Date: 7:45 p.m. Oct. 5, 2010
Venue: United Park
St. Pats’ hopes of claiming the third European spot are still alive, after this convincing win but at the other end of the table Drogheda are all but relegated, with three games remaining and second from bottom Bray Wanderers six points ahead.
In the end it finished in an easy 3-0 win for the Dubliners, though a 14th minute goal from Ryan Guy, was what the Saints had to show for their first half efforts. The visitors dominated for almost entire first half, with Drogheda creating little and looking shaky at best in defence. A corner from Derek Doyle eluded the Drogheda defence and possibly the smallest man on the field rose highest to head home, the ball grazing the underside of the crossbar on its way to make it one nil in favour of the Inchicore men.
Pats had the ball in the back of the net again on the half hour but it was ruled out for offside. Forward Danny North was played in by a clever ball from Guy. North easily out ran the slow starting Drogheda defence before continuing and drawing Robert Duggan out of his net and passing into the open goalmouth. However, the certain goal was ruled out, after Guy who followed up his pass, putting a toe onto the attempt was judged to have been in an offside position.
The Saints’ dominance continued after the break and their lead was doubled on the hour mark when North slotted home, after the original attempt from Doyle was parried away by United keeper Duggan into the Pats strikers path. His finish was as straight-forward as possible.
Nonetheless, arguably the biggest talking point came on the 62nd minute, when Eric McGill was shown a deserved red card. McGill was fouled by Danny North, after referee waved away the claims. The United defender took his own action, lunging in with a two footed tackle on the St. Patrick's Athletic striker, and was correctly given his marching orders.
The best effort for the home side came on 72, from a long surging run made by Darren Meenan, but one time Drogheda keeper Rogers was on hand to save comfortably. New manager Bobby Browne emptied the subs bench and while they looked a better side towards the end of the game, with ten men and 2 goals down it was always going to be a tough stretch to the final whistle.
Gareth O'Connor, who started this season with United and is now plying his trade with the Inchicore men made it three nil to the away side with 15 minutes remaining. The midfielder was impeded by Mennan and awarded a free kick on the right side of the pitch, O'Connor stood over the free as it glided past everyone and found a home in the bottom left of Robert Duggan's net.
Drogheda United; Robert Duggan; Yael Haro (Eoghan Osbourne, 75), Alan McNally, Eric McGill, Jamie Harris; Darren Meenan, Peter McMahon, Mick Daly (Ryan Brennan, 67), Paul Crowley; Glen Fitzpatrick (Darragh McNamarra, 79), John Flood
Subs not used; Paul Skinner, Corie Treacy
St. Patricks Athletic: Gary Rogers; Damian Lynch, Ian Bermingham, Conor Kenna, Noel Haverty; Ryan Guy, David McAllister (Sean Stewart, 81), Gareth O'Connor (James O'Brien, 88), David Mulcahy; Derek Doyle, Danny North (Paul Byrne, 88)
Subs not used; Derek Pender, Chris Bennion
Referee; Tom Connolly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Danny North.