Bayly's wonder goal makes mockery of Rovers crisis talk
Drogheda United 0
Shamrock Rovers 2
It seems ludicrous now that just over a week ago Shamrock Rovers were being talked about in terms of crisis.
Back-to-back wins over Bohemians and Drogheda United have propelled the Hoops up the table and, with Gary Twigg off the mark for the season, all appears well again for Michael O'Neill's men.
After 45 minutes of fruitlessly trying to find a way through the Drogheda defence, Robert Bayly decided to go over it -- with great success.
The former Sporting Fingal midfielder received the ball in space after James Chambers and Chris Turner combined to find him and he spotted Paul Murphy a yard off his line and curled a delightful right-footer into the top corner.
The moment of pure class enlivened the game --the closest either goal had come to being threatened in a dull first half was an Ollie Cahill chip that cleared Murphy's bar.
Having gone behind, Alan Mathews' men began to attack as the game became more open and Glen Fitzpatrick fired the ball over on two occasions.
Billy Dennehy spurned a chance for a second headed goal in successive Fridays when he nodded Aidan Price's flick straight at Murphy, and Joe Kendrick's well-struck free-kick had Alan Mannus beaten but was just cleared the angle of the goal.
Paul Flood missed a glorious opportunity with a free header and, as United pushed forward deep in injury time, Twigg latched on to Sean O'Connor's raking clearance and stayed cool to round Murphy and score.
DROGHEDA UNITED -- Murphy; King, McNally, Kendrick, Treacy; Martin, Daly (Daly 89), O'Connor, Crowley, Flood; Fitzpatrick.
SHAMROCK ROVERS -- Mannus; Flynn, Murray, Price, Murphy; Dennehy (Barrett 90), Chambers, Bayly, Turner, Cahill (O'Connor 77); Stewart (Twigg 67). REF -- A Buttimer (Cork).