Harps red is pun­ished by O’Con­nor

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - THE TITLE - By An­drew Cun­neen

LIM­ER­ICK booked their spot in the last eight of the Ir­ish Daily Mail FAI Cup thanks to a slen­der win over Finn Harps at the Mar­kets Field.

The home side hadn’t reached the quar­ter-fi­nal stage of the FAI Cup since 2011, and Ol­lie Hor­gan hoped his charges could ex­tend that bar­ren spell.

A solid de­fen­sive show­ing by the vis­i­tors in the open­ing 20 min­utes was un­der­mined by the dis­missal of Caolan McAleer two min­utes later.

To that point, all Lim­er­ick could muster was a long-range shot from Chiedozie Og­bene.

Finn Harps boss Hor­gan was un­der­stand­ably frus­trated as the mo­ment of mad­ness from McAleer meant that his side would be un­der pres­sure for the re­main­der of the game.

Af­ter a promis­ing Harps at­tack pe­tered out, McAleer kicked out at Lim­er­ick full-back Dave O’Con­nor and ref­eree An­thony But­timer was quick to is­sue him with his march­ing orders.

The open­ing half had lit­tle flow how­ever – with many de­lays due to Harps play­ers hit­ting the deck and re­quir­ing treat­ment.

Harps boss Hor­gan has been vo­cal about his pa­per-thin squad and this won’t have helped their sur­vival ef­forts.

Lim­er­ick would even­tu­ally get the break­through af­ter the hour mark when a clever move down the right gave Garb­han Cough­lan a chance to cen­tre.

His cross to the far post was well weighted and Dave O’Con­nor was at the back post the head home from a cou­ple of yards.

Ro­drigo Tosi looked like he’d be the one to ap­ply the fin­ish­ing touch, but he missed the ball. Thank­fully, the former Sham­rock Rovers de­fender was on hand to spare his blushes.

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