Limerick 1 Derry City 1
Derry City looked to be heading for an important away win in Limerick on Saturday night, when they were cruelly denied by a 93rd minute equaliser for the home side.
City opted to deploy a back three, packing the midfield with Monaghan, Low and McEneff as Kenny Shiels sought to find the “route to goal” which he had bemoaned as missing against Galway on Monday night. However in the early stages the home side were able to find the gaps in the Derry backline, with Clarke the main threat down the left for the Blues.
On a perfect surface, both side sought to try and play the ball on the deck, but the congested midfield area often saw the moves break down before either keeper was seriously threatened. Doherty did very well with a double save to first deny Clarke with his feet and then Duggan’s follow up was tipped over the top by the Derry keeper.
At the other end, Brendan Clarke spilled a long range effort from McEneff but recovered well to tip the ball away from Boyle who was closing in. Robbie Williams also made a succession of good blocks and tackles to deny City during a drab enough dirst period. Both sides were guilty of a succession of lateral or backward passes in the tactical chess match that was underway at the Markets Field.
City were much more the threatening in the second half with Curtis and Daniels starting to get some joy down the flanks for City. Clarke did well to save at the feet of McNamee when a slip by Whitehead had allowed Curtis to play the midfielder in.
The visitors hit the front in the 77th minute when Aaron Barry headed home from a corner, leaving Clarke with no chance. Willie Boland reacted with a double chance but it looked as if City would close out the game for all three points. However as the game headed for additional time, the heavens opened. Limerick launched a long ball forward from the back and Robbie Williams somehow managed to get the ball into the box. A succession of deflections saw it fall to Ogbene who lashed it home to deny City.
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Robbie Williams, Tommy Robson; Paul O’Conor (Bastien Hery, 80), Shane Duggan; Chris Mulhall (John O’Flynn, 80), Lee-J Lynch, Dean Clarke; Rodrigo Tosi (Chiedozie Ogbene, 63).
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Ronan Curtis, Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Harry Monaghan, Josh Daniels (Mark Timlin, 67); Barry McNamee; Nathan Boyle (Mikhail Kennedy, 67).
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).