By Jim MacArdle
Fresh from their comprehensive win over Sligo last week, the Drogs took on Shels at United Park on Saturday and can count themselves very unlucky not to have gained all three points. This was a game of two halves , in the first a competent and skilful Shels team dominated and deservedly went in 2-0 up at half time. The game was hardly 5 minutes old when the high press from the Shels forward line led to indecision in the home back line and an underhit back pass saw the Drogs go one down.
The Drogs struggled in most of the first half to get a foothold in the game and it seem that the home side were overawed by the visitors’ slick passing and clever movement. On 24 minutes the Drogs pressed well and forced a corner to which Franks Cabraley rose brilliantly, but failed to make contact. Ugo was causing the visitors some difficulties on the left and from a great run he made on 35minutes a cross from Dean O’Shea ran straight across the goal-line with the defence beaten and no Drogs forward there to apply the finishing touch. The Drogs paid dearly for this missed chance, as a few minutes later , Shels attacked with purpose down the middle, evaded some attempted home tackles and made it 2-0 with relative ease, and it was no more that they deserved.
Down 2-0 at half time, the Drogs required a big change in attitude and application for the second half and they showed some improvement with the introduction of the lively Callum Leonard on the right. As the second half progressed, Frank Cabraley and Ugo started to put their stamp on the game with their intelligent running and passing, Frank was unlucky on 64 minutes when a great shot on the turn sailed just over the bar. The Drogs took control of midfield and pinned the visitors back in their own half, and from a corner on 70 minutes Cabraley stabbed home the Drogs’ first goal. Dean O’Shea shot over from the left on 73 minutes, Callum Leonard shot over on 79, and on 84 minutes, following some great interplay between Cabraley, Ugo and Callum Leonard the ball was crossed and Kyle Robonson sent the ball to the empty net for the equaliser.
Unfortunately for the Drogs, they lost a bit of concentration in the next few minutes after scoring and Shels set up a brilliant attack on the left and regained the lead with a clinical finish with only 4 minutes left. But the Drogs were not done and once again Frank Cabraley fed Ugo and his simple ball sent Callum Leonard through who beat the keeper to make to3-3 . As time ran out the Drogs had a god chance to take all three points , but Robinson was wide with a good shot.
The Drogs showed plenty of character and skill to come back from 2 goals down and Dunbar and Maher played the ball well out of defence when under pressure from the visiting attack , and these well placed passes ultimately played a big part in the Drogs’ second half comeback.
Team :Ben Murphy, Luke Campbell (Sam O’Brien) Dean O’Shea, Josh Dunbar , Lukus Maher (Ross Harper) , Jamie Whelan (Luke Neville), Darragh Curtin(Pedro White), Osasere Sere Ogiehor (Callum Leonard) Kyle Robinson, Frank Cabraley,Ugochukwu Anny-Nzekwue.