By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United remain second in the table after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Shelbourne at United Park.
Sean Brennan’s second-half penalty had seemingly won all three points for the Drogs but James English’s late strike earned the visitors a point.
Drogheda boss Tim Clancy named an unchanged side from the one that defeated Cobh Ramblers 5-1 on Saturday with Chris Lyons selected to lead the attack.
The first attack of the game came from the visitors as the First Division’s leading scorer David O’Sullivan picked the ball up on the edge of the box and he went past two Drogheda defenders before Kevin Farragher’s vital interception.
It was O’Sullivan who threatened again later as he capitalised on Conor Kane’s misplaced header though Paul Skinner was swift off his line to deny the forward.
On 22 minutes, a fine passing move down the Shelbourne right resulted in the ball being fed to full-back James Brown whose shot was deflected narrowly wide.
Drogheda’s first meaningful attack of the game came from a fine individual run by Lee Duffy as he collected the ball in his own half, evaded as many as five Shelbourne players before curling his strike wide of the bottom corner.
It was the Drogs who finished the first-half the stronger as they were denied by the woodwork. Jake Hyland’s superb strike from 25-yards clipping the inside of the post before being cleared from danger.
There was little in terms of goalmouth action after the break with former Drog Alan Byrne almost breaking the deadlock on 65 minutes as his glancing header flew across goal.
Drogheda were awarded a penalty on 73 minutes as Mark Doyle was brought down by Byrne just inside the box with Brennan making no mistake from the spot as he sent Delany the wrong way.
Shels went direct in search of an equaliser and their goal came on 85 minutes as English worked a yard of space on the right before shifting the ball and curling a low shot into the far corner beyond Skinner.
Both sides threw players forward in the dying stages in the hope of finding a winner but it was to no avail as the points were shared.
Drogheda will hope to return to winning ways next week when they travel to Ballybofey to face Finn Harps.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Colm Deasy (Victor Ekanem 90), Kevin Farragher, Ciaran Kelly, Conor Kane; Richie Purdy, Sean Brennan, Jake Hyland; Lee Duffy, Chris Lyons, Mark Doyle
Subs: Luca Gratzer, Kealan Dillon, Gareth McCaffrey, Stephen Meaney, Eoin McPhillips, William Hondermarck
Shelbourne: Dean Delany; James Brown, Aidan collins, Derek Prendergast, Reece McEnteer; Alan Byrne, Gavin Boyne (Jamie Doyle 61), James O’Brien, Adam Evans (Shane Farrell 82); David O’Sullivan, James English
Subs: Lee Steacy, Dayle Rooney, Cian Kavanagh, Dylan Grimes, David Mulcahy
DroghedaUnited.ie Man of the Match: Sean Brennan