by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United came from behind to secure their first win in ten games as they prevailed 4-2 against Bray Wanderers at United Park.
The visitors took a surprise lead on nine minutes through Chris Lyons though three goals in twelve second half minutes from Sean Brennan, Mick Daly and Daryl Kavanagh put Drogheda 3-1 up.
Former Drogheda player Peter McGlynn pulled one back on 68 minutes though United eventually sealed the victory at the death through substitute Tiarnan Mulvenna.
Drogheda United manager Johnny McDonnell made one change from the side that lost to Shamrock Rovers last week as Mulvenna was replaced by Kavanagh with Lloyd Buckley returning to the bench.
It was almost the perfect start for the hosts as almost straight from kick-off Carl Walshe played Kavanagh through on goal but his powerful drive was dealt with by Stephen McGuinness.
For the tenth time in 12 games this season, Drogheda were to concede first as David Cassidy’s corner from the left found Lyons unmarked at the back post and he finished cooly across Micheál Schlingermann.
It could have been 2-0 soon after as bright play from Cassidy on the wing saw the Bray captain pick out the run of McGlynn but he fired over the bar from the edge of the box.
A speculative volley from Brennan brought out another fine save from McGuinness with Michael Barker on hand to deny Jason Marks with a fine tackle on the follow-up.
Drogheda were a side possessed second half and they drew level less than a minute after the break as Kavanagh passed to Lee Duffy on the wing and his drilled cross was tapped home by Sean Brennan.
The turnaround was complete on 55 minutes as Mick Daly headed in off the underside of the bar from Marks’ corner and it was déjà vu two minutes later as Marks’ corner was nodded on by Alan Byrne before Kavanagh forced the ball past the hapless McGuinness.
Bray, to their credit, refused to lie down and they halved the deficit with a little over twenty minutes left as McGlynn headed into corner of the net with the Drogheda marking leaving a lot to be desired.
The home side looked nervous and they were fortunate to stay in front when Alan McNally connected with Cassidy’s deep free kick but he headed wide when it looked easier to score.
Drogheda eventually clinched victory with three minutes to go as Kavanagh’s through ball found the run of Walshe and the winger crossed for Mulvenna to tap home for his first goal of the season and only Drogheda’s third win of the campaign.
The win lifts Drogheda up to ninth in the table and they will travel to face Cork City on Monday looking to avenge a 2-1 home defeat earlier this season.
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United will go in search of their first win in two months when they face Bray Wanderers at United Park on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.
An early goal from Michael Drennan proved decisive in a tight affair against Shamrock Rovers in Drogheda’s last outing though United boss Johnny McDonnell was pleased with the response from his players following the heavy defeat to Longford Town a week previous.
“I felt that we were back to where we were against Rovers as there was plenty of endeavor and honesty from the players,” the Dubliner stated. “It was probably our best attacking performance all season and we created a number of openings but didn’t take them.
“The goal was disappointing and we were unfortunate to leave without a point. Aside from the Longford game, no one has out classed us so far and the squad know that they aren’t too far away from getting a positive result.”
Drogheda were without first choice striker Daryl Kavanagh through flu for the trip to Tallaght and the Boynesiders have struggled for goals this season having only found the net eight times in eleven games.
“The goals have dried up recently but it’s important to take into account that over the last five or six games we’ve played all of the big teams. We’ve certainly created chances in those games but the hardest thing in football is to put the ball in the back of the net and we must start doing that if we are to climb the table.”
There is only a place and a point separating the sides for tomorrow night’s game with Drogheda above Bray in tenth though McDonnell stopped short of declaring it a must win.
“It’s too early for me to call tomorrow’s game a six pointer. It is an important match simply because it is the next match and it is a great opportunity to get three points particularly with us being so close together in the table.”
The Drogheda manager was in attendance at Oriel Park on Monday as the Seagulls shipped eight against Dundalk but he is wary of a backlash from a wounded animal.
“Bray were totally annihilated from start to finish which gives us no doubt that they will come out all guns blazing on Friday and we need to be prepared for that.”
McDonnell was satisfied with Wednesday’s FAI Cup Second Round draw which will see the Boynesiders host Cabinteely in the first ever meeting between the two clubs.
“As the draw went on there were sides like Cobh Ramblers and Finn Harps still left in the hat so the last thing I wanted was a long trip to a difficult team. First and foremost, you want a home draw and then to get a First Division side gives us a strong chance to progress.”
Drogheda will be without Neil Yadolahi and Sean Thornton for the visit of Bray through injury and suspension respectively while Lloyd Buckley and Daryl Kavanagh should be available for selection.
Mark Hughes (Robert O’Reilly 90)
Stephen Maher (Shane Dunne 37)
Sean Brennan (Tiarnan Mulvenna 80)
Ryan McEvoy (David Scully 78)
Chris Lyons (Emeka Omwubiko 72)
Sean Brennan 46
Mick Daly 55
Daryl Kavanagh 57
Tiarnan Mulvenna 87
Chris Lyons 9
Peter McGlynn 68