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Dundalk 1-2 Drogheda United
Bohemians 0-0 Sligo Rovers
Bray Wanderers 3-1 UCD
Derry City 0-1 Shelbourne
Monaghan United 0-4 St. Patrick’s Athletic
Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Cork City (FT)
19.00 – Hello, and welcome to this evening’s liveblog.
Dundalk are hoping to secure their third win on the trot this evening, while Drogheda are winless in five.
19.03 – Here is the Dundalk team for this evening:
Peter Cherrie, Nathan Murphy, Ben McLaughlin, Derek Foran, Liam Burns, Paul Walsh, Chris Shields, John Mountney, Stephen McDonnell, Shane O’Neill, Mark Griffin.
19.05 – And here is the Drogheda team:
Gabriel Sava, Stephen Quigley, Derek Prendergast, Alan McNally, Philip Hand, Eric Foley, Paul Crowley, Ryan Brennan, Sean Brennan, Declan O’Brien, Peter Hynes.
19.07 – And we’re underway…
19.11 – The Dundalk pitch seems to be in poor condition, and the players are clearly having some difficulty coping with the erratic surface at the moment.
Presumably, it’ll be to Dundalk’s advantage, given that they’re accustomed to playing on it.
19.18 – Drogheda’s Ryan Brennan threatens with a half volley, which finds the side-netting.
Shortly thereafter, the home defence back off Peter Hynes, who produces a superb strike from well outside the area, which hits the crossbar.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly given their inferior form, the visitors have clearly got off to the more impressive start here.
19.24 – Stephen Quigley has just been booked for a Nigel De Jong-esque kick to the opposition player’s chest. To be fair, it wasn’t as bad as the Dutch international’s infamous challenge, but he can’t have any complaints as he receives a booking.
Here is the De Jong challenge anyhow, for the benefit of those who don’t get the reference:
YouTube credit: ParvizGhelichkhani
19.26 – Sean Brennan tests Peter Cherrie for the first time, as his powerful shot is parried away for a corner.
19.31 – Peter Hynes accelerates away from the Dundalk defence, but his dangerous cross is well intercepted by Liam Burns.
The 28-year-old lorry driver has been Drogheda’s biggest threat so far.
19.33 – Sean Brennan produces a shot-cum-cross that goes across the face of the goal without anyone getting a touch to it.
Drogheda will be disappointed that none of their attackers made the gamble to get on the end of that ball.
19.36 – Speaking to RTÉ, Dundalk manager Sean McCaffrey has expressed concern that his side are playing “too deep” and also feels they need to get a hold of the ball in midfield better.
19.40 – Penalty claims as Declan O’Brien falls the floor, but the ref waves play on. Judging by replays, it seems the correct decision, as he appears to have made the most of it.
To exacerbate his frustration, O’Brien then heads a decent chance over the bar just a minute later.
19.43 – Mark Griffin charges into the box and meets a corner with his head, but he misjudges the flight of the ball, and can’t really connect with the ball properly, heading it well over in the process.
19.46 – Drogheda manager Mick Cooke has told RTÉ that he feels his side “should be a goal up” at least.
Even Dundalk fans would find it difficult to argue with this claim.
19.48 – Peter Cherrie breathes a sigh of relief, as he drops what should be a routine catch. The Drogheda player following up slots it into the net, for what appears to be a questionable offside decision.
19.49 – GOAL FOR DROGHEDA!
19.51 – Sean Brennan gives Drogheda a deserved lead with a volley that beats the goalkeeper at his near post, after the hosts are caught out by a quick free kick by Ryan Brennan.
19.53 – HALF TIME: DUNDALK 0-1 DROGHEDA UNITED
20.01 – So it’s half-time, and Drogheda undoubtedly deserve their lead. For a team that are without a win in their last five games, Mick Cooke’s side have produced a remarkably confident and assured display.
They showed great persistence and character to keep going despite not getting the rub of the green initially in terms of making their dominance count.
Dundalk, on the other hand, appear to be playing in a kind of stupor, which seems unusual for a side that have won their last two matches.
20.07 – The second half is underway…
20.09 – Elsewhere tonight, Bray have taken the lead against UCD, thanks to a goal from Jason Byrne (who else?).
I think it’s safe to say that Shane O’Neill and Stephen Quigley won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year (INPHO/Morgan Treacy).
20.15 – Daniel Ledwith has now equalised for UCD against Bray.
20.20 – Drogheda haven’t really built on their impressive first-half display, though Dundalk currently aren’t posing much of a threat either.
20.25 – GOAL FOR DUNDALK!
20.27 – I was just about to type that Dundalk look the more likely side to score when they did just that.
Substitute Gary Shanahan scores only fives minutes after coming, smashing it in from a ball played across goal.
20.28 – GOAL FOR DROGHEDA!
20.31 – The cliché of teams being at their most vulnerable when they’ve just scored definitely applies here, as Drogheda strike back immediately.
Paul Crowley meets a well-executed cross and his bullet header finds the top corner.
20.33 – It’ll be interesting to see what approach Drogheda opt to take now that they’ve regained the lead.
Their ostensible decision to sit back after they scored their first goal failed to pay dividends, so surely they’ll react in a more positive fashion this time.
20.37 – Speaking to RTÉ, Mick Cooke admits his side were slow to start the second half, but predictably says he was delighted by their response to Dundalk’s equaliser.
20.39 – Gerard McSorely almost scores with his first touch after coming on as a sub, after Brennan and the goalkeeper both fail to deal with a ball played into the box, but his attempt is narrowly off target.
20.43 – Ten minutes left now for Dundalk to rescue this game.
20.45 – Great lofted pass from McDonnell to play through Griffin, who can only shoot straight at the goalkeeper from a difficult angle.
20.50 – Gabriel Sava had what can only be described as a moment’ there, as he ill-advisedly comes for a free-kick that he has no chance of getting, but luckily for the keeper, no Dundalk player is able to take full advantage of his mistake.
Sava then redeems himself with a brilliant save from Mark Griffin’s powerful drive from the edge of the box.
20.51 – Peter Hynes is justifiably awarded the man-of-the-match accolade by Brian Kerr.
20.53 – RED CARD FOR ERIC FOLEY! The Drogheda man is punished with a second booking after a rash late challenge.
Can Dundalk capitalise in the five minutes of added time that they have left?
20.56 – Nathan Murphy’s free-kick from roughly 30 yards out is comfortably saved by Sava. Will that be their last chance?
20.58 – FULL-TIME: DUNDALK 1-2 DROGHEDA
21.04 – Speaking to RTÉ, man of the match Peter Hynes emphasises how hard Drogheda worked for their win and reveals that he was sick during the week – something which wasn’t evident in his performance, as he was rightly acclaimed for his part in Drogheda’s win.
21.11 – So ultimately, Drogheda probably just about deserved that win. They were clearly the superior side in the first half, creating the majority of the chances and eventually getting a deserved goal.
While they may not have been able to maintain a similar tempo in the second period, they defended well for the most part and showed great character to bounce back immediately following their opponents’ equaliser.
Dundalk, meanwhile, will rue their slow start to the first half, in addition to their lapse of concentration in the second, allowing Drogheda to regain the lead straight after their equaliser.
Though Sean McCaffrey’s side went close on occasion, particularly towards the end of the game, their rejuvenation proved too little too late.
Eric Foley protests the referee’s decision to send him off (INPHO/Morgan Treacy).
21.22 – Alright, that’s it from me. Stay tuned for our round-up of tonight’s other Airtricity League games, which will be up on the site shortly.