Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park
Drogheda United secured a huge three points on Tuesday night when they defeated Galway United 3-1 in Eamonn Deacy Park.
It was the home side that took the lead in the first half before a brace from Brandon Bermingham and a goal from Conor Kane secured the win for the visitors.
In the 17th minute Galway managed to put themselves ahead with the set up coming from a Shane Duggan corner-kick.
Galway’s captain landed the ball at the front post between Wilson Waweru and Drogheda’s David Odumosu, but it was the striker that got there first to sneak the ball into the back of the net.
Drogheda got their first proper shot on target in the 21st minute after some heavy challenges in the centre of the park allowed Chris Lyons the chance at a long-range effort.
The shot was too close to Schlingermann and the goalkeeper easily clutched the ball to his chest.
Two minutes later and Waweru nearly doubled his tally for the night after a perfectly times forward pass from Francely Lomboto as his teammate looked for the overlap.
Waweru took the ball deep into the box and a late Hugh Douglas deflection forced his shot into the woodwork and denied the striker a second goal.
Tim Clancy’s side went close in the 25th minute when a Jake Hyland corner found Douglas in the centre of the box. The defender flicked the ball on to Mark Hughes but Schlingermann was already on top of the midfielder and blocked the ball away.
Drogheda scored in the 34th minute after James Brown broke with the ball on the right flank before playing a perfect cross to Brandon Bermingham.
Bermingham took the snapshot on and stroked the ball passed Schlingermann to bring the sides level.
The visitors went in front in the 42nd minute after Galway lost the ball in the opposition half allowing Drogheda to break away quickly.
It was Conor Kane who took hold of the ball and fancied his chances enough to take the shot on, squeezing the ball by Schlingermann from 30 yards.
Chaos ensued just before half-time after a relatively innocuous tackle on Jake Hyland from Stephen Christopher resulted in a straight red for the midfielder.
Manager John Caulfield kicked up a major stink on the side-line and even received a booking for his trouble. He followed Adriano Reale down the tunnel, fuming, as the teams went in at half time.
Just a few minutes into the second half and just on the pitch, substitute, Enda Curran came within inches of netting for Galway.
A long throw from the left by Marc Ludden eventually made its way to the striker, he put all his power behind it but couldn’t keep the shot down and it cannoned off the crossbar and out.
Drogheda scored for a third time in on the hour mark after James Browne took the ball down the right flank once again before delivering a low cross into the box.
A mix up in the box allowed the ball to deflect out to the unmarked Bermingham who had the easiest chance of the night and smashed the ball into the back of the net.
With the numerical advantage and the score-line well in Drogheda’s favour all life well and truly drained from this contest as the second half ticked over.
One of the few moments of note was a sparkling individual effort by substitute Conor Barry from long range which drew a great save from Odumosu in the 71st minute.
Tim Clancy and his men have increased their chances of going up as First Division Champions with just two points between themselves and Bray Wanderers at the top of the table and two games to go.
The Tribesmen are now all but out of the playoff race after Tuesday night’s result, now needing to win their final two games while relying heavily on Cabinteely losing theirs.
Galway United: Micheal Schlingermann; Killian Brouder, Marc Ludden, Jack Lynch; Stephen Christopher, Maurice Nugent, Sam Warde; Shane Doherty (Conor Barry 70), Francely Lomboto (Carlton Ubaezuonu 46), Wilson Waweru (Enda Curran 46).
Subs not used: Vinny Faherty, Kevin Horgan, Christopher Horgan, Timmy Molloy.
Booked: Killian Brouder (16), Shane Duggan (27), John Caulfield (43), Enda Curran (66), Marc Ludden (75).
Sent off: Stephen Christopher (43).
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; Derek Prendergast, Conor Kane, Hugh Douglas, James Brown; Mark Hughes, Luke Heeney (James Clarke 62); Chris Lyons, Mark Doyle, Brandon Bermingham (Adam Wixted 78).
Subs not used: Adam Wixted, Ross Treacy, Killian Phillips, Ryan O'Shea, James Clarke, Frank Cabraley.
Booked: Derek Prendergast (90).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Brandon Bermingham (Drogheda United).