by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United have moved up to eight in the table tonight as they defeated Galway United 2-0 at United Park.
Lee Duffy gave Drogheda a first half lead while Sean Thornton sealed a deserved victory with twenty minutes left to play.
Drogheda manager Johnny McDonnell made a surprising team selection with two changes from the defeat to Sligo Rovers as he brought in Alan Byrne and Adam Whelan, the latter making his first start of the season
The home side started brightly and they almost made the perfect start but Duffy pulled his audacious effort across goal having been released behind the Galway defence by Mick Daly.
Galway struggled to get a foothold early on and the closest they came to scoring was through Enda Curran’s 25 yard free kick but Micheál Schlingermann denied him with an acrobatic stop.
The Drogs hit the front on 33 minutes as Duffy latched on to Mark Hughes’ through ball before rounding Conor Winn and sliding the ball into the empty net for his first goal at United Park.
It should have been 2-0 soon after as Stephen Walsh’s handball gave Drogheda a free kick from 20 yards out though Thornton’s stunning effort smashed back off the post.
The Tribesmen dominated possession in the early stages of the second half but failed to turn their pressure into chances with Schlingermann a spectator throughout.
Drogheda came close to doubling their lead on 65 minutes when Thornton’s deep free kick was met by the unmarked Daly though the Drogheda captain was unable to keep his header on target.
Duffy, who was a constant threat throughout, was central to Drogheda’s second on the night as he turned Paul Sinnott before being denied by Winn as Sean Brennan teed up Thornton from the follow-up and he volleyed into the bottom corner for 2-0.
Galway did not look the side that had won four of their last five matches and they seemed devoid of ideas in the closing stages with Gary Shanahan’s speculative drive the closest they came to a consolation.
While McDonnell will no doubt be delighted with the victory, he will be equally pleased with Drogheda’s first clean sheet in 14 games and only their second this season.
Drogheda will be looking to make it three wins on the bounce at home when they face First Division side Cabinteely in the FAI Cup next Friday.
Adam Whelan (Daryl Kavanagh 74)
Jason Marks (Carl Walshe 83)
Sean Brennan (Stephen Maher 82)
Cormac Raftery (Marc Ludden 41’)
Enda Curran (Byrne 77’)
Padraic Cunningham (Jason Molloy 70’)