Limerick FC progressed to the quarter-final stage of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup as they defeated Finn Harps 1-0 at the Markets Field through a rare goal from left-back Dave O'Connor.
In an opening period of few chances, Finn Harps were left with ten men for 70 minutes due to a moment of madness from winger Caolan McAleer. A long diagonal ball was chased down by both McAleer and Limerick left-back Dave O'Connor and the Harps winger proceeded to kick out at the latter right in front of referee Anthony Buttimer who wasted no time in producing the red card.
Immediately, Limerick availed of the extra man as Bastien Hery forced a save from Ciaran Gallagher with the first shot of the game for either side. Limerick's Chiedozie Ogbene was next to try his luck with a shot from distance which flew over the bar.
Limerick were struggling to break down a resolute Harps defence. Dean Clarke was overlapping constantly in support of Stephen Kenny. However, both men failed to produce decent delivery in the direction of Rodrigo Tosi.
The second half began at a faster pace and Limerick's Hungarian striker Peter Berki teed up Stephen Kenny who placed a shot straight at Ciaran Gallagher who easily saved.
Approaching the hour mark, the home side should have taken the lead as Stephen Kenny dispossessed Paddy McCourt before running through on goal and drilling a shot straight at Gallagher once more.
Limerick made two changes as Garbhan Coughlan and William Fitzgerald were introduced in place of Stephen Kenny and Peter Berki. It was Coughlan who crossed to the back post for Dave O'Connor to smash a header past Ciaran Gallagher to give the Shannonsiders the lead, much to the joy of the home crowd.
Substitute Garbhan Coughlan was finding space all over the pitch and it was his shot which forced a good save from Gallagher.
Once again, it was Coughlan who created Limerick's next chance. His nutmeg allowed him to shoot just wide of the Harps goal.
The visitors introduced both Danny Morrissey and Sean Houston in place of the lethargic Ibrahim Keita and Pascal Millien in an attempt to change the flow of the game. However, the Limerick defence managed to nullify the limited threat provided.
Limerick closed out the game effectively through good hold up play from Rodrigo Tosi and Garbhan Coughlan and now advance to the quarter-final stage of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup.
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Dean Clarke Tony Whitehead, Joe Crowe, David O'Connor, Bastien Hery, Lee-J Lynch, Stephen Kenny (William Fitzgerald 61) Chiedozie Ogbene, Rodrigo Tosi, Peter Berki (Garbhan Coughlan 61)
Subs not used: Freddy Hall, Killian Brouder, Shane Tracy, Shane Duggan, John O'Flynn
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Ethan Boyle, Damien McNulty, Killian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll, Tommy McBride, Paddy McCourt (Gareth Harkin 63), Mark Timlin, Caolan McAleer, Ibrahim Keita (Danny Morrissey 78), Pascal Millien (Sean Houston 80).
Subs not used: Peter Burke, BJ Banda, Jonny Bonner, Shane Blaney.
Yellow Cards: Damien McNulty (50), Pascal Millien (51)
Red Cards: Caolan McAleer (23)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Bastien Hery (Limerick FC)