By Jim MacArdle
The Drogheda United Under 17s produced a powerful team performance at United Park on Saturday and cruised to a 5-2 victory.
Scoring their first goal after only 5 minutes, they were 4-0 up on the half hour and this result was never in doubt.
Playing a 3-5-2 formation, the back three of Doran, McHugh and Byrne were supplemented by the strong wing back play of Aaron McNally on the right and Ryan O’Shea on the left.
Frank Cabraley produced a man of the match performance in the middle and striker Calum McDonell was unlucky not to score his first hat-trick for the Drogs.
The opening score came after 5 minutes when a great Cabraley pass found Ryan O’Shea who fed McDonnell who finished well to the Athlone net. Seven minutes later it was 2-0 when Cabraley slotted a great pass to put McDonnell through for goal number two.
On 20 minutes Ryan O’Shea finished off a great move which featured crisp passing from Tang, Cabraley and McNally to make the score 3-0. On the half hour Cian Hussey made it 4-0 to the Drogs and they went in ah half time with a commanding lead.
Athlone pulled goal back from a good free kick on the hour, but the Drogs scored their fifth ten minutes later when in a well-rehearsed move from a corner kick, Sam Byrne easily nodded in a header at the back post.
The visitors scored a consolation goal with time running out, but there was no denying the Drogs in this great win where they displayed great skill and movement throughout.
Drogheda United Team: Daniel Grace, Stephen Doran, Sam Byrne ©, , Michael McHugh, Ryan O’Shea, Leo Tang, Frank Cabraley, Sean Peat(Cian Quinn), Callum McDonnell (Gregory Akinsanya), Cian Hussey (Tom Adeyinka), Aaron McNally (Karl Spooner),
Subs not used: Harry Hogan, Derick Dunne, Niall Blaney,.