Date: 7:45 p.m. April 16, 2010
Venue: United Park
A turgid first half brought almost nothing of note as both teams set out with a 4-5-1 formation and seemed determined to cancel each other out. The first effort of any note arrived on 11 minutes as a James Chambers chip from the edge of the box floated over the top. Dan Murray headed an Ollie Cahill corner back across the six yard box on 21 minutes but no one was loitering to knock home the loose ball.
The rest of the half petered out as plenty of huff and puff produced no quality or excitement but with the Hoops looking the more likely of the two teams.
The ball was fed to Bayly who quickly sized up that Paul Murphy in the home net was off his line and sent a delightful right footed curling shot into the keeper’s top left corner.
The game thus sprang to life as the Drogs went looking for an equaliser but their lack of punch up front never really looked likely to bring a goal for them. Several near things came and went for the home team with a Joe Kendrick 20-yard free kick fizzing just over the corner of bar and post on 66 minutes and a John Flood free header planted over the bar on 75 from only eight yards when he should have at least hit the target.
The Drogs paid dearly deep into stoppage time as an attack was broken up and the ball was rapidly fed down the middle of the park to Gary Twigg by Sean O’Connor. The much missed striker started his run from his own half and left Brian King trailing in his wake as he stood Murphy up before rounding him and slotting to the empty net.
The Drogs now face a daunting trip to Galway to try to get their season back on track, whilst Michael O’Neill and his boys will face a far friendlier fixture in the form of a home game against Bray Wanderers.
Drogheda United: Paul Murphy; Corey Treacy, Joe Kendrick, Alan McNally,Brian King; John Flood, Paul Crowley, Mick Daly (Jamie Duffy 89), Robbie Martin (Ryan Brennan 80), Gareth O’Connor; Glen Fitzpatrick.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner, Eric McGill, Damien Brennan.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Pat Flynn, Dan Murray, Aiden Price, Danny Murphy; Billy Dennehy (Graham Barrett 90+2), Robert Bayly, James Chambers, Chris Turner, Ollie Cahill (Sean O’Connor 77); Thomas Stewart (Gary Twigg 67).
Subs not used: Robert Duggan, Enda Stevens.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Aidan Price.
Referee: A Buttimer.
Attendance: 1500 (estimate).