Gerard Grimes reports from United Park
A second-half penalty from Sean Brennan sealed the win for Drogheda United at United Park after an action packed first half that saw five goals scored.
Top Mark Doyle scored twice following Stephen Meaney’s opener but there was just a goal in it going into the last ten minutes as Stephen O’Leary and Cian Leonard were on target for the Rams.
Meaney gave Drogheda the lead on eight minutes as Brennan won the ball and played in the striker, who clipped the ball over Paul Hunt to give the home side the lead.
That lead lasted less than a minute though as Cobh attacked down the right and a ball into the box was flicked on by Cameron Harlson for O’Leary, who made no mistake, heading in from close range.
Drogheda were back in front just four minutes later as a short corner to Chris Lyons saw the forward deliver the ball low into the box to Doyle, who finished first time on his right foot into the far corner.
Doyle hit double figures for the season just before the half-hour mark as Brennan’s corner to the near post saw Luke McNally’s shot blocked on the line.
The ball sat up for Meaney and his shot ended up dropping for Doyle, who fired in from close range.
Meaney almost had his second a minute later as he won the ball in a challenge on the edge of the box and took a touch but fired just wide of Hunt’s far post.
It was Cobh who got the fifth goal in an action packed first half, from a set piece seven minutes before the break.
A free kick from the left was delivered into a crowded box and Leonard rose highest to nod the ball into the far corner to bring Cobh right back into the game.
Cobh started the second half the brighter as Ian Turner delivered a dangerous looking low ball from the right but just failed to find the two Cobh players on the edge of the six-yard box.
Leonard had the first shot of the second half, from a free kick after being fouled by McNally on the edge of the box, but the Cobh forward failed to hit the target from 25 yards.
Drogheda had two chances on the hour mark as the right sided pairing of Meaney and James Brown got the better of Stephen O’Connor.
First, Brown beat the Cobh full back and lifted a ball to the back post but Chris Lyons couldn’t get his head to it.
Lyons had another chance seconds later as Meaney beat O’Connor and drilled a low ball across the box towards Lyons but the Drogheda forward, sliding in, was inches away from getting his foot to it.
The Boynesiders hit the woodwork two minutes later as Brown again delivered a ball from the right and Doyle rose highest to head against the post.
James Clarke was there for the follow up but could only direct his effort straight into the arms of Paul Hunt.
With 15 minutes to play, Chris Lyons held the ball up on the left before cutting the ball back to Meaney in the box.
Meaney’s shot looked comfortable for Hunt but the Cobh keeper dropped the ball before claiming it on the line at the second attempt.
Drogheda sealed the win with ten minutes to play as Charlie Fleming fouled Chris Lyons in the box and referee Paul Tuite pointed to the spot.
Sean Brennan stepped up and made no mistake, sending Hunt the wrong way to restore Drogheda’s two goal lead and move the Boynesiders second in the league.
Drogheda United: Luca Gratzer; James Brown, Luke McNally, Luke Gallagher, Conor Kane; Luke Heeney, Sean Brennan, James Clarke (Eoin McPhillips 81); Stephen Meaney, Mark Doyle, Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Paul Skinner (gk), Kevin Farragher, John Barry, Ryan O’Shea, Cian Kavanagh, Jordan Adeyemo.
Booked: Luke McNally (52), Mark Doyle (57), Luke Heeney (92).
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt; Stephen Christopher, James McSweeney, Charlie Lyons, Stephen O’Connor; Ian Turner (Brian Murphy 71), Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Fleming, Stephen O’Leary; Cameron Harlson, Cian Leonard.
Subs not used: Adam Mylod (gk), Eoin O’Donovan, Michael O’Rourke, Matt Lambe, Jamie O’Sullivan.
Booked: Stephen O’Leary (41), James McSweeney (70), Charlie Lyons (87).
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Attendance: 500 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Stephen Meaney (Drogheda United).