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Drogheda United 0-0 Saint Patrick’s Athletic

November 7, 2018

Drogheda United could count themselves lucky to escape with a point after a lacklustre encounter with St. Patrick’s Athletic ended scoreless in Hunky Dorys Park on Friday night.

Sean Brennan’s inclusion marked the only change for Mick Cooke’s side after last week’s epic performance in Tallaght as Declan O’Brien missed out through suspension.

In a game where clear cut chances were at a premium, the newly-crowned EA Sports Cup champions had Gabriel Sava to thank as he pulled off two magnificent saves from Greg Bolger and Chris Forrester in the second half to gift his side a share of the spoils.

Minute’s Silence

The night began on a sombre note as a minute’s silence in memory of former Drogheda United board member Pat Carr and Drogheda native Jill Meagher was observed impeccably by both sets of fans

Drogheda were first to try their luck on four as Sean Brennan’s tame shot went wide, and 11 minutes later the visitors produced their inaugural effort as Jake Kelly ballooned a back post header over following Bolger’s lofted delivery.

This was the sides’ fifth meeting this year, and such is their familiarity with each other at this stage that both teams found difficulty in producing any innovative play to break their opponents down, but after an almost 20 minute barren spell the Boynesiders finally produced a save from Barry Murphy as the Pat’s ‘keeper was equal to Gavin Brennan’s angled drive.

Last year’s supporters’ player of the year then saw his vicious shot inside the area blocked by the away defence on the half-hour mark following a dangerous corner from Philip Hand, and eight minutes later the Drogs were handed their first real let-off of the night when Christy Fagan blasted his volley wide with only the ‘keeper to beat after Kelly’s precision cross.

Cup Kings

Philip Hand has found himself at the centre of much of what has gone right for Drogheda this year, and tonight proved no exception as the attack-minded left-back’s run down the wing culminated in an exquisite cross to Gavin Brennan, whose glancing header was so nearly finished to the net by younger sibling Ryan.

Hand also provided the last piece of excitement before half time as his superb 22-yard free kick skimmed off the bar on 45 when it had looked destined for the top corner.

Seldom have the Windmill Road faithful had so much to cheer about during half time as the EA Sports Cup made its first appearance in County Louth, with last week’s hero Declan O’Brien showing off the silverware to the home crowd along with local lads Shane Finnegan and Connor O’Keeffe.

Indeed it would be about the only moment that the claret and blue faithful could savour for the rest of the night as, following Peter Hynes’ low shot from distance on 51, the Inchicore outfit assumed total control.

The Sava Show

The Saints’ barrage on Drogheda’s goal began in earnest on 58 as Sean O’Connor’s swerving shot from 25 was well held by the Drogs custodian.

Greg Bolger, who had been impressive all night, could only send his shot wide after he had done well to latch onto a loose ball in the Drogheda box two minutes later, before the former Dundalk man spurned another chance to put his side into the lead as Sava rushed out admirably to thwart the midfielder’s effort on 68.
A predominantly disjointed game returned to its erratic rhythm for the next 20 minutes, but Liam Buckley’s side still had aspirations of bringing all three points back down the M50, as evidenced by their endeavours in the closing stages.

First, substitute Vinny Faherty’s impressive turn and shot from the edge of the area solicited a fine save from Sava on 86, before the shot-stopper produced another trademark reaction save two to deflect fellow sub Chris Forrester’s finish away from goal with his foot after the youngster had been put clear through.

The former Monaghan man was called upon once more as he got down with ease to deny Ian Bermingham’s effort on 90 as the game fizzled out in the final minutes.

Despite maintaining their unbeaten away run in the league which stretches back to their 4-3 defeat at Hunky Dorys Park last October, Pat’s and indeed Drogheda will reflect on this result with indifference as Sligo Rovers close on this year’s Airtricity Premier League title.

 

Drogheda United:
1 Gabriel Sava
3 Philip Hand
4 Derek Prendergast
5 Alan McNally
8 Ryan Brennan (Brady 70)
10 Sean Brennan
11 Gavin Brennan
15 Peter Hynes (Mulvenna 89)
16 Paul Crowley ©
17 Brian Gannon
22 Eric Foley
Subs not used:
Michael Schlingermann
Stephen Quigley
John Sullivan
Jason Marks
Alan Byrne

St. Patrick’s Athletic:
16 Barry Murphy
2 Ger O’Brien
4 Conor Kenna © (Browne 45)
13 Pat Flynn
12 Ian Bermingham
6 Greg Bolger
8 James Chambers
3 Jake Carroll
19 Jake Kelly (Forrester 60)
9 Christy Fagan (Faherty 80)
11 Sean O’Connor
Subs not used:
Brendan Clarke
Aidan Price
Ryan Coombes
Anto Flood

Shots:
Drogheda 6
St. Pat’s 14

Corners:
St. Pat’s 6
Drogheda 5

Yellow cards:
Drogheda 2 (Eric Foley, Ryan Brennan)
St. Pat’s 1 (Chris Forrester)

Referee: Pádraig Sutton

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