UCD scored two goals in the last 11 minutes of the game to beat Drogheda United 2-1 at The UCD Bowl on Friday night.
A first half strike from Gary O’Neill gave United the lead, before two goals in five minutes from Robbie Benson and Cillian Morrison gave the Students the victory.
The home side started brightly and almost took the lead after just three minutes, as Robbie Benson dispossessed Gavin Brennan in midfield, before he found Cillian Morrison whose effort from the edge of the box was parried away by Dave Ryan in The Drogs goal.
Drogheda had their first chance after six minutes, as Gavin Brennan floated his free kick into the UCD penalty box, Gary O’Neill rose highest to meet the set piece, but his header went safely over the cross-bar for a goal kick.
Robbie Horgan’s men came within the width of the post of taking the lead after 12 minutes, as Gavin Brennan found himself in space inside the penalty box, the winger then picked out Declan O’Brien, but the usually prolific striker’s shot rebounded back off Conor O’Donnell’s post and was cleared by The Student’s rear guard.
Chances were coming thick and fast for Aaron Callaghan’s men and Robbie Benson came close to opening the scoring, as The ex Athlone midfielder volleyed a loose ball from 20 yards, but his effort was well matched by David Ryan in The United goal.
Cillian Morrison should have put The Students ahead after 24 minutes, as the striker was picked out by Samir Belhout, however The Striker couldn’t force the ball past Ryan from a narrow angle.
United took the lead against the run of play after 32 minutes, as a culmulation of errors in The Student’s ranks lead to the ball falling to Gary O’Neill who curled the ball past Conor O’Donnell and into the UCD goal.
UCD could have been level just two minutes later, as Robbie Creevy met Robbie Benson’s free kick, but his header sailed narrowly over David Ryan’s cross-bar.
The chances kept coming for The Students and Samir Belhout was next to try his luck, as the winger was picked out by full back, Gareth Matthew, but Belhout’s volley landed in the gloves of the grateful David Ryan.
Robbie Creevy had the first chance of the second period, as he took the ball of the toe of team mate Robbie Benson, before rifling a shot just wide of Ryan’s post.
Declan O’Brien could have doubled The Drogs lead after 50 minutes, as he latched onto Gary O’Neill ‘s pass , but he rattled Conor O’Donnell’s woodwork for the second time of the night.
After a lengthy period without a chance The Students carved out one, as a Hugh Douglas pass was deflected into the path of Robbie Creevy, but his shot went straight into the hands of David Ryan.
The Students equalised moments later, as Samir Belhout played in UCD skipper Robbie Benson who capitalized by passing the ball past David Ryan and into The United net to grab his second goal in as many games.
The Students took the lead just moments later, as the un marked Cillian Morrison headed in Chris Mulhall’s free kick to put The Students in front.
The Student’s hearts were in their mouth with just minutes left, as Paul Andrew’s met a cross, but his header sailed safely over Conor O’Donnell’s cross-bar.
UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Hugh Douglas, James Kavanagh, Tomas Boyle, Gareth Matthews; Colm Crowe, Robbie Creevy, Robbie Benson (c); Samir Belhout (Gary Burke 90+3), Cillian Morrison, Chris Mulhall.
Subs Not Used: Mark McGinley (gk), Michael Barker, Michael Scott, Sean Coyne; Tom O’Halloran, Dwayne Wilson.
Drogheda United: David Ryan; Michael Daly, Alan McNally, Paul Andrews, Shane Grimes; Cathal Brady (Carl Walshe 82), Stephen Maher (Paul Crowley 23), Ciaran McGuigan, Gavin Brennan (c); Gary O’Neill, Declan O’Brien (Phillip Hughes 76).
Subs Not Used: Dylan Connolly; Sean O’Connor, Gavin Holohan; Daire Doyle.
Booked: McNally (34), Daly (52), McGuigan (55), Crowley (74).
Referee: Jim McKell
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Robbie Creevy (UCD)