by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United have moved up to sixth in the table after they defeated Bohemians 1-0 at Dalymount Park.
Substitute Tiarnan Mulvenna headed in a dramatic 90th minute winner to secure the Boynesiders’ fourth win in their last five games in all competitions as their excellent run of form continued.
There were two changes from the Drogheda side that drew at home to Derry City a fortnight ago as Sean Thornton and Cathal Brady came in for the suspended Sean Brennan while Lloyd Buckley was named on the bench.
Drogheda started the stronger side and they produced the first shot of the game as Thornton’s rising effort from 25 yards failed to test Dean Delany in the Bohs goal.
Lee Duffy was causing problems for the Gypsies defence early on and his cross found Adam Whelan at the far post but the winger’s header was off target.
Bohs, who had lost only twice at home all season, created their first opening on 15 minutes when Adam Evans worked a yard of space on the right and his ball in was headed over the bar from close range by Karl Moore.
The home side controlled possession for the remainder of the half and they eventually broke through the Drogheda defence just before the break but Ismahil Akinade failed to pick out the unmarked Dean Kelly from 12 yards.
The second half started in a similar vein with the Drogheda defence offering little encouragement to the Bohs attack with the best chance of a goal most likely coming from a set piece and this almost proved so as Micheál Schlingermann intercepted Lorcan Fitzgerald’s dangerous delivery with former Drog Derek Prendergast waiting to tap in.
Bohemians finally started to apply some pressure to the Drogheda goal as they missed two chances in quick succession as Akinade played Keith Buckley through on goal but his shot was too weak to trouble Schlingermann while the busy Akinade volleyed over from the edge of the box on 70 minutes.
Drogheda still carried a threat on the counter attack and they were unfortunate not to make the breakthrough on 74 minutes when Duffy rounded Delany before slotting into the empty net but the assistant referee’s flag was raised for offside.
High pressure from the visitors almost paid dividends when Mulvenna robbed Anto Murphy of possession before evading Dave Mulcahy but his cross to the unmarked Duffy was intercepted by Prendergast to keep the sides on level terms.
United weren’t to be denied though as a 90th minute corner from Thornton was met by Mulvenna at the back post and his header gave the Drogs a hard fought lead.
The drama wasn’t over there though as in the third minute of stoppage time a long ball over the top played Evans through on goal and he slotted past Schlingermann only to be denied by the offside flag much to the frustration of the home crowd.
An unlikely win for United sees them leapfrog both Galway United and Longford Town in the table and they will be looking to continue their excellent form when they host league leaders Dundalk in next week’s Louth Derby at United Park.
Karl Moore (Paddy Kavanagh 77)
Adam Whelan (Carl Walshe 46)
Jason Marks (Tiarnan Mulvenna 72)
Lee Duffy (Fionn Reilly 86)
Tiarnan Mulvenna 90