Monaghan United travelled to Station Road on a wet and windy St Patrick's night and came home with a hard-earned draw thanks to a late Robbie Farrell penalty. The result maintains United's unbeaten start to the season.

With manager Mick Cooke banned from the touchline and dressing room for 1 game, Director of Football John Heffernan took charge of the team. It was a family affair, with son Thomas as first team caoch and another son Finbarr on United's right wing. United made just the one enforced change from the opening day fixture versus Wexford Youths, with Kieran Friel coming in at centre-back for the suspended Barry Burke.

On a cold, wet and very windy evening, it was difficult for either side to play football, and this was not a game that will live long in the memory. United played with the strong wind in their favour in the first half, but it was difficult to judge and several passes were overhit. United's best form of attack was from Darren McQuaid's kick-outs which were headed on by Robbie Farrell into the path of strike partner Brian Gannon. However, Gannon was unlucky not to get on the end of these flick-ons, and on the one occassion he got a chance on goal he was adjudged offside.

United had a shot from Peter D'Arcy which was not far wide before Kildare County took the lead in the 14th minute. A corner from the left was not cleared and Kildare's number 8 Walsh had time to pass to Philip Gorman on the right of United's box. The United defenders did not react and Gorman was allowed time and space inside the box to shoot past Darren McQuaid in goal.

In the reaminder fo the half a Robbie Farrell shot flew narrowly wide, while Farrell was denied by a good save from Austin O'Neill in Kildare's goal in a goalmouth scramble. However, a sluggish United were outfought by their counterparts who seemed hungrier for the ball and United did not take the opportunity to use the strong wind to their advantage.

The second half saw Stephen Finnegan come on for Kevin Williamson. Finnegan put in a strong performance in the middle alongside Brian McDonald with Peter D'Arcy moving to the left.

In a tight second-half there were few chances for either side. Kildare County thought they had doubled their lead when a superb volley from outside the box by Sean L'Estrange crashed off the underside of the bar. Former Shamrock Rovers' striker Padraig Amond headed home the robound, but he was adjudged to have been offside from the intial shot. Moments later, a curling shot from Amond went narrowly wide.

Kildare County suffered a blow when the outstanding Gorman had to go off with an injury after an hour.

In the 83rd minute the chance that always threatened from United's pacy front two came United's way. From a Kildare County corner the ball was cleared upfield and Brian Gannon raced onto a through ball. As he toe-poked the ball narrowly wide from just inside the box he was upended by the Kildare 'keeper O'Neill and referee Hugo Whoriskey awarded a penalty, booking O'Neill in the process. Despite a long delay whilst Gannon received treatment, captain Robbie Farrell showed no nerves as he calmly shot the spot-kick home.

Another United break upfield from a Kildare County set-piece saw Robbie Farrell release Finbarr Heffernan, and his cross was headed into the arms of the grateful O'Neill by centre-back Aaron Mooney who had raced the length of the field to join the attack.

At the other end, a diving header by Brian Gannon cleared a shot late-on, but McQuaid probably had it covered.

Teams - Kildare County: O'Neill; L'Estrange, McDermott, P Byrne, Stapleton; Donnelly (P Rigney 77), McCrossan, A Byrne, Walsh; Gorman (Barrett 63), Amond.

Monaghan Utd: McQuaid; Whelan, Friel, Mooney, Kerr; Heffernan (Toal 90), McDonald, D'Arcy, Williamson (Finnegan h/t); Farrell, Gannon.