Date Time League Season
4 November 2021 7:45 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Dan’s goal Clear’s path for Dundalk win in Louth Derby

Dan Cleary's late goal gave Dundalk the Louth Derby bragging rights and more importantly three precious points that sees them overtake Drogheda and set sights on a possible fourth place.

It may not have been the prettiest of goals in what was a tense night at Head in the Game Park. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock and the men from Oriel finally picked the lock with three minutes left on the clock to break Drogheda's hearts.

The first half began as expected with a game of such magnitude, while the pressing from both sides was intense neither team created an early chance of note.

Dundalk carved out a series of chances as the contest began to open up more with Hoban peeling off from Massey's attention from a corner but his header at the back post went over the bar. Daniel Kelly's cross into the United area took a deflection and fell to the non-intended target of Sean Murray.  He was smart with his attack forcing a fine save from David Odumosu.

Both clubs had goals disallowed as the main talking point of the first half came into context. The brace of goals was ruled out much to the ire of both sets of supporters. Ronan Murray's corner saw Dan O'Reilly convert the set-piece but his attempt was chalked off while Andy Boyle down the other end was adjudged to have fouled en-route to heading the ball his goal home.

After the interval, Drogs enjoyed an early spell of posession and chances as Gary Deegan's header, the best of early threats on goal saw his effort go away from its intended target. That threat seemed to spring Dundalk into action as they took control of the match.

They will wonder that despite the ample chances created they failed to convert them. Will Patching had the pick of the bunch as his long-range effort was tipped onto the bar by Odumosu as the ball fell safely back into his hands. Darragh Leahy's low ball found its way to Murray in the area but his curling went wide at the post.

Drogheda continued to counterattack at every turn with Dane Massey having an opportunity to punish his former club as he met a corner with his head at the near post but his effort cleared Peter Cherrie's goal. Gary Deegan also set his sights on Cherrie's net but his free-kick went over the bar.

It was Dundalk who would finally break the resistance of the Drogheda defence with just three minutes to go. A free-kick from Michael Duffy went deep into the United goalmouth as the initial effort was blocked but Cleary was on hand to steer the ball home.

That goal sums up the contest, an excellent performance from both sides undone in the blink of an eye. 

  • 90'

    Dan Cleary's late goal gave Dundalk the Louth Derby bragging rights and more importantly three precious points that sees them overtake Drogheda and set sights on a possible fourth place. It may not have been the prettiest of goals in what was a tense night at Head in the Game Park. It was going to take something special to break the deadlock and the men from Oriel finally picked the lock with three minutes left on the clock to smash Drogheda's resistance.

  • 90'

    Sami Ben Amar and Sonni Nattestad are on for Kelly and Murray here as Dundalk look to see it out

  • 86'

    It has trickled in! A corner from Duffy was met by Cleary and his header and effort was scrappy and it tricked past Odumosu

  • 82'

    McMillan replaces Hoban with eight minutes to play.

  • 78'

    Deegan's free kick on the second go just goes over the bar!

  • 72'

    A rare attack on goal for Drogheda and from the corner Doyle heads just over from the near post.

  • 63'

    Drogheda makes their first change with Chris Lyons coming on for Ronan Murray.

  • 62'

    If this game ends up scoreless Dundalk will look back in this last ten minutes and wonder, how? They have done everything but put the ball in the net.

  • 60'

    A bit of ping pong in the area and the ball is all over the place, Kelly's effort cannons off the Drogheda defender, Dundalk turns the screw in the last few minutes.

  • 57'

    Another chance for Dundalk as Darragh Leahy's low ball finds Sean Murray but it curls wide at the near post.

  • 54'

    1,861 in attendance at Head in the Game Park tonight

  • 52'

    A fantastic build-up sees Dummigan, Duffy and Murray all combine but Murray's shot is of the target.

  • 50'

    Out of nowhere! Will Patching tees up a shot and it looked as if Odumosu had it covered, however, he didn't get a proper grip on it, it bounces off the crossbar and back into his hands, which was close to an opener in half which Drogheda have looked the better.

  • 46'

    A glorious chance from Gary Deegan to put the Drogs ahead but he couldn't control his header.

  • 45'

    We are back underway, Ronan Murray gets the second half underway at HITG Park.

  • 45'

    Right on half time here and it's still scoreless, both sides had the ball in the back of the net but both were ruled out for fouls respectively. A tight affair and it's been exciting so far, there is plenty more in this game you would feel.

  • 43'

    Coming up to half time and not much has changed here, both sides going at it but scoreless, this game is tight and one goal could settle it.

  • 37'

    And Dundalk have a goal ruled out, Andy Boyle looked like he had put the Lilywhites ahead but the referee deemed he fouled en route to the header.

  • 30'

    Well, the goal is in the back of the net but the referee spotted an infringement in the play and O'Reilly's goal is chalked off for a foul.

  • 28'

    That was close for Drogheda, Darragh Markey's cross was sent into the area and Doyle was diving in at the near post but it goes wide of the post, a bit more direction and Cherrie would have been in trouble.

  • 22'

    Dundalk break down the left with Hoban releasing Duffy but it was too far in front of him and his cross is cut out.

