By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United came from 2-0 down to a rescue a point against Galway United in a pulsating encounter at United Park.
Two goals in three minutes from Mark Doyle and Sean Brennan brought Drogheda back to life after a disastrous start with the sides having to settle for a share of the spoils.
Drogheda United manager Tim Clancy made two changes form the side that drew 0-0 with Wexford last week as Jake Hyland and Gareth McCaffrey were replaced by Richie Purdy and Lee Duffy.
The visitors signalled their intent in the opening minute as Conor Barry cut inside from the left and his low drive was well held by Paul Skinner.
Chris Lyons had Drogheda’s first attempt of the evening as he controlled Colm Deasy’s throw-in but his first time volley was deflected behind for a corner.
Galway continued to dominate the ball but it was through a Drogheda error that they took the lead. Gary Shanahan won the ball deep in the Drogheda half and his cross was met by McCormack who headed into the far corner beyond Skinner.
An injury to Conor Kane saw Drogheda forced into a reshuffle but they found themselves two goals down on 27’ minutes. Barry was afforded too much room on the edge of the box and his wayward shot was diverted into the net by the unfortunate Farragher.
Drogheda’s best chance of a lacklustre first-half came through a fine passing move down the right when Deasy and Lyons exchanged passes with the latter pciking out Duffy who saw his shot gathered by Tadhg Ryan.
If the hosts were off the pace in the first-half, they more than made up for it after the break. A fine run and pass from Duffy picked out Doyle who fired the ball through Ryan to give Drogheda a lifeline.
Feeling the momentum, Drogheda were rewarded a free-kick just two minutes later as Robbie Williams fouled the tireless Chris Lyons. Brennan didn’t disappoint the expectant crowd as he curled the ball around the wall and into the far corner for his sixth free-kick of the campaign.
Lyons nearly completed the turnaround for the Boynesiders but his goal bound strike was deflected over the bar by Williams with the visitors throwing more and more bodies forward.
Galway had one last chance to steal all three points but McCormack, clean through on goal, was thwarted by a fine save from Skinner much to the relief of the home crowd.
While Drogheda have slipped to fourth in the table, they’ve crucially maintained their six point lead over fifth place Galway with just four games remaining as attention turns to next week’s FAI Cup clash with Shamrock Rovers.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher, Ciaran Kelly, Conor Kane (William Hondermarck 23’); Luke Gallagher, Sean Brennan (Kealan Dillon 90’), Richie Purdy; Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons, Lee Duffy
Subs: Malachy Doyle, Lloyd Buckley, Sean Cronin, Eoin McPhillips, Rob Manley
Galway United: Tadhg Ryan; Marc Ludden, Robbie Williams, Stephen Walsh, Christopher Horgan; Alex Byrne, Gary Shanahan (Carlton Ubaezuono 51’), Ryan Connolly, Conor Barry, Alan Murphy (Danny Furlong 73’); Eoin McCormack
Subs not used: Conor Gleeson, Aaron Conway, Adam Rooney, Evan Coyne
DroghedaUnited.ie Man of the Match: Chris Lyons