|18 March 2022
|LOI Men's Premier Division
A Dean Williams spot kick saw Drogheda United take a massive three points from Louth rivals Dundalk at Head in the Game Park tonight.
The game could be described as a classic derby with a frantic pace and an abundance of chances. Just inside the second half Greg Sloggett brought down Darragh Nugent and Robert Hennessy pointed to the spot.
Williams tucked away the penalty calmly and the Drogs saw out the result with some gutsy, disciplined defending for the remainder.
The hosts weren’t short of elation on the final whistle and Kevin Doherty was an animated ever as Drogheda scraped out a massive result against their bitter rivals to move two points behind them.
The game was 100 miles an hour from the get go with play being broken up as frequently as expected. This scrappiness didn’t take away from the spectacle though and the contest was also interesting on the tactical front.
Drogheda set up smartly with two banks of four and looked to break by picking up on the loose ends of route 1 balls. Strangely the Lilywhites matched this long ball attack style despite playing a high line, but it nearly came off for them on numerous occasions.
The first coming ten minutes in when a diagonal pass from right back Lewis Macari broke to Pat Hoban from the Drogheda clearance and Hoban struck just wide. Only two minutes later Dean Williams went down the other side clean through on goal and took it around Nathan Shepperd but the youngster seemed to hesitate and his effort was cleared on the line.
From here play opened up a bit and the chances flooded in as both gaffers scratched their heads to how their side hadn’t scored. Hoban scored from a John Martin cross but it was ruled out and then on the brink of the interval the visitors had their second goal line clearance this time from Dane Massey’s effort.
Right into the second-half Drogheda received a controversial penalty as Nugent went down under duress from Sloggett. William’s converted and sent the home stand into euphoria.
Dundalk probed and probed from here and the addition of Steven Bradley from the dugout gave them some incision, the youngster going close on the hour mark. From here on there was almost always 10 claret and blue men behind the ball but Drogheda still threatened through Adam Foley.
Foley had a few chances cutting in from the right wing, where on one occasion he cannoned a spectacular shot off the bar. Dundalk huffed and puffed but never found the answer and the hosts held on despite Hoban and Bradley threatening some more.
|United Park, Cross Lane, Fair Gate, The Borough District of Drogheda, County Louth, Leinster, A92DKR0, Ireland