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Date Time League Season
18 April 2022 7:45 pm Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Drogheda grind out draw with Derry

Drogheda United earned another hard-fought 1-1 draw tonight at home to league leaders Derry City.

Joe Thomson gave the visitors the lead on 30 minutes with a low volley from the edge despite the Drogs starting brightly.A miraculous save from Sam Long stopped Akintunde from two yards out in the 35th.

Five minutes later Ryan Brennan equalised with his head for the Louth side after the Candystripes failed to clear a corner. Kevin Doherty’s side defended valiantly to hold on to an impressive draw.

This was the grittiest of Drogheda’s gritty draws in recent times and it now sees them undefeated in six games. However the home side actually began as the brighter team, pushing a high defensive line and playing a brave game against the league leaders.

They would see the first chance of note in the game when Luke Heeney struck low outside the area but Nathan Gartside saved. After about 20 minutes the game became scrappy, and after another five, Derry started to maintain some possession.

It was the Brandywell outfit who then took the lead in the 30th minute through Thomson who beat his man after picking it up in midfield and volleyed low and hard past Long from the edge. Long however pulled off heroics to stop Akintunde doubling five minutes later with what should have been a tap in.

This proved pivotal when local man Brennan equalised just before the interval. The away side failed to clear a corner and Brennan attacked the second ball in with a header to make it 1-1.

The second half was completely Derry’s game. Will Patching had a good effort straight into the half which started 45 minutes of onslaught where City constantly probed on the edge of the home box.

The Drogs were utterly disciplined and threw body after body in front of the ball, with Andrew Quinn being particularly commendable. Quinn had even more to deal with down Drogheda’s right as Ruaidhri Higgins brought on some quality on the left in Jamie McGonigle and Brandon Kavanagh with 15 to go.

The claret and blue battled and battled until the end of the onslaught, which culminated with a series of nervy corners from the visitors. One in particular from Patrick McEleney struck the post and there were a couple more corners that had to be scrambled clear in stoppage time.

Drogheda once again proving to be so difficult to beat, especially thanks to the brilliant Sam Long in goal. Derry will be feeling the pressure now at the summit as Shamrock rovers now sit a point behind.

  • Full-time at Head in the Game Park. 1-1

  • 92'

    Kavanagh with a great effort from distance in stoppage time that goes just past the top right

  • 91'

    Keith Cowan replaces Heeney in stoppage time

  • 90'

    Derry come agonisingly close as they hit the post from a corner right at the death

  • 88'

    Kavanagh booked

  • 86'

    Spectacular effort on the volley from Rooney but Gartside caught it well

  • 80'

    10 left and Drogheda really holding on now but defending commendably. The visitors continue to probe especially down that left side

  • 74'

    Doherty also makes his second sub as Darragh Nugent replaces goalscorer Brennan

  • 74'

    Higgins bringing on some quality. McGonigle, Patrick McEleney and Kavanagh replace Akintunde, Thomson, and Lafferty

  • 72'

    Patching goes low with a free kick in his ideal territory but Long stops it

  • 68'

    Derry closing in. Thomson slips Matty Smith clean in but Long comes to the rescue again

  • 66'

    Georgie Poynton comes on for Dylan Grimes

  • 62'

    The booked McEleney fouls Dayle Rooney but stays on the pitch to the protests of the home crowd

  • 59'

    Ruaidhri Higgins' side dominating possession now and looking dangerous as the Drogs try and weather the storm

  • 53'

    The Candystripes starting the second period well with some early pressure. Will Patching tests Long hitting the target from range

  • Half-time in Louth. 1-1

  • 45'

    Booking for Shane McEleney for a very late tackle on Lyons

  • 40'

    Brennan gets a well deserved equaliser. The visitors failed to clear a corner and Brennan latched on to the second ball with a glancing header from close range

  • 35'

    A ridiculous save from Sam Long to keep the score at 1 nil. Lafferty played a low ball into the box and Akintunde met it from about 2 yards out but Long somehow rose a hand to it and scrambled it away

