Thursday 22 March 2018

O'Connor salvages late draw for Bray

Limerick FC 4 Bray Wanderers 4

Cian O'Connell

A truly bizarre match loaded with drama and incident at Thomond Park eventually ended with the spoils being shared.

Limerick came from behind three times to lead with five minutes left, but battling Bray were able to snatch a draw at the death.

The opening quarter was as encouraging for Bray as it was worrying for Limerick. Youngster Ismahil Akinade's fifth minute opener came from a fine strike. Buoyed up by Akinade's goal, Kieran Marty Waters and John Mulroy both spurned chances for Pat Devlin's outfit.

Relieved to only be one behind, Limerick levelled in the 40th minute when Joe Gamble pounced on Darren Quigley's save from a Shane Tracy free-kick to net the rebound.

But Bray kept plugging away and another slice of Akinade opportunism had them back ahead on 42 minutes.

In what was certainly a lively encounter, the home side levelled two minutes after the restart when Axel Bossekota headed a David O'Leary corner into an empty net as Quigley and Limerick's Craig Curran collided.

The goals were flowing, with Bray substitute Ryan Coombes picking Rob Williams' pocket before stroking Bray ahead for a third time on 74 minutes.

Inevitably, there was another Limerick revival, with deflected Curran strikes on 78 and 85 minutes putting them ahead as Bray boss Devlin was ordered out of the technical area.

Kevin O'Connor headed home a Waters free-kick late on and was then sent off in injury-time for a second caution as the madness continued.

LIMERICK – Ryan; Kelly, Williams, Folan, Tracy (Costelloe 72); Gamble, O'Leary (Bradley 68), Rainsford; Galbraith, Curran, Bossekota.

BRAY – Quigley; Hyland (Coombes 58), Webster, S O'Connor, Earley; Mulroy (Doyle 86), Dempsey, K O'Connor, Zambra, Waters; Akinade (Byrne 86).

REF – S Grant (Wexford).

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