League Report: Drogheda United 0 - 1 Cork City
Conor Cantwell reports from Weaver’s Park.
Tunde Owolabi’s strike was enough to give Cork City their third consecutive victory as the Leesiders run out 1-0 winners against Drogheda United at Weaver’s Park
The Cork City striker capitalised on a mix-up in the Drogheda defence to end the home team’s two-game winning streak and cut the gap between the two teams to just two points. The win moved the Leesiders a dozen points clear of bottom side UCD.
City have now won three games in a row after failing to put together back-to-back wins all season before this run of form.
The game started with an unfortunate injury to Darragh Crowley when he attempted to control a knee-height pass under no challenge. The City midfielder immediately reached for his standing leg and was replaced minutes later.
The visitors had the first real chance from a free kick won by Owolabi. The ball in from Matt Healy found Ally Gilchrist near the six-yard box, but his headed shot struck one of his teammates before being ruled offside.
Freddie Draper rarely saw the ball in the first half, but when Dayle Rooney’s quick throw-in landed at the feet of the 18-year-old, he spun away from Cian Coleman into the box only for the Cork City captain to recover well to make a clean tackle.
Rooney and Aaron McNally combined down the left to create space for a cross, and McNally’s whipped cross caused Jimmy Corcoran some concern before being diverted out of harm's way.
There wasn’t much between the two teams in the first half with both teams failing to create a clear-cut chance.
City fashioned several shots on target but was unable to direct the ball outside of Colin McCabe’s frame in the United goal.
The second half started with a great chance for Owolabi when he pounced on Gary Deegan’s misjudged header in midfield. The striker did brilliantly to get into the box and find space to shoot, but his strike was hit just wide of McCabe’s near post.
The Boynesiders dominated after this scare early in the second half but were unable to call Corcoran into action.
The deadlock was broken just before the hour mark when a clearance from Josh Honohan bounced kindly for Owolabi who nodded the ball past the onrushing McCabe to pass the ball into an empty net.
The goal came out of nowhere but McCabe will be disappointed with the part he played as he was in no-man’s-land when the ball landed at Owolabi’s feet.
United responded well, dominating the game through the green haze caused by the flares from the away end, but they were unable to create a clear chance until the dying embers of the game.
Drogheda’s best chance fell to Draper, who did brilliantly to outmuscle his man outside the six-yard box before turning to shoot high over the Cork City goal.
A long-range effort from United substitute Elchia Ahui caused a few anxious moments near the end for the travelling fans but that would be the final shot Corcoran would face this evening.
Richie Holland will be delighted with a result against one of the teams around Cork City, and the travelling fans are undoubtedly happy with Holland’s performance in the dugout, as the chants of ‘you’re getting hired in the morning’ would suggest.
Cork will be looking to make it four on the bounce as they make the trip up to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians this Monday.
Kevin Doherty will be frustrated not to take anything from this game as his side played some brilliant football at times and looked dominant in these patches. He will be hoping for a response when his team travel to Tolka Park to face Shelbourne on Monday evening.
Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Emmanuel Adegboyega, Luke Heeney (Elicha Ahiu 74), Conor Keeley, Aaron McNally, Dayle Rooney; Ryan Brennan (Michael Leddy 84), Gary Deegan, Dylan Grimes (Adam Foley 46), Darragh Markey; Freddie Draper.
Subs not used: Fiachra Pagel, Andrew Wogan, Jarlath Jones, Emre Topcu, Matthew O'Brien.
Booked: Emmanuel Adegboyega (12), Darragh Markey (78).
Cork City: Jimmy Corcoran; Cian Coleman, Ally Gilchrist, Josh Honohan; Aaron Bolger, Barry Coffey (Joe O'Brien Whitmarsh 89), Darragh Crowley (Gordon Walker 5), Kevin Custovic, Matt Healy; Ruairi Keating, Tunde Owolabi (Cian Murphy 89).
Subs not used: John O'Donovan, Eanna Fitzgerald, Colin Henderson, Daniel Krezic, Ethon Varian, Daniel Moynihan.
Referee: Neil Doyle
extratime.com Player of the Match: Ruairi Keating (Cork City)