Bohemians made it four wins out of four against Drogheda United on Friday night as Pat Fenlon’s men completely outplayed an under strength Claret and Blue side. Goals from Owen Heary and Glenn Cronin either side of the half separated the teams in a one side affair.
There were plenty of surprises before kick-off with Mick Cooke opting to shake things up in his starting eleven –the most obvious of which saw Dinny Corcoran and Tiernan Mulvenna drop to the bench with Jordan White as the lone striker for Drogs.
However there was little to report on down that end in the opening half, with the ball spending much of the time in midfield as both sides struggled to take command of the game. The host’s plan was for Lee Lynch to support White, but too often the big forward found himself isolated and Bohs’ gradually began to create chances.
In truth a lot of these were only half-chances with Killian Brennan at the heart of most. The winger, playing against his brother Gavin, found himself with time to cross on a number of occasions but frequently over hit. This was the case on 22 minutes. Four minutes later he blazed over from the edge of the box.
Aside from these, arguably the visitor’s best chance arrived on the half-hour mark when Anto Flood managed to prevent the ball running over the end line before beginning a mazy run which finished up in the box as the forward nut-megged Alan McNally before Robert Duggan eventually gathered possession.
The hosts looked most dangerous on the break and Gavin Brennan should have made his older brother pay for his wastefulness just after the half hour mark. Lynch played a perfect pass down the line for Peter McMahon who crossed for Brennan from the right. He headed powerfully but Craig Sexton in the Bohs’ goal did fantastically to save.
The game looked destined to be heading for a 0-0 draw at the break until the elder Brennan – finally connecting with a cross – picked out Owen Heary who smashed a header past Robert Duggan. Question marks should reign over Alan McNally’s defending who failed to stay with Heary as the centre half capitalised.
The second half burst into life almost immediately as the visitors doubled their advantage – once again after some sloppy defending. Aidan Downes and Chris Forrestser, anonymous for most of the first half, linked up in the box. Drogheda retook possession but failed to clear sufficiently. As the ball fell to Cronin he fired past Duggan.
The goal set the tone for the remainder of the game. Indeed just before the second goal, Aidan Downes spurned a great chance, firing wide from close range. Ten minutes after the goal, he had another great chance but was this time denied by Robert Duggan. The resulting corner was volleyed over by Anto Flood.
Changes were clearly needed for the hosts who looked ragged as the half progressed. Mick Cooke introduced Philip Hand for Brian Gannon – clearly he felt midfield was an area his charges were struggling. He was right, but the game was crying out for the dynamism of Mulvenna and Corcoran up front. The two were introduced with 15 minutes to play. But by then it was too late.
Down the other end, Bohs spurned a glut of chances with Downes the main culprit. The pick of the lot came on 73 minutes when the ball broke to him after a deflected shot in the Drogs’ box. Amazingly he lifted the ball wide from all of four yards.
Unsurprisingly the forward was soon after replaced by Fagan who, with virtually his first possession, tested Robert Duggan. That was the story for the rest of the game as Bohs continued to dominate and rose to a late Drogheda rally.. Substitutes Steven Hurley and Robert Bayly linked up with Keith Buckly late on but couldn’t find a third.
Drogheda United: Robert Duggan; Robbie Clarke, Robbie Gaul (Tiernán Mulvenna, 75), Dave Rogers, Alan McNally; Brian Gannon (Philip Hand, 60), Mark O’Brien, Peter McMahon, Lee Lynch, Gavin Brennan; Jordan White (Dinny Corcoran, 75)
Subs not used: Keith McCarthy, Tony Melis, Shane Fitzgerald, Shane Dolan.
Bookings: Gannon (43), G Brennan (48), McNally (52), Mulvenna (84).
Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Owen Heary, Aiden Price, Liam Burns, Mark Rossiter; Keith Buckley, Chris Forrester (Robert Bayly, 60), Glenn Cronin, Killian Brennan; Aidan Downes (Christy Fagan, 78), Anto Flood (Steven Hurley, 85).
Subs not used: Ryan McEvoy, Roberto Lopes, Kevin Feely, Dean Brady.
Referee: Tom Connolly
Attendance: 800 (est).