Bohemians and Drogheda United played out an entertaining 1-1 draw in the Airtricity Premier League at Dalymount Park on Friday night, Alan McNally cancelling out Ryan McEvoy's goal to insure a share of the spoils.
It wasn't the best opening 45 minutes ever seen at Dalymount Park but Bohemians will have been disappointed not to have taken an early lead. After just five minutes Keith Ward floated in a free kick which found the head of Luke Byrne just six yards out. However Byrne somehow headed it over the top.
Drogheda grew in confidence as the half wore on and had a couple of chances in the space of five minutes. Firstly, in the 28th minute, Stephen Quigley crossed from the right. Declan O'Brien met the header but Bohemians goalkeeper Andy McNulty dived low to his left to make a comfortable save.
O'Brien had another chance in the 33rd minute. He raced through the middle and received Peter Hynes’ precise pass before hitting it first time from just outside the area. The ball went just over the crossbar.
Bohemians took the lead somewhat against the run of play in the 37th minute. Keith Ward took a short corner from the right and played it to Keith Buckley. Buckley floated it towards the Drogheda area and the ball deflected to Ryan McEvoy who struck it into the corner of the net from 18 yards out.
However Drogheda didn't leave it too long to hit back. In the 40th minute Eric Foley took a corner from the right which Bohemians only half cleared. The ball broke to captain, Alan McNally, who struck a sweet shot through a crowded goalmouth into the net from eight yards.
Paul Crowley nearly put the visitors in front early in the second half. After Ryan McEvoy hesitated in midfield the Drogheda substitute gathered possession and raced towards goal. He curled a lovely right foot effort from outside the area which beat McNulty but ended up just wide.
The home side nearly took the lead in the 58th minute. Keith Ward took a corner from the right and, once again, Luke Byrne got his head to it. But this time Gabriel Sava made a fine save tipping the ball away for a corner.
Back came Drogheda and in the 61st minute Eric Foley's corner from the left was met by McNally. However the Drogheda number five flashed his header across goal and wide.
In the 71st minute another Foley corner from the right caused problems for Bohs. Derek Prendergast met his cross at the far post but Prendergast's goal-bound header was saved by Bohemians substitute goalkeeper Craig Sexton.
Drogheda dominated possession thereafter but failed to create any clearcut chances. Substitute Sean Brennan struck an 87th minute free kick harmlessly wide and also had another effort from inside the area which was brilliantly blocked by Bohemians captain Evan McMillan.
Gavin Brennan had a late shot from outside the area for Drogheda which was also well off target. A spirited Bohemians held on for a point with, arguably, Drogheda boss Mick Cooke being the more disappointed of the two managers after this game.
Bohemians: Andy McNulty (Craig Sexton 55); Derek Pender, Evan McMillan (c), Kevin Feely, Luke Byrne; Keith Buckley, Keith Ward (David Mulcahy 65), Peter McMahon, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Peter McMahon (Karl Moore 81); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Roberto Lopes, Dwayne Wilson, David Scully, Dan Mahon.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Stephen Quigley (Paul Crowley 36), Derek Prendergast, Alan McNally (c), Shane Grimes; Brian Gannon, Ryan Brennan, Eric Foley, Gavin Brennan; Peter Hynes (Tiarnan Mulvenna 83), Declan O'Brien (Sean Brennan 69).
Subs not used: Stephen Trimble, Philip Hand, Stephen Trimble, John Breen.
Booked: Gavin Brennan (62).
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Extratime.ie Man of the match: Evan McMillan (Bohemians).