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Date Time League Season
29 July 2022 7:45 pm FAI Cup 2022

Match Report

Drogheda made light work of Athlone in FAI Cup

Drogheda United cruised to a 5-0 victory over Athlone Town at Head in the Game Park, advancing past the First Round of the FAI Cup.

Adam Foley’s flicked header in the sixth minute set the tone for Drogheda’s domination before Vladislav Velikin gifted Dean Williams a tap-in on 40 minutes. Right before the break Darragh Markey added with a shot from just inside the area.

A second Velikin howler meant for a second Williams tap-in for the fourth, while Ryan Brennan added the fifth with a header 67 minutes in.

A professional cup performance from the Drogs, but equally one they looked to really enjoy as they dispatched of Gordon Brett’s side. A strong line-up from Kevin Doherty that fired on all cylinders meant the travelling team were never in contention.

It took just six minutes for the deadlock to be broken, as Gary Deegan’s cross met Foley who smartly flicked a header over Velikin and into the net. Drogheda began to knock the ball around and the feeling of enjoyment of being in that unusual situation was apparent in their body language as they took risks and shot from range.

Athlone had nothing to offer other than hopeful runs from Shane Barnes down the channels, however defensively, they kept the hosts out well until their second on 40 minutes. That is why the nature of this goal meant added frustration for the Westmeath side, as Velikin gifted Williams a spot on the scoresheet.

In a carbon copy of the Dion Dublin Shay Given moment from 1997, Williams snuck from behind Velikin to poach the ball and tap home. Markey made it a foregone conclusion right before the interval, taking in a fizzed ball from Andy Quinn, dropping the shoulder, and burying home for 3-0.

The second-half was a similar story and with 55 minutes on the clock Velikin came to the fore again, for all the wrong reasons. His failed clearance hit Markey who found Williams, and Williams once again found the empty net at his mercy in making it 4-0.

Substitute Brennan chipped in with his usual contribution, stooping low to head home a brilliant Dayle Rooney cross with 67 minutes played. Athlone were out of sorts while Chris Lyon’s and Markey threatened a sixth with audacious attempts.

Matthew McCarrick’s introduction was the source of a bright spark for The Town, and it would also be the source of their consolation goal in the 84th minute. McCabe unnecessarily left his goal and McCarrick was able to roll the ball home from way out to leave things at 5-1.

  • Full-Time here. Drogheda advance to the last 16. Drogheda 5-1 Athlone

  • 90'

    Three added here

  • 87'

    Two more changes from Athlone as Precious Omochere and Andy Spain replace Shane Barnes and Ryan McBride

  • 85'

    Consolation for The Town as McCarrick taps into an empty net with McCabe caught in no mans land

  • 80'

    Valerii Dolla on for Thomas Oluwa for the last 10 for the Midlanders

  • 76'

    Matthew McCarrick booked

  • 73'

    Markey with an audacious curling effort that unfortunately cracks the cross-bar

  • 67'

    A fifth for the home team as Rooney's cross picks out Ryan Brennan. Brennan gets down low to head home

  • 63'

    Lyons with a stinging volley that Velikin bats away

  • 62'

    Darragh Noone comes on for his debut replacing George Poynton

  • 61'

    Dylan Grimes with a near miss having just replaced Foley

  • 58'

    Drogheda enjoying it now and somehow don't have a fifth after sub Chris Lyons hit the post before Rooney's dink was cleared off the line

  • 55'

    A fourth for the Drogs and yet again Velikin is at fault. He clears the ball straight at Markey who eventually scurries the ball to William's for his second tap-in of the evening

  • 49'

    Great effort from Rooney but Velikin restores some of his reputation with a quality save

  • 45'

    For Gordon Brett's men, Aaron Connolly is replaced by Jarlath Jones

  • 45'

    Half-time changes for Drogheda see Ryan Brennan and Dane Massey replace Cowan and Deegan

  • Back underway in this FAI Cup First Round tie

  • Half-time at Head in the Game Park. Drogheda United 3-0 Athlone Town

  • 45'

