Drogheda Utd began their defence of the EA Sports Cup with a comprehensive win over Longford Town in Hunky Dory Park on Monday night.
How to sum up this game; Drogheda Utd were good and clinical in front of goal while Longford Town were dreadful and didn’t compete at all. It could’ve been a lot worse for the First Division side with Drogs missing a hatful of chances as well as a penalty saved by keeper Paul Hunt in the second half.
With games coming thick and fast for both clubs there was a lot of changes to the starting line-ups from their previous games; Drogs made nine while Longford made seven. It was the Drogs players who certainly pleased their manager while for Longford very few impressed with regular Noel Haverty their best performer by a long way.
Drogs took the game to Longford right from the start; inside the opening five minutes Dean Gaynor and Paul O’Conor both had chances. Longford should’ve been warned and in the 10th minute The Boynesiders broke the deadlock; a lovely ball in from Jason Marks found Gaynor at the far post and he made no mistake.
Eight minutes later and the home side very nearly doubled their advantage and it was a similar move to the one that yielded a goal, Peter Hynes with the cross to Gaynor at the back post, he decided to play the ball across the goal and Des Hope did well to block the danger.
In the 26th minute Drogheda got their second and it was terrible defending once again from Longford as Jason Marks, the provider of the opening goal, was on the mark and with the Longford defence all over the place Mick Cooke's side sensed they could get more goals and their third came three minutes later; Gaynor with the cross from the right for Marks to finish from close range.
With the ball being in the Longford half for almost all of the first-half, the visitors were unable to create any chances or look likely to conjure up something but in first-half stoppage time they very nearly pulled a goal back; a corner from the right was swung in but Hope flashed his header wide.
Longford made changes at half-time to try and get back into the game but it was the home side who started the second-half brightly, Hynes’ stinging shot from distance brought a good save out of Hunt.
In the 53rd minute The Drogs were awarded a penalty when Keith Quinn bundled over Hynes in the box. Marks stepped up to take the kick but Hunt dived to his right to deny him his hat-trick. Six minutes later and once again Hynes was upended in the box by Willo McDonagh, he dusted himself down and made no mistake with the spot-kick to make it 4-0.
Drogheda went on the attack again in the 61st minute but Hunt made a fine save from Graham Rusk. In the 68th minute Longford created a chance but Haverty headed over from a Daniel Purdy free. Five minutes later Drogheda got goal number five, defender Alan McNally with the finish. It got even worse for Longford minutes later when they conceded their 6th goal, this time Rusk getting his name on the scoresheet.
In the final few minutes Purdy flashed his shot wide while Drogheda were guilty of missing a few chances but the game already won at that stage.
Longford Town: Paul Hunt; Chris Deans, Des Hope (Willo McDonagh 46), Brian McCarthy (Willie Tyrell 71), Keith Quinn; Noel Haverty, Keith Gillespie (Daniel Purdy 46), Gavin Doyle, David O’Neill, Michael Isichei; Josh O’Hanlon.
Subs not used: Chris Bennion, Gary Shaw, David O’Sullivan, Mark Salmon.
Booked: Brian McCarthy (20), Keith Quinn (42).
Drogheda Utd: Gabriel Sava; Michael Daly, Alan Byrne, Alan McNallt, Shane Grimes; Jason Marks (Gavin Brennan 76), Paul O’Conor (David Cassidy 65), Eric Foley, Dean Gaynor (Cathal Brady 67); Peter Hynes, Graham Rusk.
Subs not used: Michael Schlingermann, Stephen Quigley, Philip Hand, Ryan Brennan.
Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin).
Extratime.ie man of the match: Jason Marks (Drogheda Utd).