by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United recorded their first win in eight games as they edged past a plucky Bohemians side 1-0 at United Park.
Despite being second best for most of the game, the home side secured the three points through Carl Walshe’s 69th minute strike.
The visitors should have gone in front on three minutes as a quick throw-in down the right released Patrick Kavanagh who headed into the path of Karl Moore but the midfielder’s well struck volley was headed off the line by the recovering Daire Doyle with David Ryan stranded.
United went even closer to opening the scoring sixty seconds later as Cathal Brady broke the offside trap and despite rounding Dean Delaney, the winger’s shot from an acute angle bounced off the post and was cleared from danger.
Paul Crowley, captaining Drogheda in the absence of the suspended Gavin Brennan, was cautioned following a late tackle on Anto Murphy with the midfielder requiring extensive treatment.
The Gypsies took control of the game but struggled to test Ryan in the Drogheda goal. Moore came close again for the visitors but he failed to keep his effort from the edge of the box on target.
Murphy brought the first save out of Ryan as the Drogheda ‘keeper tipped his 25-yard shot over the bar. From the resulting corner, a loose ball landed kindly into the path of the veteran Jason Byrne but the striker fired high and wide with the goal at his mercy.
The second period started in a similar manner as Moore was played in down the left by Kavanagh but the former Shamrock Rovers player shot straight at Ryan.
Byrne, who has an excellent goal scoring record against the Boynesiders down the years, missed two guilt-edged opportunities to put the Dubliners in front. He first headed over from Moore’s deep delivery before Ryan denied him with an excellent save only minutes later.
Drogheda took the lead against the run of play as a misplaced pass from Stephen Beattie was pounced upon by Carl Walshe and the winger brought the ball forward before firing a low shot into the bottom corner.
In the remaining twenty minutes, Bohemians pushed forward for an equaliser but it was to no avail as a resolute Drogheda side picked up their first clean sheet in ten games.
The victory sees Drogheda leapfrog Bohemians into 7th in the table while the Gypsies will be aiming to pick themselves up for next week’s Dublin derby against Shamrock Rovers.
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda will be aiming to end a run of six straight defeats as they face Bohemians on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm at United Park.
United endured the low point of their season so far a fortnight ago as they fell to a 2-1 reversal away to UCD having been in the lead for the majority of the game.
That result leaves Drogheda in 9th position in the SSE Airtricity League table, level points with Bohemians while also having a game in hand.
The Boynesiders will be without the suspended duo of Alan McNally and Gavin Brennan as they serve a one match suspension following their red cards in the EA Sports Cup defeat to Shamrock Rovers last Monday. Michéal Schlingermann and Stephen Maher will also miss out due to injury.
As for the visitors, the Gypsies come into Friday’s game on the back of three consecutive draws in the league and similarly to Drogheda, they have not picked up a win since the start of April.
Owen Heary’s side will be the services of former Drogheda striker Dinny Corcoran and defender Roberto Lopes through suspension while the injured pair of Aidan Price and Anto Murphy seem unlikely to start.
The two sides played out a 2-2 draw at Dalymount Park in March as an 89th minute equaliser from Gary O’Neill rescued a point for the away side.
Speaking on Thursday, Drogheda United manager Robbie Horgan emphasised the need for fringe players to stake their claim to be in the side while first-team regulars are absent.
“Unfortunately we have several injury and suspension problems this week but we are lucky that despite having a small squad, it is full of strong competition for places. When someone drops out of the team, it is an opportunity for one of the players on the bench to stake their claim. The training sessions over the last few weeks have been high intensity and the players are raring to go this Friday.
“We haven’t played in almost two weeks but I think the break has benefitted the squad. When you’re on the run that we are on at the moment, a week away from football in terms of not having a game will hopefully do us good but the proof will be in the pudding.
“In every game over the last six weeks or so we have been looking to go that one bit further and secure a positive result but football is so unpredictable. We know on our day that we are capable of beating anyone. I watched Bohs play UCD last Friday and despite being down to ten men they were very resolute and I am expecting the same tomorrow.”
Cathal Brady (Declan O’Brien 12’)
Derek Pender (Darragh Reynor 21’)
Anto Murphy (Kevin Devaney 71’)
Ryan McEvoy (Craig Walsh 80’)
Carl Walshe 69’
Paul Crowley (yellow) 10’
Mick Daly (yellow) 91’
Craig Walsh (yellow) 82’