By Jim MacArdle
Two first half goals for the visitors were decisive in this match where the home side fought hard all through, but failed to capitalise on good possession.
Kian Hussey impressed up front in the first half with his intelligent running and decisive play, and he came close in the second minute with a good snap shot which the Derry keeper was lucky to see go just past the post.
The Drogs appeared set up well in the defence and as the first half progressed the game developed into a tough battle, often in the Drogs half of the field and although the home side gave as good as they got, with Daniel Grace looking good in goals, two defensive lapses in the 34th and 43rd minutes saw them go in 2-0 down at half time.
Drogheda were guilty of poor deliveries of free kicks from good attacking positions right through the match.
The hosts improved in the second half with Ryan O’Shea unlucky to see his shot slide past the post on 51 minutes, but they were not capitalising on their possession and were unfortunate that keeper Grace was injured and his lack of mobility did not help as the team pressed forward.
The introduction of Frank Cabraley into midfield on 52 minutes gave the home side more penetration and they moved the ball well, but too often the decisive pass was not delivered accurately or quickly enough. Neil Blayney was unlucky on 67 minutes to see his good long range shot tipped over the bar.
Drogheda United Team: Daniel Grace, Derick Dunne (Cian Quinn), Sam Byrne © (Karl Spooner), Niall Blaney, Stephen Doran, Michael McHugh, Sean Peat, Kian Hussey (Gregory Akinsanya), Tom Adeyinka (Frank Cabraley), Aaron McNally.