Darren Murphy netted a second half penalty in Limerick FC's 3-2 defeat to Drogheda Utd in the First Division on Friday night
LIMERICK FC suffered their third defeat in four SSE Airtricity League First Division games when going down 3-2 to Drogheda Utd at United Park on Friday night.
The concession of two second half goals from the penalty spot proved Limerick's undoing after the Blues' rallied from 1-0 down at half-time to draw level in the 62nd minute when Darren Murphy netted from the penalty spot.
That spot kick was the first of three penalties awarded by match referee Adriano Reale in the second half of an entertaining fixture.
A combination of injuries and suspensions meant Blues boss Tommy Barrett was only able to name four substitutes on the bench for the game in Co Louth. Robbie Williams and Aaron Fitzgerald, who started in the 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers at the Markets Field seven days ago, missed out through injury.
Limerick also lined out without the services of both Sean McSweeney and Jason Hughes who missed the game through suspension.
Drogheda's Sean Brennan scored the first of his hat-trick of goals on 20 minutes after he headed the home side in front when heading the ball past Blues 'keeper Brady.
Tommy Barrett's resilient Limerick side drew level 17 minutes after the restart, however, when Luke Gallagher fouled Shane Tracy inside the penalty area and Murphy dispatched the resultant spot kick to the back of the net.
However, the complexion of the game changed quickly once again when the home side regained the lead just five minutes later. Brennan scored from the penalty spot in the 67th minute to bag his second goal of the net and the same player claimed a hat-trick when he again scored from the penalty spot in the 73rd minute.
Limerick did give themselves a glimmer of hope of pulling off an unlikely comeback when Adam Foley flicked on Shane Tracy's free kick for his first senior goal in the 83rd minute.
However, the Drogs' held on to their slender advantage to consign the Blues to their fourth defeat in their six away games this season.
Next up for Limerick is a trip to Cobh Ramblers on Saturday, May 18, 7pm.
DROGHEDA UTD: Luca Gratzer, James Brown, Conor Kane, Mark Hughes, Luke Gallagher, Sean Brennan (Cian Kavanagh 80), Chris Lyons, Jake Hyland (Capt), Mark Doyle, Stephen Meaney (Luke Heeney 75), Luke McNally.
LIMERICK FC: Jack Brady, Shaun Kelly (Capt), Killian Brouder, Kieran Hanlon, Conor Ellis, Shane Tracy, Lee Devitt, Thomas O'Connor, Ger Barry (Adam Foley 75), Karl O'Sullivan (Edmond O'Dwyer 80), Darren Murphy.
REFEREE: Adriano Reale