The Boynesiders host Finn Harps at United Park on Monday night in what is a rescheduled game from the opening day of the season.
That match was called off after the referee deemed the illumination from the floodlights unsatisfactory. New floodlights have since been installed, and got their first use in Drogheda’s 2-2 draw with Galway last Friday night.
The Boynesiders were 2-0 down at the break after a quickfire Eoin McCormack brace but goals from Mark Doyle and Luke Gallagher either side of Colm Deasy’s red card saw the ten-man Drogheda earn a point.
“We didn’t start well at all,” admitted United boss Tim Clancy speaking to the club’s official website. “The first-half performance was the complete opposite of our other games, we couldn’t keep the ball and Galway fully deserved their advantage.
“I asked the lads for a reaction at half-time and we were brilliant in the second-half. We didn’t let Galway settle on the ball and once we pulled a goal back, I could feel the equaliser coming. It gives us great momentum going into tomorrow’s game.”
Drogheda lined out in a 4-2-3-1 formation but at the break Clancy made two changes and switched the formation to a 3-5-2, a change which brought about a much-improved Drogheda performance.
“We felt that Galway had too much time on the ball and wanted to press them higher up so the change in system allowed us to go two up front and stopped them playing out from the back.
“We also needed fresh legs so we could pick up the tempo. You make changes in the hope that they have an impact and thankfully this time they paid off,” Clancy said.
Clancy will be without the injured Sean Brennan and suspended duo Lee Duffy and Colm Deasy, the latter of whom saw red against Galway, for the game against Harps – a side Clancy says are capable of beating any side in the First Division.
“I think the way we came back against Galway should give us a lot of belief not only for Monday but for the rest of the season.
“We were the ones who were finishing the game the stronger and that’s a testament to the fitness of the group. Playing twice in four days is never easy but when they’re high profile fixtures like these, you can’t wait to get back out on the pitch.”
“Ollie (Horgan) has put together a really strong squad who are capable of beating any side in the First Division but I have complete faith that we’ll give them a real game,” Clancy said.
Harps travel to Drogheda on Monday night looking for their second win in four days following Friday’s victory over Wexford.
Michael O’Connor’s strike after 68 minutes was enough for Harps to beat ten man Wexford and move level with Drogheda, Longford and Shelbourne on seven points.
After a delayed start to the season with the opening day fixture against Drogheda postponed, Harps kicked off their season with a 1-1 draw against Shelbourne.
A 2-0 victory away to Cobh Ramblers, thanks to two goals in the final ten minutes from John O’Flynn and Ciaran O’Connor followed before Friday night’s victory over Wexford.
Despite his side claiming all three points on the night against Wexford, manager Ollie Horgan wasn’t best pleased with the performance from his side, stating that a huge improvement will be needed to claim any result in Drogheda.
“We were glad to get the victory but the team will have to improve hugely to get even a draw against Drogheda.
“They showed their pedigree by being able to come back from two goals down to get a draw against a very good Galway side on Friday night,” Horgan told the club’s official club website.
Drogheda and Harps played each other three times in the league last season.
There were nine goals scored in those three games between these sides.
Drogheda won both games in Finn Park, beating Harps 2-0 and 3-2 while Harps beat Drogheda 2-0 at United Park.
Drogheda United 1/1; Draw 12/5; Away 11/4.
Drogheda United 2-1 Finn Harps
Injured: Sean Brennan.
Suspended: Lee Duffy, Colm Deasy.
Injured: Gareth Harkin (knee), B.J. Banda, Liam Walsh.
Doubtful: Paddy McCourt (calf), Sam Todd (head), Eric Whelan (groin).