  • 18'

    Kane picks up the ball on the edge of the area but his shot is blocked down by Dummigan

  • 14'

    Another Dundalk attack sees Kelly's cross with a bit of a deflection finds the head of Murray who is smart with his attack and Odumosu does well to save the attempt.

  • 13'

    Hoban peels off from Massey's attention to the back post and he has a free header that goes over the bar.

  • 9'

    The first sight on goal falls to Michael Duffy, the ball is laid off very well by Hoban but the winger's strike was blocked and cleared at the first attempt.

  • 8'

    No clear cut chances of note but this is probably the tensest derby I have been at in a long time, the place is absolutely hopping.

  • 4'

    A frantic start to this one, Daniel Cleary and Ronan Murray go head to head and Cleary's shoulder was deemed too much and the referee points for a free-kick, it comes to nothing though.

  • 1'

    And the derby is underway! Sean Murray kicks us off at Head in the Game Park.

  • A lovely touch from the Dundalk players to wear black armbands tonight, they are wearing them for teammate Raivis Jurkovskis whose father passed away this week in Latvia.

  • Dane Massey, a veteran of 291 appearances and 15 honours for Dundalk, will no doubt get a good reception from the 600 away fans in attendance tonight. It's his first time playing in front of the Dundalk fans since departing the club at the end of last season

  • While Drogheda won the last Louth Derby 2-1 at Oriel Park back in August, you have to go back to March 2014 to find their last win in this fixture here. They were 4-1 winners that night with Eric Foley, Gavin Brennan and two from Fabio O'Brien with Pat Hoban getting a consolation. That was a night in which few thought much of now-departed defender Sean Gannon, but it was him and Dundalk who would have the last laugh as they clinched the title that year defeating Cork City in a winner take all game on the last day of the season.

  • It's the 167th Louth Derby this evening and the 97th in the league. Dundalk won the first league meeting between the sides in the Lourdes Stadium almost 58 years ago back in November 1963. Dundalk's record so far in the league meetings between the sides is W52 D25 L19

  • Three former Lilywhites in the Drogheda United team with three changes from their draw in Ballybofey on Monday as Phillips, Murray and Markey come in for Hyland, Adeyemo and Heeney.

  • Two changes to the Dundalk side which beat Waterford FC on Friday night with Cameron Dummigan coming in for Raivis Jurkovskis who is absent for personal reasons. Sam Stanton also returns in place of Greg Sloggett, who limped out of the win at Oriel just before half-time.

  • We have just been told that tonight Louth Derby at Head in the Game Park is completely sold out, this is a fantastic advertisement for the game.

  • Greg Sloggett and Brian Gartland are out running the pitch of HITG park so it looks as if Sloggett won't feature tonight.

  • Good evening from Head in the Game Park for tonight's derby of derbies! Dundalk shockingly could be two points off fourth place and if Drogheda United win they will be level on points for fourth place. The big reason the fourth place is important? If Pat's were to win the FAI cup it will mean that fourth place will get Europe. Massive money and prestige are up for grabs.

Drogheda Utd

23David Odumosu Goalkeeper
2James Browne Defender
3Conor Kane Defender
5Daniel O’Reilly Defender
7Darragh Markey Midfielder
8Gary Deegan Midfielder
14Mark Doyle Forward
17Ronan Murray 9 Forward
19Killian Phillips Midfielder
24Joe Redmond Defender
41Dane Massey Defender
1Colin McCabe Goalkeeper
9Chris Lyons 17 Forward
10Dinny Corcoran Forward
15Mohamed Boudiaf Defender
20Jordan Adeyemo Forward
21Luke Heeney Midfielder
22James Clarke Midfielder
25Kaleem Simon Midfielder
31Ahu Obhakhan Forward


14Peter Cherrie Goalkeeper
4Andy Boyle Defender
7Michael Duffy Midfielder
8Sam Stanton Midfielder
9Patrick Hoban 29 Forward
15Darragh Leahy Defender
16Sean Murray 6 Midfielder
18Will Patching Midfielder
21Daniel Cleary Defender 86'
23Cameron Dummigan Midfielder
27Daniel Kelly 17 Midfielder
1Alessio Abibi Goalkeeper
6Sonni Nattestad 16 Defender
12Cameron Yates
17Sami Ben Amar 27 Forward
24Mayowa Animasahun Defender
28Ryan O’Kane Forward
29David McMillan 9 Forward
31Mark Hanratty Midfielder
77Han Jeong-woo Forward

Past Meetings

(Series 25)
1 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Casey's Field (Oriel Park)

Dundalk v Drogheda United

(Series 17)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Dundalk

(Series 7)
2 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Casey's Field (Oriel Park)

Dundalk v Drogheda United


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

Ciaran Callan is a part-time sports journalist based in Dundalk, Co. Louth. He has more than 10 year’s experience working with media companies including both extensive radio broadcasting experience along with print and digital media reporting for the SSE Airtricity League as well digital media work with the national sports company eirSport. He joined FinalWhistle in February 2021 as is their main correspondent for Dundalk Football Club.