Patrick O’Connor reports from Head in the Game Park
St Patrick's Athletic very quickly erased the memory of their own 4-0 loss to Derry City in their previous outing when they themselves inflicted a 4-0 drubbing upon Drogheda United at Head in the Game Park on Friday night.
The tone for the game was set as early as the fourth minute when Pats got their opening goal in their very first attacking move.
Centre Forward Eoin Doyle received the ball to feet and had time to spray it wide to Billy King on the left touchline, he jinked his way past full back Georgie Poynton before dinking the ball across the box for the in rushing Darragh Burns to head the ball past Sam Long.
Drogheda’s striker Chris Lyons went down injured in the 19th minute and although he continued, he succumbed to the injury again in the 26th minute and had to be withdrawn, Dean Williams coming on in his place.
Tim Clancy’s side continued to bombard the Drogheda defence with their front three of King, Doyle and Burns causing all sorts of problems for a shaky Drogheda defence.
It was no surprise when the visitors went two nil up in the 35th minute, this time Doyle hitting the net after a sublime through ball from Ben McCormack.
With Lyons off the pitch, the Drogs offered very little in attack and never tested Pats keeper Joe Anang in the opening 45 minutes.
It was two nil at the break but in reality, it could have been much more such was the dominance of the St Patrick’s Athletic performance in that opening half.
Drogheda started the second half a little brighter, but their momentum was interrupted in the 55th minute when the game was held up for almost 10 minutes due to the presence of a drone flying over the pitch.
After multiple side line conversations between the match officials and LOI Director Mark Scanlon who attended the match, the game was restarted by referee John McLoughlin.
Drogheda were the side looking up to gain inspiration from somewhere, but they certainly did not get any from the presence of the drone.
Indeed it was the visitors who took advantage of the stoppage by putting the result beyond doubt within a minute of the restart.
Chris Forrester played the ball to King; he swivelled and struck the ball cleanly past Long for the decisive third goal.
The icing on the cake for Tim Clancy came in the 91st minute when one of his final substitutions, Kyle Robinson, scored on his debut with his first touch, getting on to the end of a Burns cross to guide the ball past Long.
The concession of 11 goals in their last three matches will be the major concern for Drogheda manager Kevin Docherty as well as this resounding defeat, and he will have a lot to ponder on before they head down the M1 next Friday night to take on Shelbourne in Tolka Park.
St Patrick’s Athletic in contrast will be buoyed both by the performance and the result in Drogheda and will now relish the challenge of taking on league leaders Derry City who are their visitors to Richmond Park on Monday night.
Drogheda United: Sam Long; Dane Massey (c), George Poynton (Evan Weir 45), Dylan Grimes (Victor Arong , 90), Andrew Quinn, Sean Roughan; Gary Deegan ( Darragh Nugent 81), Ryan Brennan, Dayle Rooney, Chris Lyons ( Dean Williams 26) Luke Heeney( James Clarke 45).
Subs not used: Aaron Davis, Colin McCabe, Mohammed Boudiaf, Charles Mutawe,
Booked: Kevin Doherty (30), Luke Heeney (45).
St Patrick's Athletic: Joe Anang; Joe Redmond, Tom Grivosti ( Ian Bermingham 73), Sam Curtis, Anto Breslin, Adam O’Reilly, Chris Forrester ( Jason McClelland 80), Ben McCormack ( Kyle Robinson 90) Darragh Burns, Billy King ( Mark Doyle 73), Eoin Doyle (Tunde Owolabi 80)
Subs not used: David Odumosu (GK); Jack Scott, Ross Fay, Kian Corbally,
Booked: Anto Breslin (48)
Referee: Paul McLoughlin
extratime.com Player of the Match: Billy King (St Patrick’s Athletic).