Gerard Grimes reports from United Park
Drogheda United beat Athlone Town 4-2 at United Park despite a second half fightback from the visitors to record their fifth win in a row in the league.
Drogheda hit the woodwork with the first chance of the game as Lyons controlled the ball well on his chest, played it to Heeney who struck the bar from 20 yards.
Athlone then had two chances of their own, the first coming through a defensive mistake by Drogheda.
That allowed Athlone captain Aaron Brilly in on goal but he was denied the opener by a good save from Luca Gratzer, who palmed the ball onto the post.
Gratzer was forced into another save a minute later to deny Simon’s low strike from close range.
The opener for Drogheda came just before the half hour mark as James Brown was able to control a switched ball.
He took a touch and cut the ball back into the box to the onrushing Sean Brennan who fired by Myles to give Drogheda the lead.
The second goal came on 36 minutes as Chris Lyons looked to start a counterattack but instead held the ball up to wait for support.
He found Sean Brennan who drove forward and let fly from range. Myles spilled the shot and Chris Lyons was there to find the bottom corner from close range.
Drogheda netted a third goal three minutes before the break as Lyons saw his shot saved, after being played in by Heeney.
Lyons won the ball back on the byline and found Heeney six yards out with the midfielder making no mistake, finding the far corner to score his first goal for Drogheda.
Dean Williams had a chance to get a goal back just before the break for Athlone as he found himself unmarked in the box but headed straight at Gratzer from six yards.
Athlone had the first chance of the second half as they again hit the post, this time through Dean Casey who saw his low effort bounce back off the inside of the post before Drogheda cleared their lines.
Athlone did get a goal back on 62 minutes as substitute Evan Pierce capitalised on a misplaced pass and one-on-one with Gratzer, slotted by the keeper.
The visitors were right back in the game two minutes later through Kaleem Simon. The midfielder found himself in acres of space and beat Luca Gratzer with a strike from 25 yards to narrow the gap to one.
However, Drogheda found a fourth to seal all three points with their first real chance of the second half, in the 82nd minute.
Sean Brennan’s free was dropped by Athlone keeper Myles and James Clarke tapped in from close range to net Drogheda’s fourth of the game.
Drogheda United: Luca Gratzer; James Brown, Luke Gallagher, Luke McNally, Conor Kane; Mark Hughes (Kevin Farragher HT’), Cian Kavanagh (Eoin McPhillips 80’), Sean Brennan (C); Luke Heeney, James Clarke, Chris Lyons.
Subs not used: Dan Grace (GK), Sean Trimble, Jordan Adeyemo.
Athlone Town: Aaron Myles; Lloyd Buckley (Evan White HT’), Rhys Gorman, Gavin Kearney (Ciaran Grogan 86’), John Morgan; Kaleem Simon, Shane Dunne, Aaron Brilly (C), Kealan Dillon (Evan Pierce 54’), Dean Casey; Dean Williams.
Subs not used: Garmondeh Ta-Uway (GK), Shane Stokes, George Mukete, Dean George.
Referee: Tomas Connolly.
Attendance: 400 (est)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Luke Heeney (Drogheda United).