Limerick FC earned a valuable point in Dublin on Friday night as they played out a scoreless draw with Bohemians. Both sides had chances to win the game although on the balance of play, the home side will be disappointed not to have secured all three points. Shaun Kelly was forced to clear a Keith Ward effort off the line late on to deny the Gypsies the victory.
Limerick made a surprising change to the team as Shane Tracy was selected on the right side of midfield. It was the first time the Limerick native featured in that position for a number of years. Mark O’Sullivan returned up front and Killian Brouder replaced Darren Dennehy at the heart of the Limerick defence.
Billy Dennehy and Dan Byrne exchanged early shots for both sides as they attempted to settle in to the game. The Bohemians midfield of Dylan Watts, Keith Ward and the roaming JJ Lunney were lively and causing problems in the early period.
Despite looking nervy in the opening minutes, the Shannonsiders came close to taking the lead as a great forward run by Cian Coleman was picked out by Shane Duggan and the former Cork midfielder’s low cross was almost met by the returning Mark O’Sullivan but he failed to connect with his outstretched left leg.
The Gypsies responded with a big chance of their own as Dan Casey’s long ball out of defence was allowed to travel through to striker Eoghan Stokes but goalkeeper Brendan Clarke narrowed the angle and the Bohs striker lifted the ball wide of the left hand post.
The home side were exerting more pressure and a Keith Buckley cross found Keith Ward in the box but the attacking midfielder blasted his effort over the bar much to the relief of the travelling support.
Great interplay between Dan Byrne, Eoghan Stokes and Dylan Watts allowed the latter to test Clarke who was forced to push Watts’ effort over the crossbar. Moments later, Keith Ward unleashed a high drive which failed to trouble Clarke.
Limerick manager Tommy Barrett reverted to the 3-5-2 used against Waterford as Will Fitzgerald partnered Mark O’Sullivan up front and Billy Dennehy and Shaun Kelly were changed to wing-backs.
On the verge of the half-time whistle, Cian Coleman dispossessed Dan Casey before teeing up Shane Tracy who was denied by a saving tackle by Dylan Watts.
In truth, Bohs were the more threatening side in the first half as they controlled possession but the switch in formation helped stem the tide.
The Gypsies mustered up the first chance of the second half as Eoghan Stokes capitalised on a poor clearance from Darren Dennehy before drawing a great save from Brendan Clarke.
Five minutes later, Stokes was involved again as he cut inside Tony Whitehead but his tame effort was easily gathered by Clarke.
As full time approached, Bohemians almost snatched the victory as Keith Ward easily evaded the challenge of Barry Maguire before seeing his curling effort cleared off the line by Shaun Kelly.
It proved to be the final big chance for either side as Limerick secured a vital point which ensures the sides stay level in the table.
Bohemians: Shane Supple, Keith Buckley, Dan Casey (Karl Moore), Dan Byrne Darragh Leahy, Ian Morris, Dylan Watts (Dinny Corcoran 80), JJ Lunney, Danny Grant, Eoghan Stokes.
Subs not used:: Colin McCabe John Ross Wilson, Dylan Thornton, Ryan Graydon, Patrick Kirk, Karl Moore.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Limerick FC: Brendan Clarke, Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Killian Brouder (Darren Dennehy 44), Shane Tracy(Barry Maguire 67), Killian Cantwell, Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan, Billy Dennehy, Will Fitzgerald (Danny Morrissey 75), Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Tommy Holland, Karl O’Sullivan, Henry Cameron, Conor Ellis.
Yellow Cards: Darren Dennehy (90+3)
Red Cards: None
Referee: John McLaughlin