Bohemians were the visitors at United Park in this early season Leinster Senior Cup tie, with First Division side Drogheda United eager to impress as they head into their league campaign in March having recently been relegated from the Premier Division, while Bohs on the other hand are looking to build on last season’s European push.
Bohemians got the game underway in icy conditions at United and it was Drogheda who mustered up the first chance of the contest when Deasy beat Prendergast and played a ball to Sam O’Connor on the edge of the box, but his shot went narrowly over the cross bar.
The Gypsies responded with Kelly and Fitzgerald combining before Fitzgerald fizzed a ball across the face of the goal, but Lloyd Buckley was on hand to sweep away the danger on the edge of the six-yard box.
Bohs were piling on the pressure on the First Division side and should have took the lead in the 13th minute. Aaron Molloy misplaced a pass which fell to Kurtis Byrne’s feet, he then raced towards goal and unleashed a strike, which went well wide of the target to his dismay.
Drogheda had a great goal scoring opportunity of their own in the 20th minute when Molloy dispossessed Eoin Wearen in the middle of the park and played a perfect through ball for Mark Doyle, but his powerful strike was well saved by Dean Delaney in the home sides’ goal.
The game was being played at a frantic pace and this time Bohs nearly took the lead in spectacular fashion in the 25th minute when Kelly’s deflected cross fell to Lopes who was waiting on the edge of the box, and his perfectly hit volley flew just wide of the post.
Bohemians then took the lead in the 35th after a quiet spell in the game from both teams. And it Kurtis Byrne who bagged a goal on his competitive debut when Quigley sent him through on goal with a wonderful through ball allowing his teammate to slot home under the goalkeeper to give Bohs a 1-0 lead.
Drogheda responded when Sam O’Connor was fouled by Anto Murphy, and Aaron Molloy stepped up to take it with his effort whistling past the near post.
Kurits Byrne was causing problems for the Drogheda defence, and he nearly added his and Bohs second of the game in the dying moments of the first half. He collected the ball from Kelly in the box, and he held off the defending Cooney before lashing a strike goalwards which just missed the bottom corner and went wide of the post, as the referee blew the whistle to end the first half.
Drogheda controlled the early exchanges of the second half and Mark Doyle was close to netting an equaliser. He picked up the ball on the corner of the box and managed to get his shot off, but the ball went over the bar.
Bohs couldn’t get into the game in the second half and Sam O’Connor nearly scored the equaliser in the 59th minute when he made use of a loose ball in the middle of the box and unleashed a deadly strike which was well saved again by Dean Delaney in the Bohs goal.
Bohs managed to add a second goal in the 78th minute through Anto Murphy when he headed home from a set piece at the back post when Fitzgerald whipped in a beautiful cross.
The Gypsies then put the game to bed in the 90th minute when Akinade raced onto the end of a cross field pass from Anto Murphy, and he chipped the on rushing goalkeeper to finally see out the game for the visitors, as the referee blew the whistle to end an entertaining encounter at United Park.
Drogheda United: Patrick Dunican (GK), Colm Deasy, Niall Cooney ©, Lloyd Buckley, Jake Hyland, Sean Brennan (Eoin Kirwan 78), Sam O’Connor, Derek Doyle, Luke Gallagher, Aaron Molloy (Liam Donnelly 80), Mark Doyle (Aaron Ashe 78).
Subs not used: Jamie Hickey (GK), Sean Thornton, Jamie McGlynn.
Yellow Cards: Sean Brennan (45)
Bohemians: Dean Delaney (GK), Derek Pender ©, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Roberto Lopes, Derek Prendergast, Eoin Wearen (Dano Byrne 78), Mark Quigley (Ismahil Akindade 66), Kurtis Byrne, Paddy Kavanagh, Jake Kelly (Keith Buckley 46), Anto Murphy.
Subs Not Used: Lee Steacy (GK), Stephen Best, Dylan Hayes, Adam Evans
Yellow Cards: Eoin Wearen (29) Kurtis Byrne (61)
Referee: Simon Rogers
ExtraTime.Ie man of the match: Dean Delaney (Bohemians)