Five goals from five different players saw Drogheda United pick up their first home win of the season with a 5-1 win over UCD at United Park on Friday.
Unlike last week in their defeat to Longford, this time it was Drogheda who began the game on the front foot, with three chances in the opening six minutes.
Jordan Adeyemo and Richie O’Farrell both fired off target from distance after build-up play by James Brown before defender Jack Tuite found himself beating a defender in the box and like his teammates, failing to hit the target.
Drogheda didn’t have to wait long for the opener though as with eight minutes played, Luke Heeney crossed from the right wing to Doyle who met the ball with his right foot, finishing into the far corner.
It was 2-0 a minute later as Kane won the ball, found Lyons who turned and played in Adeyemo. The teenager, making his first league start, made no mistake, slotting under Healy for Drogheda’s second goal.
UCD’s first chance came minutes later through the impressive Liam Kerrigan as his low drive went narrowly wide from 25 yards before on 17 minutes, the home side made it 3-0.
Hyland’s neat pass between defenders found Adeyemo. He squared the ball to Lyons who set himself before curling the ball low into the bottom corner past Healy.
It should have been 4-0 on the half hour mark as Brown again started a move on the right, finding Doyle. The winger linked up with former UCD man Richie O’Farrell. O’Farrell’s through ball found Lyons but his shot was brilliant saved by Healy before Brown’s follow up was put out for a corner.
The fourth goal did come from the following corner in the thirty-second minute. Heeney’s delivery from the left was met by Tuite. His first effort with an outstretched foot was saved but he made no mistake with the second, heading in from close range.
UCD could have made it 4-1 on the stroke of half time as Evan Weir stole possession from Doyle and found Mahdy.
Mahdy split the Drogheda defence, sending Kerrigan in one-on-one with keeper Odumosu but the UCD midfielder’s effort was wide of the far post.
The second half took time to get going and struggled to live up to what was an action packed, fast-paced first half. That was until UCD got their goal back through their star man on the night, Liam Kerrigan.
Kerrigan skipped over a Hyland challenge and got between two Drogheda defenders before curling the ball into the bottom corner with the outside of this right foot to narrow the deficit to three.
The lead was restored to four less than ten minutes later when Lyons played in Adeyemo on goal and goalkeeper Healy - who just a minute earlier produced a fine save to deny Lyons – upended the teenager in the box.
Sean Brennan stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake from twelve yards, sending Healy the wrong way to score his second of the season and Drogheda’s fifth of the game.
Drogheda could have added further to their tally late on as Adeyemo rounded the keeper but was denied by a backtracking defender before Lyons hit the bar with a bicycle kick after meeting a Douglas header from a free kick.
Next for Drogheda is a trip to Tallaght next Saturday to face Shamrock Rovers II while UCD host Longford Town at the UCD Bowl next Friday evening.
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown (Sean Brennan 46), Derek Prendergast, Jack Tuite, Conor Kane; Luke Heeney (Hugh Douglas 57), Jake Hyland (C) (James Clarke 74), Richie O'Farrell; Jordan Adeyemo, Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Ross Treacy (GK), Stephen Meaney, Ryan O'Shea, Adam Wixted.
Booked: Luke Heeney (45), Chris Lyons (88), James Clarke (90).
UCD: Lorcan Healy; Harry McEvoy (Danu Kinsella Bishop 77), Josh Collins, Luke Boore, Evan Weir; Evan Farrell, Jack Keaney (C), Paul Doyle, Liam Kerrigan; Yousef Mahdy (Sean McDonald 53), Colm Whelan (Mark Dignam 62).
Subs not used: Eoghan O'Sullivan (GK), Abdel Babiker, Michael Gallagher, Michael O'Keane.
Booked: Josh Collins (17), Evan Farrell (68), Lorcan Healy (72).
Referee: Adriano Reale
Attendance: 675 (est)
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Conor Kane (Drogheda United).