Scored: 87'- Brian King 87'
Derry controlled most of the game without ever making it count and while the visitors didn't bring much to the table in terms of attacking prowess or entertainment, they were never really under too much pressure either. Defending in numbers, they worked hard for each other and although David Scullion and Ger O’Brien both stretched the full back, Ian Ryan, on a number of occasions, the area was always suitably crowded and the crosses were so poor that Paul Skinner in the Drogheda goals had a comfortable and quiet enough game.
Scullion looked lively from the start for the hosts and created the first chance of the game on four minutes when he lifted a ball over the top for Mark Farren who really should have done better with the ball dropping over his right shoulder. Minutes later he was causing the Drogheda rearguard more bother as he jinked right and then left to round Alan McNally but the move ended there as the final ball was lacking. The final ball was in fact lacking all night.
Derry’s best move of the game came on 21 minutes as they turned quickly from defence to attack. Hutton found O’Brien advancing down the right wing, he found McGlynn who hit Morrow and back to O’Brien in a display of one touch passing but as the waist high cross came in McNally was quickest to it nipping in before Mark Farren and the chance was gone.
Drogheda responded however and showed they had claws of their own as Robbie Clarke put in the hard work down the wing and fed the ball to Sane Barrett who let fly with a shot from the edge of the box only to see it return off the far upright. This led to a short spell of confidence for the visitors and the small travelling supporters even raised themselves for a song.
The second half amounted to nothing more than a damp squib for forty three minutes.
Stephen Kenny made a few changes midway through the half and re-shuffled the formation to a four-three-three but this proved no more effective. Tam McManus, on for Scullion, won a header or two but didn’t manage to test the keeper. Drogheda front men Jamie Duffy and Shane Barrett had to drop deeper and deeper to help out and give the back line some breathing space.
The game looked to be going a for a stalemate when Brian King rose highest to meet a Ian Ryan cross and nod the ball past a stationary and flat footed Gerard Doherty who honestly hadn’t had to lift a hand all game.
The result will be hard to stomach on Foyleside as the home fans continue to question why they cannot beat the so called weaker teams and now that they’ve surrendered second place in the league. Alan Matthews however will be delighted as the result stretches Drogheda’s unbeaten streak to six, three wins three draws – twelve points from the last 18.
Derry City - Doherty; O'Brien, Delaney, Hutton, McCallion (McClean 80); Scullion (Molloy 57), Higgins, McGlynn, Stewart (McManus, 57); Morrow, Farren.
Drogheda United - Skinner; Ryan, McNally, Kenna, Clarke; King, Crowley (Chambers, 27), Shiels, Martin (McGill, 77); Duffy, Barrett. (Woods, 90)
Man of the Match (official) - Gareth McGlynn (as voted for by the fans - but before the goal went in!)
Referee: - Mr P Tuite (Dublin).