Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 2, 2009
Venue: United Park
Att: 2,000 (est)
Drogheda opened the scoring on 11 minutes, when Chambers hit a stunning free kick into the top left hand corner from all of 30 yards out. However, as has been the case this season, the Drogheda defence fell asleep and from a Chris Turner corner Ger Rowe stole into the box unmarked to head home and square up the game.
Just as it looked like both sides would enter the half-time break on level terms Drogheda were once again caught short. A quick break by Dundalk, after some heavy Drogheda pressure, saw the goalscorer turn provider as Rowe unleashed Darren Mansaram and the striker left the centre half duo of Alan McNally and Conor Kenna in his wake as he slid the ball low past Steve Williams to take his side in with a valuable lead.
Late goals have been a feature at United Park this season, generally against the home side though, and after scoring a 92nd minute winner last week Chambers popped up to secure a valuable point for the Boynesiders.
The midfielder hit the underside of the bar from nine yards out, after Brendan McGill played a ball across the face of goal, which broke Dundalk hearts and meant that Drogheda had avoided their first home defeat to Dundalk this season.
In what was a scrappy game either side could have won it, but on 58 minutes the game was severely turned on its head with the controversial dismissal of Dundalk’s Michael Daly. The midfielder clashed with Conor Kenna, but it appeared to be a rather innocuous connection as Kenna had his head down and Daly had his foot barely raised. More than anything it was felt that referee Dave McKeon was making up for an incident moments earlier when he should have dismissed Liam Burns.
The Lilywhites defender brought down Jamie Duffy in a cynical tackle when the Drogheda player was through on goal having picked up a through ball. Following the tackle Burns was brandished with a yellow card, however, this was met with a lot of disagreement from the Drogheda players and a brawl erupted. Amazingly, no further action was brought.
The game began at a high tempo with hard tackles flying in early and Drogheda set out with intent and took the lead but were pegged back almost immediately.
After the flurry of goals the game became somewhat subdued as both sides became more tentative, but it was Dundalk who came more into the game and began to turn the screw.
Chris Turner was dominating the midfield and, along with Rowe, kept Alan McNally and co quite busy.
Just after the half hour mark Drogheda hearts were in their mouths as a simple through ball was left by Steve Williams and, unbeknownst to him, Michael Daly was stealing in and managed to slide the ball into the path of Mansaram, but McNally had cut across to block the shot and save his 'keeper some blushes.
After Mansaram had given Dundalk the lead just before the break, Alan Mathews' interval speech was quite short and he had his players out on the park long before their opponents came back to begin the second half.
Dundalk began the second half the brighter, as Turner was picked out by a through ball and he ran at the Drogheda goal with Rowe tacking his run and just as he was about to play the pass Chambers cut back to cut it out.
After the sending off Drogheda threw everything they had at Dundalk, but Thomas Heary marshalled his rear guard and repelled almost every attack, the Dundalk captain placing his body on the line as he lunged in front Jamie Duffy rocket.
Mansaram was left as the lone striker as the remaining eight outfield players stood behind the ball and looked to defend their slender lead and attempt to catch Drogheda on the break.
After equalising, the Boynesiders almost snuck a winner deep into injury time as Chambers twice hit the target but Peter Cherrie was there to save twice.
The draw has severely dented any hopes Dundalk had for a shot at Europe in their first attempt in several years, while Drogheda edge closer to St Pat's and automatic survival in the Premier Division.
Drogheda United: Steve Williams; Scott Gibb, Robbie Clarke, Conor Kenna, Alan McNally, Paul Crowley(Eric McGill 84), Brendan McGill, Brian King (Guy Bates 77), Jamie Duffy, James Chambers, Ross Gaynor.
Subs not Used: Paul Skinner, Ian Ryan, Paul Shiels.
Dundalk: Peter Cherrie; Shaun Kelly, Liam Burns, Thomas Heary, Kevin McKinley, Mickey Collins, Michael Daly, Chris Turner, Nathan Murphy(Paul McAreavey 52); Ger Rowe, Darren Mansaram.
Subs not Used: Chris Bennion, Michael McGinlay, Michael Coburn.
Extratime Man Of The Match: A tossup between Chris Turner and James Chambers, both bossed their midfield and were the fulcrum for their respective sides attacks.