Patrick O’Connor reports from the Head in the Game Park
Drogheda Utd and Sligo Rovers shared the points in a 0-0 draw at Head in the Game Park on Friday night and so both sides maintained their interest in claiming a top four position at the end of the season
While the game might not fall into the boring nil all draw category it certainly won’t live long in the memory of the sizeable attendance who were present in Drogheda last night.
The game was played at a frenetic pace throughout, the ball ping ponged about a lot, frequently in the air, but there was a real lack of quality to the fare and neither side did enough to warrant picking up all three points.
One of the key talking points of the match actually occurred on the side-line, where the frequent verbal outburst from Drogheda Utd manager Tim Clancy eventually exhausted the patience of the fourth official and match referee Rob Harvey with the latter issuing Clancy with a red card in the 89th minute of the match.
The first half was a scrappy affair with both defences very much on top and neither side able to muster a shot on target until the 28th minute.
That effort came via Sligo Rovers left back Robbie McCourt whose thundering shot from the edge of the box forced Daniel Odumosu to parry the ball away before it was cleared by a Drogheda defender.
Walter Figueira was a very lively presence on the left wing for the Bit O’Red and James Brown had his hands full in the opening 45 minutes trying to contain the ex-Waterford and Derry City striker.
At the other end of the pitch, Drogheda’s two goal hero from the recent 2-1 win at Dundalk, Mark Doyle, was very well marshalled by John Mahon at the heart of the Sligo defence.
There was a slight improvement in the standard of play in the second half with both sides creating a few half chances without really testing the two netminders.
Sligo’s Ryan de Vries burst through the Drogheda defence in the 52nd minute but pulled his shot wide and four minutes later Doyle drew a good save from Ed McGinty after one of Drogheda’s better passages of play.
Drogheda’s main tactic seem to be long diagonal balls to overlapping left back Conor Kane but while he did well, most of his crosses were dealt with by the visitor’s defence.
Sligo for their part directed a lot of long balls to new signing Andre Wright at centre forward but the ex-Bohemians and Ayr United player looked a bit rusty and was unable to test Odumosu throughout his 75 minutes on the pitch.
The best chance of the match fell to Drogheda Utd in the 80th minute when Daniel O’Reilly rose highest to meet a corner kick, but his header crashed off the bar before being scrambled to safety by the Sligo defence.
The remaining ten minutes plus injury time did not produce any more worthwhile chances on the pitch with the late dismissal of Clancy being the main distraction off the pitch.
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; Conor Kane, James Brown, Daniel O'Reilly, Joe Redmond; Jake Hyland (c) (Ronan Murray, 46), Luke Heeney, Darragh Markey (James Clarke, 84), Killian Phillips; Mark Doyle, Jordan Adeyemo (Ahu Obhakhan, 84).
Subs not used: Colin McCabe, Mohammad Boudiaf, Charles Mutawe, Dane Massey, Sam O'Brien, Kaleem Simon, Dinny Corcoran.
Booked: Darragh Markey (22), Ahu Obhakhan (88).
Red Card: Tim Clancy (89)
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Robbie McCourt, Ryan De Vries (Mark Byrne, 81), Adam McDonnell, David Cawley, Niall Morohan (Johnny Kenny, 75), Water Figueira, Andre Wright (Seamus Keogh, 75)
Subs not used: Richard Brush (gk), Colm Horgan, Danny Kane, Regon Donelon, Darren Collins, Romeo Parkes.
Referee: Rob Harvey
Extratime.Com Player of the Match: Daniel O’Reilly (Drogheda Utd)