League Report: Derry City 2 - 0 Drogheda United

Mon, Mar 14 2022

Patrick O'Connor reports from the Ryan McBride Brandywell stadium. 

Derry City remain unbeaten in the league as Ruaidhrí Higgins' side picked up another three points on Monday night.

Derry dominated the game from the outset and outplayed Drogheda in most areas of the pitch, stretching them with the presence of Ronan Boyce and Danny Lafferty who were hugging the touchlines.

Their three at the back, Shane McEleney, Eoin Toal and Cameron McJannet also were very comfortable dealing with Drogheda’s lone striker Dean Williams, and McEleney in particular stood out with the accuracy of his distribution.

The home side were much sharper and more precise on the ball while Drogheda’s play was sloppy at times.

The tone for the game was set in the third minute when a long ball over the top was touched into the path of Jamie McGonigle by Brandon Kavanagh. McGonigle struck a sweet left footed shot past Sam Long in the Drog’s goal.

The home side continued to press for a second goal and they created numerous half chances but were still unable to extend their lead.

Their best chance came when a tremendous ball over the top by McEleney split the Drogheda centre backs Keith Cowan and Dane Massey and found McGonigle. The striker elected to use his right foot when the left foot seemed the better option and his shot went outside the post.

Drogheda’s hopes were dealt a blow mid-way through the first half when they lost Darragh Markey through injury. Markey was replaced by Mark Hughes

The hosts entered the break 1-0 up. Drogheda deserve a lot of credit for the doggedness they showed in the face of incessant Derry City pressure in the opening 45.

Drogheda suffered another setback early in the second half when substitute Hughes was injured after a tough challenge by Joe Thompson. James Clarke replaced Hughed in the 53rd minute.

The game was decided in the 63rd minute when McGonigle scored Derry’s second goal. It was a replica of the first goal, this time a long accurate ball over the top by Cameron Dummigan skimmed the head of Dane Massey into the path of McGonigle and the inform striker rounded Sam Long and stroked the ball into an empty net.

There was a great cheer from the home supporters in the 61st minute when local hero Michael Duffy made his first appearance of the season. His return was short lived as he suffered a heavy tackle from Cowan and was forced off 10 minutes later.

Joe Thompson was also forced off with an injury and while manger Ruadhri Higgins will be well pleased with both the performance and the result, he will also be counting the cost of a mounting injury list.  Duffy and Thompson have joined Patrick McEleney and Matty Smyth on the injury table. Ciaron Harkin is also ruled out for the season with an ACL injury.

Derry City: Brian Maher (GK); Ronan Boyce, Shane McEleney, Cameron Dummigan, Eoin Toal, Cameron McJannet, Danny Lafferty, Will Patching, Joe Thompson (Jack Malone, 74) Brandon Kavanagh (Michael Duffy, 61, James Akintunde,71) Jamie McGonigle.

Subs not used: Nathan Gartside, Ciaran Coll, Gerard Storey, Caoimhin Porter, Liam Mullan, Evan McGlaughlin.

Booked: Danny Lafferty (95).

Drogheda:  Sam Long (GK); Georgie Poynton, Sean Roughan, Keith Cowan, Dane Massey; Darragh Markey (Mark Hughes, 25), (James Clarke, 53) Gary Deegan, Adam Foley, Darragh Nugent (Dylan Grimes, 79), Dayle Rooney, Dean Williams.

Subs not used: Aaron Davis (GK); Evan Weir, Andrew Quinn, Mohammed Boudiaf, Charles Mutawe, Killian Cailloce.

Booked: Keith Cowan (69), James Clarke (84).

Referee: Neil Doyle

Attendance: 2,500 

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Cameron Dummigan (Derry City)


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