Drogheda suffered an embarrassing defeat at the hands of non-league opposition for the second consecutive year as they were knocked out of the Leinster Senior Cup by Wayside Celtic, 1-2.
Thomas O’Hanlon gave the Leinster Senior Lague side the opening goal after thirty-seven minutes before Drogheda equalised in the eighty-sixth minute through Declan O’Brien and Wayside won the game following a defensive mix-up that allowed Darren Lacey to lob the ball home over Michael Schlingermann.
Robbie Horgan took charge of the side in Mick Cooke’s absence and there were several changes from the side that drew with Shamrock Rovers as Schlingermann, Phillip Hand, Alan McNally, Jason Marks, Dean Gaynor, O’Brien and Peter Hynes came into the starting eleven.
Drogheda started brightly and had their first shot on target after five minutes as O’Brien headed straight at the Wayside keeper from a Hand corner.
A scrappy game, low on quality, meant that chances were few and far between as Dean Gaynor’s turn and shot off target was the only other highlight for a United team looking disjointed.
Indeed, Wayside took the lead shortly before the interval as a swift counter attack saw Alan McNally put in a crucial tackle in the box before the ball rolled invitingly for O’Hanlon who drilled it low past Schlingermann in the Drogheda goal.
Immediatley after the break the Drogs created their first genuine chance of the match. Clever interplay between Hynes and Fabio saw the latter pass out wide to Stephen Quigley whose excellent delivery was met by the head of Hynes but his header went agonisingly over the bar.
Drogheda’s performance had picked up somewhat and their next chance came on fifty-three minutes as O’Brien put Gaynor through but his effort was smothered by the Wayside net minder.
United nearly shot themselves in the foot as reckless play from Schlingermann presented the ball to a Wayside player but he ballooned over when it looked easier to score.
Mick Daly was introduced as a second half sub and he almost levelled matters as a neat turn and volley from the edge of the box saw the ball cash back off the Wayside crossbar.
United did level soon after as a long punt from Schlingermann was misjudged by the Wayside defence and Quigley’s cross caused confusion and the ball fell to Drogheda’s all-time leading goalscoring to level matters.
Wayside should have won the game in added time as a terrific run and shot from the edge of the box left Schlingermann helpless but the ball missed the target.
The winner did come in extra time as the Leinster Senior League side deservedly took the lead. Another long put upfield was missed by Alan Byrne and Darren Lacey ran past McNally to lift the ball over the advancing Schlingermann.
United had to see the game out with ten men as Alan McNally went off after the first half of extra time as he makes his return to full fitness and Drogheda having made all three changes.
The only other chance Drogheda created in the final stages was through Paul O’Conor as he shot wide from a tight angle.
A lacklustre performance to go along with a poor result, Drogheda will need to improve drastically if they are to get anything at joint bottom of the table Shelbourne in Tolka park this Friday.
Drogheda United Team: Michael Schlingermann, Stephen Quigley, Alan Byrne, Alan McNally, Phillip Hand, Dean Gaynor, Paul O’Conor, David Cassidy (Michael Daly 63), Jason Marks (Cathal Brady 57), Declan O’Brien, Peter Hynes (Graham Rusk 74).