Bohemians beat Drogheda United 2-1 in the SSE Airtrcity League Premier Division at Dalymount Park on Friday night. Jason Byrne's 68th minute goal proved to be the difference between the sides on a night when both teams had a player sent off.
Drogheda United's Gary O'Neill had the first effort on goal in the 3rd minute. He found space on the edge of the area and managed to turn and shoot but his effort was too high.
The home side took the lead in the 14th minute with a quality goal. Dinny Corcoran played an excellent defence splitting pass which released Karl Moore down the left. Moore still had plenty to do but finished expertly from the edge of the area to put his side a goal up. That was his first goal of the season.
Gavin Holohan had a couple of half chances for the visitors midway through the first half. In the 22nd minute he received the ball from Cathal Brady but his shot on goal was very tame. Then just a couple of moments later after Drogheda broke on the counter attack Gary O' Neill eventually set up Holohan but his shot was well off the target.
Soon after Gavin Brennan played an excellent pass in behind the home defence which picked out O'Neill but the Drogheda striker's well struck shot was straight at Dean Delany.
Bohemians striker Dinny Corcoran hit the crossbar twice in the space of 10 minutes. In the 29th minute the Gypsies number 11 volleyed against the woodwork from eight yards out. Then in the 39th minute Karl Moore took a left footed corner from the right. Corcoran rose highest but from six yards out headed against the bar.
Damien Richardson saw his side get back on level terms 19 minutes into the second half and it was another quality finish. Gavin Holohan took a corner from the left. Dean Delany could only punch it out as far as Gavin Brennan and the Drogheda midfielder volleyed it into the net via the underside of the crossbar to level the scores.
However just three minutes later Owen Heary saw his side retake the lead. Karl Moore made a fantastic challenge to dispossess Alan McNally down the right. He then picked out Jason Byrne who was free at the back post with a perfect pass. Byrne kept his cool to bury it past Michael Schlingerman to score yet another goal in the League of Ireland.
One of the game's major talking points took place in the 73rd minute. Both Steven Beattie and Gavin Brennan were sent off by referee Anthony Buttimer for what appeared to be an off the ball incident. As both players were leaving the pitch Beattie vented his frustration at Brennan as both players will now serve a suspension.
The red cards and a number of subsequent substitutions took the sting out of the game. Gary O' Neill did go down in the area under a challenge from Ryan McEvoy in the 82nd minute but the referee took no action and there were no appeals from the Drogheda players.
Bohemian's victory means that they now move three points clear of Drogheda in the table who suffered their first loss since Damien Richardson took over as manager.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Steven Beattie, Daniel Byrne, Aidan Price, Derek Pender; Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley 90), Roberto Lopes, David Mulcahy (c); Dinny Corcoran (Adam Evans 85), Jason Byrne (Ryan Mc Evoy 78), Karl Moore.
Subs not used: Jack Memery, Jake Hyland, Craig Walsh, Aaron Shanahan.
Booked: Pender (15).
Sent off: Steven Beattie (73)
Drogheda United: Michael Schlingerman; Daire Doyle, Alan McNally, Ciaran McGuigan, Shane Grimes (c); Peter McGlynn; Cathal Brady (Declan O' Brien 72), Gavin Brennan, Gavin Holohan, Carl Walshe (Gareth Brady 85); Gary O' Neill.
Subs not used: Paul Andrews, Paul Crowley, Sean O' Connor, Roy Kireans, Dylan Connolly.
Booked: Grimes (65), G Brady (88).
Sent off: Gavin Brennan (73)
Referee: Anthony Buttimer.
Extratime.ie man of the match: Karl Moore (Bohemians)