By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United will look to return to winning ways on Friday when they host First Division leaders UCD at United Park, kick-off 7.45pm.
The Drogs slipped to second in the table last week as their undefeated run came to an end at the hands of Cabinteely at Stradbrook Road.
Despite a brace from Gareth McCaffrey, Drogheda returned home empty handed with Drogs boss Tim Clancy rueing his side’s defending on the evening.
“We paid for the mistakes we made defensively,” Clancy acknowledged Thursday afternoon. “Our performance level had dipped from earlier in the week but we still played well enough to get something from the game.
“You have to give credit to Cabinteely, they punished our errors and their finishing was superb. It could’ve been a different game had we scored the penalty at 2-1 but we know we have to defend better.”
Clancy was keen to stress the importance of consistency for his side as they aim to bounce back from their first setback of the campaign.
“We’ve hit a very high performance level in the other games this season. We managed to get an excellent return of four points from the two games with Galway United and Finn Harps only to be turned over last week.
“The result should be a reminder for us throughout the campaign as to what happens when you’re not at your best.”
Drogheda can regain top spot on Friday with a win as they face table toppers UCD.
The Students have won four of their opening five games and Clancy isn’t surprised by their blistering start.
“They’ve been exceptional so far and deservedly lead the way. Unlike other years, UCD have managed to keep their squad together and you can see the understanding in their play.
“With all the third-level football played earlier in the year, I think they’re ahead of practically all the sides fitness wise.
“We’re desperate to respond in the right way and I’m certain it’ll be a really good game between two quality sides.”
Colm Deasy is suspended for Drogheda while Chris Lyons will again require a late fitness test.