  • 30'

    Goal for the Red and White army. Joe Thomson picked up the ball in the middle, beat one man, and hit a driven volley low past Sam Long. 1-0 Derry

  • 26'

    The game has took a scrappy turn now. Drogheda's momentum has died down and its become mostly a battle in the centre with little clear chances

  • 19'

    The Louth team threaten again Ryan Brennan heads wide from Dane Massey's route one ball

  • 16'

    First chance for the visitors as Cameron McJannett's cross met Danny Lafferty who nodded wide

  • 13'

    The Drogs looking much the better side thus far. The Candystripes with minimal possession and being forced to play only in the channels

  • 8'

    Chris Lyons almost goes clean through from a long ball but its cleaned up at the back by Derry

  • 5'

    First notable chance goes to Heeney who had a go from the edge but Gartside was equal

  • 3'

    The hosts playing with some confidence early doors here and knocking the ball around well

  • Derry team news: Nathan Gartside replaces Brian Maher in goal who is out with Covid. Jamie McGonigle and Brandon Kavanagh are on the bench and James Akintunde starts again

  • Drogheda team news: Darragh Markey, Dean Williams and Adam Foley remain out with injury. Luke Heeney sees his first competitive start of the year

  • The home side will hope the noisy home crowd can push them for a upset against the league leaders. Derry will be looking to bounce back to winning ways while keeping a close eye on the Shamrock Rovers Dundalk game

  • Con Sheehan here reporting Drogheda United and Derry City at a packed Head in the Game Park on Easter Monday. Kick-off in 15 minutes

Drogheda Utd

31Sam Long Goalkeeper
2Sean Roughan Defender
3Evan Weir Defender
4Andrew Quinn Defender
8Gary Deegan Midfielder
9Chris Lyons Forward
10Dylan Grimes 26 Midfielder
14Dane Massey Defender
16Dayle Rooney Midfielder
19Ryan Brennan 24 Midfielder 40'
21Luke Heeney 5 Midfielder
1Colin McCabe Goalkeeper
5Keith Cowan 21 Defender
12Aaron Davis Goalkeeper
15Mohamed Boudiaf Defender
20Paddy Moore Forward
22James Clarke Midfielder
24Darragh Nugent 19 Midfielder
26George Poynton 10 Midfielder
45Mark Hughes Midfielder

Derry City

1Nathan Gartside Goalkeeper
2Ronan Boyce Defender
6Eoin Toal Defender
8Joe Thomson 10 Midfielder 30'
11James Akintunde 20 Forward
12Matty Smith Forward
14Will Patching Midfielder
16Shane McEleney Defender 45'
17Cameron McJannet Defender 93'
23Cameron Dummigan Midfielder
24Danny Lafferty 9 Defender
44Fintan Doherty Goalkeeper
3Ciaran Coll Defender
9Jamie McGonigle 24 Forward
10Patrick McEleney 8 Midfielder
20Brandon Kavanagh 11 Midfielder
21Gerard Storey Midfielder
25Evan McLaughlin Defender
29Jack Malone Midfielder
37Daithi McCallion Defender

Past Meetings

(Round 6)
2 - 0
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Drogheda United

(Series 32)
1 - 0
Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Derry City

(Series 23)
3 - 0
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Drogheda United

(1st Round)
1 - 1 (2-4 on pens)
FAI Cup
United Park

Drogheda United v Derry City

(Series 14)
1 - 2
Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Derry City

(Series 5)
1 - 1
Premier Division
The Brandywell

Derry City v Drogheda United

(2nd Round)
0 - 2
FAI Cup
United Park

Drogheda United v Derry City

Ground

United Park
United Park, Cross Lane, Fair Gate, The Borough District of Drogheda, County Louth, Leinster, A92DKR0, Ireland

21 year old sports journalist from Drogheda. Student at Dublin City University. Drogheda United Correspondent for FinalWhistle.ie