by Robert O'Reilly
Drogheda United caretaker manager Mark Kinsella got off to the perfect start in charge as his side won 2-0 away to fellow relegation candidates Derry City at the Brandywell.
Goals in either half from Sean Thornton and Jason Marks saw United record their first win in 10 games as they moved up to eight in the table, leapfrogging their opponents in the process.
Kinsella made three changes from the side that lost 4-1 to Limerick last week as Lloyd Buckley, Adam Whelan and Ger Pender all started with Stephen Maher, Tiarnan Mulvenna and Lee Duffy dropping to the bench.
Drogheda started the brighter of the sides and they created the first chance of the match when Keith Treacy picked the ball up deep in the Derry half and he dribbled past Aaron Barry before sending a left footed strike narrowly wide of the far post.
The hosts were almost in front seconds later as they worked the ball into the feet of Patrick McEleney but his curled effort from the edge of the box failed to hit the target.
McEleney was proving a threat for Derry and he came close again on 18 minutes when his acrobatic volley from 20 yards went over the bar.
Despite the Candystripes looking composed in possession, they had yet to test Micheál Schlingermann in goal though the Drogheda goalkeeper did make a stunning save on 35 minutes as his one handed stop denied Ciaran O’Connor’s goal bound header.
Drogheda scored the crucial opener on the stroke of half time as the visitors worked
the ball to Adam Whelan on the right and his cross was met by Thornton who glanced the ball past Ger Doherty for his fourth goal of the season.
City were unfortunate not to level five minutes after the interval when Mark Timlin was afforded too much space out wide and his cross was diverted goalwards by Stephen Dooley only for Joe Gorman to clear off the line.
Derry dominated the ball for long periods but a resolute defensive display from Drogheda saw them restricted to half chances as O’Connor and Barry both shot wide from distance.
United doubled their lead on 75 minutes with Whelan once again the architect as his low cross from the right found Marks unmarked at the backpost and the winger fired high into the roof of the net for his second goal of the season.
The Boynesiders saw out the closing stages of the game with ease as they recorded a morale boosting win going into the final six games of the season as they aim to climb further away from the relegation zone.
Drogheda will be back in action Friday week as they make the short trip to Oriel Park to face Dundalk, a game which will be televised live by RTÉ with a 7.25pm kick-off.
Aaron McEneff (Ben McLaughlin 67)
Ciaran O’Connor (Mark Quigley 74)
Adam Whelan (Robert Bayly 80)
Keith Treacy (Sean Brennan 55)
Ger Pender (Tiarnan Mulvenna 64)