TREATY United and Cobh Ramblers played out an entertaining 1-1 draw on Friday night at the Markets Field with Sean McSweeney’s first goal of the season giving the home side the lead. Daryl Walsh equalised for the away side early in the second period but that only begins to tell the story.
Stuart Ashton’s charges were looking for a reaction in Limerick following two defeats in their opening two games and should have been ahead inside thirty seconds when Ian Turner was played through but his effort was blocked by the advancing Ryan.
Treaty captain Jack Lynch responded with a long range effort of his own but it did not trouble the target. Sean McSweeney returned from suspension and the home side benefitted as a poor cross-field ball by former Limerick FC player Darren Murphy was brilliantly controlled into McSweeney’s path by Joel Coustrain and the Foynes native expertly rifled home a left footed shot from a tight angle.
Tommy Barrett’s men should have doubled their lead shortly afterwards as a superb corner delivery from the impressive Ludden resulted in Lynch misdirecting a free header.
On the half hour mark, the dreaded moment arrived for the home side as Charlie Fleming received his marching orders from referee Declan Toland. Originally, Fleming had done brilliantly to latch onto a loose ball and drive at the Cobh defence but when he took a tumble in the box, Toland deemed it to be an act of simulation and was ready to book the right-back.
However, in the following moments, Fleming appeared to make a movement with his head towards the Cobh player and was shown a straight red card. It was bitterly disappointing as it was the team’s third red card in as many games. Barrett and captain Lynch were livid that ill-discipline had cost them once again.
Treaty had to re-shuffle the pack with Lynch reverting to right-back and Matt Keane dropping into midfield. Ashton’s side could have equalised when Dave O’Leary fashioned a brilliant opening for himself on the edge of the box but his shot left a lot to be desired.
At half-time, Barrett replaced Kieran Hanlon with Ed McCarthy in order to provide the team with more energy due to the one-man deficit. Unfortunately, disaster struck as Tadgh Ryan’s punched clearance fell to left-back Daryl Walsh who rifled home superbly from the edge of the area to level the game.
Treaty were unhappy with the decision not to award a free for a foul on Ryan in the build-up to the goal. Despite the numerical advantage, Cobh were ponderous in possession and never used the extra-man. In fact, it was the home side who should have emerged with a all three points.
Marc Ludden was having a big impact for the home side and on one of his several darts forward, he squared the ball for the onrushing McCarthy who managed to get the ball caught under his feet with the goal gaping and allowed a massive intervention from the goal scorer Walsh. It would have been a deserved goal.
Ludden also appeared to be taken out by Cian Murphy in the latter stages which drew a huge appeal for a penalty from those in attendance at the Markets Field but referee Toland was not interested.
Although but manager and captain appeared to be disappointed with the result in the aftermath, maintaining the unbeaten start is a big positive for Treaty United. They are currently fifth in the table and two points from the top side Athlone. The division is proving to be wide-open thus far.
However, it goes without saying that the ill-discipline shown in the first three games cannot continue and it was evidently frustrating for the squad and management.
Treaty will now prepare for a massive game against Galway United at Eamon Deacy Park next week. Galway manager John Caulfield was in attendance to scout his opposition for an exciting game next Friday.
Treaty United: Tadgh Ryan, Charlie Fleming, Sean Guerins, Anthony O’Donnell, Marc Ludden, Mark Walsh, Jack Lynch, Sean McSweeney (Matt McKevitt), Matt Keane, Kieran Hanlon (Ed McCarthy), Joel Coustrain (Alan Murphy)
Cobh Ramblers: Sean Barron, Kevin Williams, John Kavanagh, Cian Murphy, Daryl Walsh, Dave O’Leary (Killian Cooper), Darren Murphy, Stephen O’Leary (Chris O’Reilly), Ian Turner, Ciaran Griffin (Jake Hegarty)