by Roisin Phillips
Drogheda United made the long journey to Turners Cross in the hope of returning up the M8 three points the richer. However, in a very evenly contested 93 minutes it was the hosts that emerged victorious, securing their first home win since the 5th April.
The Boynesiders had the lion’s share of chances but unfortunately couldn’t capitalise.
In a game that was slow to get going, David Cassidy’s well-placed cross for the onrushing Cathal Brady in the 10th minute was just a touch too far ahead of the Drogheda winger and the resulting shot was off target.
Five minutes later it was Cork’s chance to open the scoring when a Danny Morrissey effort sailed over the bar.
With Cork pressing forward with youthful enthusiasm, Gavin Brennan seized his opportunity a minute before the half hour and fired into the box from a free kick only to see his effort ricochet away to safety.
Drogheda were awarded two corners in rapid succession after the half hour mark. In the first Philly Hand found Mick Daly’s head but the latter couldn’t find the target. The second corner was headed away by Daryl Dennehy but only as far as Cathal Brady on the edge of the box who drove it well over the bar.
The second half saw both sides very evenly matched and Mick Cooke sought to break the stalemate on 62’ by introducing Peter Hynes for Fabio O’Brien and Ryan Brennan for Cathal Brady. However, Daryl Horgan’s snatched shot on 65’ should have been a warning to the United rearguard. Just 4 minutes later, a flurry of exceptional skill saw the Cork winger slip through the Drogheda defence and make no mistake about finding the top corner of Gabriel Sava’s net.
Try as they might Drogheda could not find the equaliser. Mick Daly, Gavin Brennan and Gary O’Neill came closest in the final twenty minutes. Daly rose to connect with a Cassidy cross on 73’ only to witness his effort sail narrowly over the crossbar. Moments later it was Gavin Brennan that rose highest but couldn’t control his header in the right direction amid a sharp intake of breath from the collective home crowd. And to complete a trio of frustrating headers, Gary O’Neill sent his nod just wide of the post in the closing 10 minutes.
Frustration was the order of the day as the Drogs simply couldn’t turn their onslaught on the Cork goal into a point. Tommy Dunne will have been delighted to get three points on the board as his team leapfrog both Drogheda and Limerick to 6th position in the table. But it was another disappointing night for Mick Cooke’s men ahead of the break, leaving one with a distinct sense of missed opportunity on Leeside.
by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda united will make the long trip south with the aim of securing a much needed victory as they take on Cork City, kick off 7.45 pm at Turners Cross.
United go into the game without long term absentees Eric Foley and Derek Prendergast while there are serious doubts over the availability of Declan O’Brien and Stephen Quigley.
The leesiders are struggling with injury concerns of their own and they will be without Kevin Murray, Denis Behan, Colin Healy and Brian Lenihan.
An 88th minute penalty from Declan O’Brien rescued a point for the Drogs the last time the sides met at Hunky Dorys Park after Shane Dugan had given cork a spectacular lead from distance in the first half.
Both sides will be disappointed with how their league campaigns have gone so far this season with United in seventh spot, one place and two points ahead of tonight’s opponents.
The Boynesiders will be aiming to improve on their away record this season having recorded only two away wins thus far against Shelbourne and Limerick respectively.
Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke is desperate to go into the midseason break on a high and feels that recent performances haven’t been rewarded with the right results.
“I think we have been really unlucky in the last few weeks, our performances just aren’t getting the rewards they deserved. We have lost the last four games by the odd goal, it’s a very tight margin. But I’m happy with our performances. We were denied by the brilliance of Peter Cherrie on Monday night, it’s disappointing to lose the local derby, but I wasn’t disappointed with the way we played.
“It’s a tough game for both sides, we both need the win before going into the break. I think Cork haven’t had much luck recently either, but If we can get the three points it will make the two week break that bit better.”
No live event scheduled for this match
Danny Furlong (Garry Buckley 82’)
Danny Morrissey (Daryl Kavanagh 59’)
Cathal Brady (Ryan Brennan 62’)
Declan O’Brien (Peter Hynes 62’)
Daryl Horgan 69’
David Cassidy (yellow) 29’