    Drogheda get a third before the break to really deflate their opponents. A fizzed ball from Andrew Quinn found Markey who dropped the shoulder and buried a shot past Velikin

  • 43'

    Athlone with a great chance down the other end but Colin McCabe saved well to prevent a route back into the tie

  • 41'

    A bizarre second at the hands of Dean Williams, who pounced from behind Velikin as he prepared to kick long and tapped the ball into the open net

  • 38'

    Rooney drives through the middle and has a go from range but its harmlessly wide

  • 37'

    Aaron Connolly booked also for the away team

  • 35'

    Adam Lennon carded for a late challenge

  • 33'

    Athlone really having a hard time offering anything so far and the Drogs are just knocking it around at the minute. Shane Barnes has tried to make runs down the channels but he's been marshalled by Keith Cowan in defence

  • 27'

    Remains one nil here. The Drogs will be eager to get that cushion goal but the visitors keeping them out for now

  • 21'

    Darragh Markey drifting around the pitch and proving a nuisance for The Town defenders already

  • 17'

    Drogheda playing with a high intensity and it already looks like a matter of how many they will get with Darragh Nugent and Evan Weir with further chances

  • 12'

    Dayle Rooney goes close for the second but drags his effort tamely wide

  • 6'

    Curse of the commentator there as Drogheda break the deadlock straight away. A cross comes in from the left and Adam Foley brilliantly flicks it over Vladislav Velikin's head for 1-0

  • 5'

    Home team just probing so far as expected but no clear cut chances yet

  • We're off here in Louth

  • Drogheda Team News: A strong line-up put forward by Kevin Doherty which sees the usual suspects starting. The bench is decorated with debutants like Darragh Noone, former Longford goalkeeper Lee Steacy and Stevan Stanic-Floody who's moved over from Australia

  • Drogheda will of course head into the game as favourites against the struggling First Division side. However Athlone will have to find belief in the FAI Cup's unpredictability and their positive recent history with the Drogs

  • Con Sheehan here reporting as Drogheda United host Athlone Town in the First Round of the FAI Cup. Kick-off is 7:45pm at Head in the Game Park

Drogheda Utd

1Colin McCabe Goalkeeper
3Evan Weir Defender
4Andrew Quinn Defender
5Keith Cowan 14 Defender
7Darragh Markey Midfielder 45'
8Gary Deegan 19 Midfielder
11Adam Foley 10 Forward 6'
16Dayle Rooney Midfielder
17Dean Williams 9 Forward 41', 55'
24Darragh Nugent Midfielder
26George Poynton 27 Midfielder
35Lee Steacy Goalkeeper
9Chris Lyons 17 Forward
10Dylan Grimes 11 Midfielder
14Dane Massey 5 Defender
19Ryan Brennan 8 Midfielder 67'
20Emre Topcu Midfielder
23Stevan Stanic-Floody Forward
27Darragh Noone 26 Midfielder
28Evan Haddock Defender

Athlone Town

16Vladislav Velikin Goalkeeper
6Noah van Geenen Defender
7Adam Lennon 5 Midfielder 35'
9Shane Barnes 10 Forward
11Thomas Oluwa 8 Forward
12Aaron Connolly 26 Midfielder 37'
18Oisin Duffy Midfielder
19Aaron McBride 3
20Gary Armstrong Forward
22Patrick Hickey Defender
27Cian Kelly Defender
30Mark Smith Goalkeeper
2Daniel Dobbin Defender
3Andy Spain 19 Defender
5Matthew McCarrick 7 Forward 84'
76'
8Valerii Dolla 11
10Precious Omochere 9 Forward
17Osaze Irhue
23Donal Curtin Midfielder
26Jarlath Jones 12 Goalkeeper

Past Meetings

(Series 15)
0 - 2
First Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Athlone Town

(Series 6)
3 - 3
First Division
Athlone Town Stadium

Athlone Town v Drogheda United

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