Limerick were denied a first win of the season in front of over 2,200 spectators at the Markets Field.

Managers Keith Long and Tommy Barrett both started their respective campaigns with wins on the opening night – meaning that changes were always likely to be few and far between.

That would be the case. Limerick opted for the same XI who got a one-nil win in Sligo, while Keith Long made two changes. Philip Gannon and Eoghan Stokes were brought into the side to replace Keith Ward and Kevin Devaney – both of whom were impressive in the derby win over Shamrock Rovers last Friday.

All three meetings between the sides last year were decided by a single goal – and the early stages of this one suggested it would go the same way. Both sides will be better without the ball, and a mutual awareness of this led to a dull opening half.

The Markets Field pitch had previously won Airtricity Pitch of the Year in 2016, but it has certainly seen better days. With a heavy rugby schedule over the winter as well as unfavourable weather, it would be a factor in proceedings.

The appointment of Tommy Barrett was considered boring in some circles, but a touch of predictability would have suited Limerick under Martin Russell. Indeed, this variation of the Blues will probably fail to get the pulses racing, but they’re far more resolute.

Indeed their lack of creative spark wouldn’t hinder them, as Bohs’ sloppiness in midfield handed them a break on the hour mark. Daniel Kearns picked up possession on halfway before going on a mazy run. He jinked in and out, before feeding Billy Dennehy down the right flank.

The Tralee native crossed for Mark O’Sullivan, but the ball would eventually fall to Blues captain Shane Duggan at the back post. Duggan fired across the face of goal for Coleman to provide the finishing touch.

However, as the fourth official held up his board for added time, 21-year-old Stokes, who spent six years at Leeds United, powered his header into the roof of Brendan Clarke’s net before wheeling away in celebration in front of the home support to earn Long’s side a deserved point.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen; Billy Dennehy, Shane Duggan, Daniel Kearns (Danny Morrissey, 87); Mark O’Sullivan (Connor Ellis, 76).

Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall, Darragh Leahy; Keith Buckley (JJ Lunney, 87), Oscar Brennan (Ian Morris, 76); Paddy Kavanagh (Karl Moore, 68), Philip Gannon, Eoghan Stokes; Dinny Corcoran.

Referee: Ray Matthews (Longford)

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Andrew Cunneen

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