by Robert O'Reilly
A late strike from substitute Marc Griffin was enough for ten man Bohemians to leave United Park with all three points in a controversial clash.
The visitors were reduced to ten men on 17 minuted when former Drogheda man Derek Prendergast was shown two quick-fire yellow cards while Daryl Kavanagh was denied from the penalty spot on the stroke of half time before Griffin’s late winner.
Bohemians controlled possession for the most part of the early period but they were almost caught on the counter attack when Cathal Brady worked a yard of space down the right and his cross found Lee Duffy but the striker’s clever flick was blocked by Roberto Lopes.
Drogheda once again robbed the visitors of the ball in midfield on 15 minutes as Kavanagh ran clear down the right and his pass fell into the path of Stephen Maher but the midfielder’s 20 yard strike was pushed away from goal by Dean Delany.
There was controversy on moments later when a long ball over the top of the Bohemians defence was well controlled by Daryl Kavanagh who went down under the challenge of Derek Prendergast. Despite being the last man, referee Paul McLaughlin showed the defender a yellow card while Daryl Kavanagh sent the free kick wide.
Prendergast wasn’t as fortunate two minutes later as he tangled with Brady and following a case of mistaken identity with Lorcan Fitzgerald, the former Drogheda captain was sent off.
The hosts looked eager to make their one man advantage count on the scoreline and they were awarded a penalty deep into first half stoppage time when Maher was bundled off the ball by Anto Murphy. Daryl Kavanagh, who has two goals to his name this season, was unable to beat Delany from the spot as the Bohs keeper dived the right way and kept hold off the ball.
Despite playing with a man less, Bohs had the first clear cut opportunity of the second period when Keith Buckley played Patrick Kavanagh in on goal but the winger sent his effort across goal from an acute angle.
Drogheda had further chances to break the deadlock as both Maher and Mick Daly were denied before Lee Duffy’s chip struck the bar with five minutes left to play and Kavanagh fired wildly over the bar from the rebound.
The hosts were made to pay for those missed chances as Kealan Dillon was afforded too much room in the middle of the pitch as he released substitute Griffin who delicately lifted the ball beyond Schlingermann for the winner.
Up next for the Drogs is a trip to reigning league champions Dundalk in the first Louth derby of the season as Johnny McDonnell’s side will be aiming to cause an upset and pick up their first win in five.
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United will go in search of their first win in four when they host Bohemians at United Park on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.
Having won their first two games of the season, the Boyneisders have only picked up one point from the last three games as they suffered a disappointing 3-0 defeat away to Derry City last week.
Drogheda found themselves behind within the first quarter of the game for the third time in four games and manager Johnny McDonnell has reiterated that his side must learn to start games better if they are to climb the league table.
McDonnell said: ‘We gave away very poor goals last week which was the difference between the sides. You can’t keep giving teams head starts and expect to catch up because you’ll lose more games than you’ll win. We’ve worked hard on our shape in training this week and I’m confident that we will quickly improve.’
The Louth side were without Sean Thornton, Neil Yadolahi and Alan Byrne for the trip to the Brandywell and McDonnell believes that a combination of absentees and a congested fixture list hindered his side as they played three physical games in the space of seven days.
‘Travelling to Galway and Derry is never easy and on top of that we played for over an hour with ten men against Limerick on the Tuesday in between. It’s been a challenging week and I feel it may have come a bit early in the season for us to have played a high number of games in such a short space of time and that has been highlighted by the knocks that Sean and Neil have picked up.’
Despite an impressive start to the season, Bohemians will travel to Drogheda in the knowledge that they have only defeated United once in the last nine league games and McDonnell is hoping that Drogheda can maintain their impressive form against the Gypsies.
‘We had Bohs watched last week against Shamrock Rovers and they are a very well organised side. They’ve got a very experienced defence with a lot of quality up front and in Lorcan Fitzgerald they have someone who puts in an excellent set-piece that we need to be wary of.’
Drogheda look set to be without Thornton and Yadolahi, suffering from hamstring and thigh injuries respectively, while Jason Marks is suspended though Alan Byrne will be available for selection having served a one-match ban against Derry City.
Mark Hughes (Shane Dunne 67)
Michael Scott (Sean Brennan 56)
Adam Evans (Kealan Dillon 84)
Dean Kelly (Marc Griffin 78)
Marc Griffin 87