Drogheda United advanced to the next round of the EA Sports Cup with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. Brian King and James Chambers bagged a goal each in the second half of a poor game of football.
Both teams fielded under-strength sides with Bray making nine changes to the starting line-up from their game against Dundalk on Friday, while Drogheda made five changes to the side that started against Galway United.
The first chance of the game came inside the opening minute when a powerful long-range drive from Bray's Daryl Robson was saved by Paul Skinner in the United goal.
Drogs thought they had taken the lead in the 21st minute through William Woods. Gareth Whelan's 30-yard strike was spilled by Brian Kane and Woods followed up to slot the ball into the Bray goal. However, Woods was deemed to be offside when Whelan's shot was taken.
On 35 minutes, Robson again went close. After picking up a pass from Ian McNeill, Robson curled a shot goalward from the edge of the dee. His looping effort had Skinner beaten but curled wide of the far post.
At the start of the second half, Drogheda seized the initiative and twelve minutes after the restart they took the lead. After Wanderers failed to clear the ball in their box, Woods picked up on Dave Webster's poor clearance at the far post. He pulled the ball back for Conor Kenna who shot for goal. However, his effort was miscued and landed at the feet of King. King controlled before smashing the ball into the Bray net from six yards.
The Seagulls never threatened to get back into the game after that and in the 86th minute United doubled their lead. King picked the ball up on the halfway line and knocked it forward for sub Chambers. Chambers ran onto the ball and sprinted clear of Stephen Brennan before firing the ball past Kane from inside the box.
Two minutes later, Drogs nearly grabbed a third. Brennan tried to play the ball across the area to Kane but his pass was intercepted by King. He controlled and shot but Kane was on hand to save. The ball rebounded to Chambers inside the area and he tried his luck. However, Colm Tresson was on the line to block the follow-up.
Drogheda won comfortably in the end with the hosts failing to create any clear cut chances over the 90 minutes. Drogheda will go on to play the winner of Monaghan United and Sporting Fingal in the next round.
Bray Wanderers: Brian Kane; Dave Webster, Dean Fletcher, Colm Tresson, Stephen Brennan; Ian McNeill, Gareth Coughlan (Ian Tuohy 62), Daryl Robson (Darren Dunne, 59), David O'Neill; John Mulroy (Darren Forsyth 59), Shane O'Neill.
Subs not used: Chris O'Connor (gk), Dane Massey.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner; Robbie Clarke, Conor Kenna, Ian Ryan, Eoghan Osborne; Michael Foley, Brian King, Gavin Whelan, William Woods (Paul Shiels 76); David O’Connor (James Chambers 35), Mark Salmon.
Subs not used: Steve Williams (gk), Paul Crowley, Mark Duggan.
Booked: Clarke (11).
Referee: Dave McKeon.
Attendance: 450 (estimate)
Extratime.ie man of the match: Brian King (Drogheda United) - He had a hand in both the goals that saw Drogheda progress.