by Shane Callaghan
As Ellie Goulding’s ‘Anything Could Happen’ echoed around Dalymount Park via the tannoy prior to kick-off, the song will have struck a chord with the Drogheda United supporters in attendance, many of whom may have believed it served as a fitting soundtrack to the club’s league campaign so far this season.
In cup competitions, though, Mick Cooke has his team singing from the same hymn-sheet as the Boynesiders glided into the quarter-final of the FAI Cup with an efficient 3-0 victory over Bohemians on Friday.
Cooke’s men certainly appear to thrive on the threat of elimination in these cup encounters.
Goals from Stephen Quigley, Declan O’Brien and Philip Hand secured the victory, but the departing Drogheda United supporters will discuss one name as they make their way back up the M1: Jason Marks.
Marks, operating in left-midfield in the absence of suspended Gavin Brennan, offered glimpses into his talent, specifically in the opening 45.
By virtue of his stellar display, a number of Bohemians supporters applauded their tormentor-in-chief off the field when he was replaced midway through the second-half.
The home fans applauded for entirely different reasons four minutes into proceedings.
Alan Byrne’s botched clearance fell to Keith Buckley who found space in the area but his curling effort was comfortably dealt with by Gabriel Sava. Buckley’s miss proved costly as the away side opened the scoring moments later.
Jason Marks did well to escape his marker before gliding a cross into the opponent’s area, with Peter Hynes’ flicked-header finding Stephen Quigley who rifled his shot past Dean Delaney from an acute angle.
Bohs rallied and came close to restoring parity; first through Gabriel Sava, who inadvertently tipped Ryan McEvoy’s corner on to his own post. Then through Keith Buckley whose trickled effort beat Sava but Paul O’Conor read the situation well and was on-hand at the back-post to avert the danger.
Eight minutes from the interval, it was two, with Jason Marks once again proving a menace. The 24-year-old impressively evaded Michael Barker at right-back before delivering a pinpoint cross for O’Brien to head home. “Fabio” chanted the away supporters. The striker acknowledged with a thumbs-up.
Minutes later O’Brien, constantly playing off the shoulder of Derek Pender, was put through on goal by Shane Grimes but Fabio’s lobbed effort beat both Delaney in the Bohemians goal and the crossbar.
During the interval, Mick Cooke will have reiterated the importance of focus after his team twice surrended a lead to Aaron Callaghan’s men during the recent league meeting between the sides at Hunky Dorys Park, but the travelling supporters tonight thought they had the points wrapped up some five minutes after the restart.
O’Brien collected the ball 40 yards from goal and, spotting Delaney off his line, attempted to chip the ‘keeper but his effort bounced on the roof the net. Fine attempt.
Bohs later spurned the opportunity to half the deficit. Centre-half Alan Byrne failed to clear his lines, which allowed for Chris Lyons to accelerate from the defender but the striker was denied by the feet of Gabriel Sava.
Jason Marks was handed a booking before being called ashore by Mick Cooke for defender Philip Hand, which proved to be an inspired move.
Hand, operating in midfield, put the result beyond doubt 25 minutes from time when his shot from outside the area bounced in off the underside of the crossbar. 3-0.
With the hosts trailing by a three goal deficit, the game petered out as a contest and for Drogheda and Mick Cooke, the love-affair with the knock-out format continues.
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United will travel to Dalymount Park to play Bohemians in the second round of the FAI cup with several injury and suspension concerns, kick off 7.45 pm.
Gavin Brennan will be absent through suspension as he has picked up four yellow cards this season while there are significant doubts over the fitness of Gary O’Neill, Brian Gannon and Derek Prendergast.
As for the hosts, Bohemians will be without the suspended Dave Scully while Owen Heary is still unavailable due to a long standing hip injury.
The sides have met once earlier in the season, a competitive game ending 2-2 in Hunky Dorys Park with Bohs twice pegging Drogheda back.
Drogheda eliminated the Gypsies the last time they met in cup competition in the 2012 EA Sports cup as they progressed on penalties in a competition they would go on to win.
Both sides will be looking to use the Cup as a distraction from their poor league form, United losing to Bray in the final minute last week while Bohemians tasted defeat at the hands of table toppers St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Drogheda manager Mick Cooke is eager to make it to two cup finals this season having already tasted defeat in the Setanta cup showcase.
“We’ve been doing well in the cup competitions over the last few seasons and we hope to continue that. Friday night gives a few lads a chance to stake a place in the team with our current absentees.
“Bohs won’t be any easy test, they have been unlucky with some of their recent results and they are an exciting team to play against. We seem to have taken over from Cork City in terms of conceding late goals, but it’s something we “are working on in training and trying to put right.
“Obviously there will be a lot of attention on this game as it’s only one of two all-Premier Division ties, Pats and UCD being the other, but we will be hoping to have our names in the draw for the second round draw. “
There is no live event scheduled for this match yet.
Andy Mulligan (Karl Moore 75’)
Dwayne Wilson (Kevin O’Leary 45’)
Chris Lyons (Adam Kelly 70’)
Ryan Brennan (Michael Daly 86’)
Jason Marks (Philip Hand 58’)
Declan O’Brien (David Cassidy 64’)
Stephen Quigley 4’
Declan O’Brien 48’
Philip Hand 67’
Alan McNally 19’
Peter Hynes 57’
Jason Marks 57’