Ronan McNamara reports from Head in the Game Park
Drogheda United made it two wins in three games as a dominant first half display was enough to see them hold on to beat Bohemians 3-2 in an entertaining clash at Head in the Game Park on Friday night.
The win lifts Tim Clancy’s side above Bohs into fifth with four more games played while Keith Long’s side are now sevent and eight points behind third placed Sligo Rovers with two games in hand as the race for Europe took another pendulum swing .
The damage was done for Bohs in the opening half as they found themselves 3-0 down to a vibrant Drogheda side thanks to a Mark Doyle penalty and goals from Joe Redmond and the outstanding Jordan Adeyemo.
Despite a goal of the season contender from Liam Burt and a controversial penalty from Georgie Kelly late on they were unable to rescue a share of the spoils.
A nothing ball was sent over the top of their defence and Jordan Adeyemo beat James Talbot to the punch before he was obliterated by the visiting goalkeeper just outside the box. But after the referee consulted with his linesman they bizarrely gave a penalty to Tim Clancy’s side but opted not to brandish a card the way of Talbot.
Doyle stepped up and sent Talbot the wrong way to give the hosts the lead.
Ten minutes later Drogheda doubled their advantage after Ronan Murray’s corner was steered home at the near post by centre-half Redmond and the fervent home support saw fit to light the flares.
Keith Long cut a frustrated figure on the sideline as his side struggled to make any inroads into the Drogheda defence with slow pedestrian passing and things went from bad to worse when Adeyemo was found in acres of space in the box. He curled a neat finish past Talbot who had just made a brilliant double save to deny Adeyemo and James Brown.
United had goalkeeper David Odumosu to thank for not giving Bohemians a lifeline just before the interval when he denied Kelly from point blank range with a superb save after Ali Coote’s corner was flicked into his path at the back post.
The second half was only 12 seconds old when Burt expertly lobbed Odumosu in the Drogs goal from around 40 yards to give the visitors a lifeline and tee up an exciting second half.
It was another stunner from the Scotsman who surely took inspiration from Meath’s Emma Duggan last Sunday.
In a bizarre night of refereeing Tim Clancy voluntarily sat in the stand after Drogs were originally awarded a penalty after Adeyemo was bundled to the floor by Ciaran Kelly only for the referee to reverse his decision after consulting his linesman and he amazingly gave Talbot a drop ball.
The Trim native was soon back in the stand as he was left aghast after the referee awarded the away side a penalty when Brown went to ground and took down Burt outside the box according to everyone else bar the man with the whistle.
Kelly stepped up to convert three minutes from time and set up a grandstand finish.
Kelly thought he had rescued a dramatic point for the Gypsies after Devoy’s beautiful switch found Ward who then found Kelly in the box but the imperious Odumosu denied him with a stunning save to ensure the claret and blue left with a deserved three points.
Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown (c), Conor Kane, Daniel O'Reilly, Joe Redmond; Jordan Adeyemo (Dinny Corcoran 88), Gary Deegan, Darragh Markey (Luke Heeney 58), Ronan Murray (Dane Massey 64), Killian Phillips; Mark Doyle.
Subs not used: Colin McCabe, Mohammad Boudiaf, Charles Mutawe, Sam O'Brien, Kaleem Simon, James Clarke.
Booked: Ronan Murray (54).
Bohemians: James Talbot; Tyreke Wilson, Andy Lyons, Ciaran Kelly, Rory Feely; Ross Tierney, Conor Levingston, Keith Buckley (c) (Dawson Devoy 46) (Keith Ward 62); Georgie Kelly, Ali Coote (Promise Omochere 73), Liam Burt.
Subs not used: Stephen McGuinness, Anto Breslin, James Finnerty, Cole Kiernan, Roland Idowu.
Booked: Ciaran Kelly (37) Ali Coote (44).
Referee: Graham Kelly.
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