DROGHEDA Town are heading into the Christmas break on a positive note after claiming their first victory in five games at Station Road in Newbridge on Thursday night.
Pete Brennan's charges had taken one point out of a possible 12 to leave themselves within touching distance of the relegation zone, but this important result gives them a chance of mounting a challenge at the top end of the table in the new year.
Striker Martin Smith was prominent for the Boynesiders in the early stages, and after being fouled 20 yards out it was he who fired them ahead from the resulting free kick with a fine strike to the top corner in the 29th minute.
The only other clear opportunity of the half fell to Steven Campbell who had a shot deflected behind for a corner.
Newbridge, who had only lost twice previously this season, pushed forward in the second half but found the Drogheda defence in uncharacteristically resolute form as they held on to complete a clean sheet for the third time in 14 games. At the other end, Smith had another long-range effort saved and Derek Kierans was foiled by a last-ditch tackle as he prepared to pull the trigger after advancing into the box.
Assistant boss Kieran McDonnell said: 'We were delighted with the win. The previous week there were two mistakes for the two goals and we were shooting ourselves in the foot, but this time we played very well.
'It puts us up there four points behind the second-place team and it's all to play for, but we shouldn't forget that we're only five points ahead of the relegation zone as well!'
Weather-permitting, Town will keep busy over the Christmas period with two friendly matches, ahead of the Leinster League's resumption on January 5th.
Jason Lowney, Chris McDonnell, Alan Connor, Anto McGuinness, Kevin Bull, Steven Campbell, Danny Coyle, Richard Gibney, Davie McDonnell, Martin Smith, Derek Kierans. Subs: Dean Gaynor, Barry Dyas.