By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United remain adrift at the bottom of the Premier Division table after they lost 4-1 to Bohemians at United Park.
A hat-trick from Keith Ward put Bohs in control before Dinny Corcoran added a fourth with Sean Brennan scoring a consolation goal for the Drogs as both sides finished with ten men.
Drogheda boss Pete Mahon made three changes from the side that lost to Dundalk in the FAI Cup last week as Jamie Hollywood, Jack Bayly and Chris Mulhall replaced Jake Hyland, Sean Russell and Richie Purdy.
The Gypsies had a fortunate escape early on as Shane Supple dropped Thomas Byrne’s free-kick though Dave Mulcahy’s looping rebound was off target.
Bohs soon took control of the contest and they took the lead as Ward was allowed to venture forward with the ball before curling a fine effort beyond Stephen McGuinness into the far bottom corner.
It was nearly 2-0 from the next attack as Derek Pender’s deep cross from the right was met on the half-volley by DCorcoran only for his goal-bound strike to be headed off the line by Stephen Dunne.
Ismahil Akinade was the next to test McGuinness but his cross/shot was pushed behind for a corner with the visitors threatening a second.
Their dominance was finally rewarded shortly before the break as Corcroan played Ward through down the right and he advanced on goal before sliding the ball beyond McGuinness at his near post.
Bohs were reduced to ten-men early in the second-half as Oscar Brennan was shown a second yellow card for dragging back Hollywood in a dangerous area.
It was ten apiece only a few minutes later as Chris Mulhall saw red for an off the ball incident with Rob Cornwall.
Bohs put the game beyond any doubt just past the hour mark as Ward let fly from distance and his shot was too powerful for McGuinness with the ball clipping the post on its way in.
Former Drogheda forward Corcoran made it 4-0 from the next attack as his audacious strike from 40-yards out nestled in the top corner.
The Boynesiders did manage to pull a goal back on 69’ minutes when Byrne’s inch perfect pass found substitute Sean Brennan who composed himself before firing high into the roof of the net.
Defeat for Drogheda leaves them twelve points adrift of safety with only six games left to play as they travel to face Dundalk in the Louth Derby at Oriel Park next Friday.
Drogheda United Team: Stephen McGuinness; Shane Elworthy, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Dunne, Conor Kane (Richie Purdy 20’); Luke Gallagher, Jamie Hollywood (Sean Brennan 58’); Adam Wixted, Jack Bayly (Stephen Elliott 63’), Thomas Bynre; Chris Mulhall
Subs: Lloyd Buckley, Harry Hogan, Mark Doyle, Ryan McEvoy
Bohemians Team: Shane Supple; Derek Pender (Dan Casey 71’), Rob Cornwall, Warren O’Hara, Ian Morris; Paddy Kavanagh, Fuad Sule, Oscar Brennan; Keith Ward, Dinny Corcoran (Ciaran O’Connor 82’), Ismahil Akinade (Philip Gannon 58’)
Subs: Cian Mullen, Dan Byrne, John Ross Wilson, Colin McCabe
DroghedaUnited.ie Man of the Match: Keith Ward