Town go down but there are encouraging signs
THERE was plenty to encourage Drogheda Town manager Pete Brennan after his side gave Senior outfit Glebe North a scare in this Charlie Cahill Cup tie on Friday evening.
The Marian Park outfit are still looking for their first competitive win of the season, but on this performance it won't be long in coming and they will be looking to carry this momentum into next Sunday's Leinster Senior League Division 1 game away to Verona.
Given Glebe's position in the top tier of the Leinster Senior League, and with home advantage, it was no surprise to see the Balbriggan outfit dominate in the early stages, but they were frustrated by a well-drilled Town defence and there was no sign of a breakthrough in the opening quarter.
The visitors' game plan was to soak up any pressure and then counter-attack, but on the 25-minute mark they were guilty of defending too deep, and when Glebe made progress down the right wing the resulting low cross was turned in from close range.
Town looked for an early response and Glebe's back four were kept busy dealing with the lively Barry Dyas and Padraig McDonagh, but on 38 minutes Town repeated their earlier mistake in defending too close to their own goal and Glebe took advantage of an unconvincing clearance to make it 2-0.
Brennan's side nearly fashioned an instance response as a fine move involving Chris McDonnell and Alan Connor ended with a chance for McDonagh, but the former Albion Rovers striker deflected the ball wide.
Town needed to be more ruthless in attack and on 44 minutes they duly did just that as winger Connor made it four goals from three games with a sweet finish to the top corner following fine approach play from Tadhg O'Brien.
They carried that momentum into the second half and Glebe were fortunate not to concede again, before finally being pegged back on 65 minutes, McDonagh controlling a superb switch pass from Connor on his chest before lashing the ball home for the equaliser.
With the back four of Andy Hickey, Stephen McDonnell, Richard Gibney and Kevin Bull defending stoutly, the Senior club continued to be frustrated - notably on 75 minutes when they were awarded a disputed penalty, only for Emmet Wright in the Town goal to making a diving save low to his left.
Gibney and Bull both had headers from corners which went close to giving Town the lead, and seven minutes from time Town paid the ultimate price as a long-range shot squeezed its way past Wright into the Town net.
DROGHEDA TOWN: Emmet Wright, Andy Hickey, Stephen McDonnell, Richard Gibney, Kevin Bull, Chris McDonnell (Kevin Lee), Danny Coyle, Tadhg O'Brien (Stevie Martin), Alan Connor, Padraig McDonagh, Barry Dyas.