David O’Connor sends Limerick into FAI Cup quarter-finals

10-man Finn Harps lose out to second-half goal at Markets Field

Limerick FC 1 Finn Harps 0

Limerick go into the draw for the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup after struggling to beat a Finn Harps side at Markets Field.

Harps’ Caolan McAleer was shown a straight red card after only 23 minutes for an off the ball foul on David O’Connor, who eventually proved Limerick’s match winner.

In what was an extremely poor affair, watched by a crowd of 862, Limerick totally dominated but had to wait 64 minutes before getting the only goal.

It came following superb build-up on the right by Garbhan Coughlan, who was sent in as a substitute three minutes earlier, with O'Connor heading in at the far post. William Fitzgerald also came in at that stage to make his debut and both sparked a strong finish by the home side with Coughlan twice being denied by brilliant saves by Ciarán Gallagher.

Neither goalkeeper had to make a save in a dull first half during which Bastien Hery and Chiedozie Ogbene both fired over the Finn Harps bar. The visitors were a fraction fortunate when a shot from outside the box by Hery was deflected into the arms of Gallagher.

At the other end Limerick central defender Tony Whitehead made two crucial interceptions.

Limerick will be happy with the win but the performance left a lot to be desired. Both sides meet in a crucial league game next weekend.

LIMERICK FC: B Clarke, Crowe, Whitehead, O'Connor, Lynch, Hery, Kenny (Coughlan, 61 mins) Ogbene, Tosi, Berki (Fitzgerald, 61 mins), D Clarke.

FINN HARPS: Gallagher, Cantwell, Coll, McBride, McNulty, Boyle, McAleer, Timlin, Keita (Morrissey, 78 mins), Millen (Heuston, 80 mins), McCourt (Harkin, 62 mins).

Referee: Anthony Buttimer.