by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United came from two goals to rescue a point at home to Bohemians as they continue their battle to avoid relegation from the Premier Division.
Slack marking from a set-piece presented Ismahil Akinade with the opener and it was 2-0 three minutes later as Paddy Kavanagh’s first time volley beat Michéal Schlingermann but stunning quick-fire strikes from Keith Treacy and Sean Thornton ensured that Drogheda picked up a vital point.
Drogheda caretaker manager Mark Kinsella made three changes from last week’s heavy defeat to Dundalk as Lloyd Buckley, Mark Hughes and Ger Pender started in place of Stephen Maher, Jason Marks and Sean Brennan.
The first chance of the game fell the way of Drogheda as Treacy teed upJoe Gorman down the left and his cross was met by Pender but the strikers’ volley was deflected behind for a corner.
Bohs were to threaten soon after as a corner kick from Loran Fitzgerald found Eoin Wearen but the unmarked midfielder failed to connect with the ball only six yards out.
The home side were starting to look nervous as a mishit clearance from Micheál Schlingermann presented Jake Kelly with an open goal but he fired well wide much to the relief of the vocal home crowd.
Drogheda’s reprieve wasn’t to last for long though as another Fitzgerald corner found Akinade unmarked in the box and he stooped to head home the opener, his seventh goal since joining the Gypsies earlier this season.
Things went from bad to worse for Drogheda as from Bohemians next attack they made it 2-0, Karl Moore was afforded too much space down the left and his clipped cross was volleyed home by Paddy Kavanagh for his second goal in as many games.
Despite the two goal deficit, the Drogheda players continued to push forward and they pulled a goal back on 41 minutes as Treacy produced a stunning 25 yard strike that flew past Dean Delany into the top corner, a goal of the season contender.
The Boynesiders were to level only five minutes after going two behind as a fine counter attack involving Pender and Thornton saw the latter cut inside Dylan Hayes before finish into the far corner to complete a dramatic comeback.
Drogheda squandered a great chance to take the lead ten minutes into the second half as Treacy’s expert through ball found the run of Mark Hughes but the midfielder shot straight at Delany with Derek Pendergast closing down the angle.
Fitzgerald, whose set pieces were a threat all night, sent a free kick narrowly wide from 25 yards with Schlingermann beaten.
In an open encounter, Thornton’s speculative cross clipped the crossbar with Tiarnan Mulvenna missing the target from the rebound and down the other end a stunning save from the Drogheda goalkeeper denied Kavanagh his second of the night.
Both sides pushed hard for a winner late on but the spoils were shared in a result that lifts Drogheda up to ninth in the table, three points above Sligo in the relegation play-off position though they have two games in hand.
A much improved performance for the hosts offers Kinsella something to build on with Cork City up next at United Park in a fortnight.
Drogheda United Team: Micheál Schlingermann; Lloyd Buckley, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Joe Gorman; Adam Whelan (Tiarnan Mulvenna 46), Sean Thornton, Mark Hughes, Mick Daly, Keith Treacy (Sean Brennan 75); Ger Pender (Robert McKenna 84).
Subs not used: Liam Donnelly, Robert Bayly, Sam McGowan
Bohemians Team: Dean Delany; Dylan Hayes, Stephen Best, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Paddy Kavanagh, Eoin Wearen, Roberto Lopes, Karl Moore (Adam Evans 80); Ismahil Akinade, Jake Kelly (Jason Byrne 84).
Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Dan Byrne, Aaron Ashe, Kealen Dillon
Adam Whelan (Tiarnan Mulvenna 46)
Keith Treacy (Sean Brennan 75)
Ger Pender (Robert McKenna 84)
Karl Moore (Adam Evans 80)
Jake Kelly (Jason Byrne 84)