UCD 1-1 Limerick
LIMERICK FC had to be content with a point against an improving UCD on Friday night at Belfield.
Shane Tracy put the visitors ahead very early on but they ought to have extended their lead in a first half that they dominated and the Students made them pay on the hour when Robbie Benson equalised.
It got worse for the Super Blues as both Dave O’Leary and Pat Purcell went off injured and substitute Jeffrey Judge was shown a late red card.
A night of regrets, then, for Stuart Taylor and his team, but it all started so brightly as it took just three minutes for Tracy to fire home after a pinpoint cross from Danny Galbraith.
Limerick bombarded the UCD goal in the first half but home goalkeeper Conor O’Donnell was in inspired form to thwart the visitors time and again and, despite going in with a half-time lead, there was a sense that the Super Blues should have had a more sizeable advantage.
Those worries came to roost in the 59th minute when Benson found the net to draw the teams level. Limerick kicked on again but continued to be frustrated by O’Donnell.
The damage piled up late on as first O’Leary and then Purcell saw their games curtailed by injury. The latter’s exit saw Limerick reduced to 10 men as they had already made the maximum three substitutions.
The worrying red card count also stockpiled further in added time when Judge received his marching orders.
Despite UCD’s recent upturn in form, it felt like Limerick left two points behind them in Belfield and Taylor will have to plan for the visit of champions Sligo Rovers without several key players on a damaging night for the team.
Before that, however, the Super Blues are in EA Sports Cup action on Monday night against Waterford United at Thomond Park (kick-off 7:45pm).
Limerick team: Cusack, Kelly (Costelloe 49), O’Callaghan (Purcell 64), Folan, Tracy, O’Leary (Judge 77), Bradley, Feeney, Galbraith, Curran, Bossekota.