League of Ireland

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Holohan and O'Brien get Drogs off hook after Cockhill scare

Published 07/06/2014|02:30

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Robbie Horgan may be clinging on as Drogheda United manager, but his side's win has bought him more time. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Robbie Horgan may be clinging on as Drogheda United manager, but his side's win has bought him more time. Photo: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

Substitute Gavan Holohan spared Drogheda United's blushes and possibly saved manager Robbie Horgan's job as his goal effectively fired the Boynesiders into the third round.

Drogheda United 4 Cockhill Celtic 2

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Declan O'Brien also had a big hand in the victory as he completed his hat-trick in the dying seconds against an impressive Cockhill side.

The Boynesiders got off to a dream start when O'Brien found the net after only 42 seconds, sending a low shot trickling into the net after latching onto Gary O'Neill's clever chip.

But a couple of half-chances to extend their lead weren't taken and the non-league side hauled themselves level in controversial circumstances on 20 minutes.

Alan McNally conceded a penalty for a foul on Mark Moran and Gerry Gill rolled the perfect spot-kick beyond the reach of 17-year-old keeper Dylan Connolly.

The second period was only 37 seconds old when Cockhill grabbed the lead goal in bizarre fashion. A free-kick was swung in from the left and Connolly's attempted punch clear struck Cockhill centre-forward Gerard McLaughlin on the back of the head and the ball bounced into the empty net.

Drogheda should have levelled in the 59th minute when O'Brien got a firm header to Daly's cross, but Gavin Cullen went full-length to his right to parry and then blocked Gavin Brennan's follow-up effort.

To add to Drogheda's woes, they had left-back Shane Grimes stretchered off with an ankle injury, but O'Brien hauled them level on 72 minutes when he bundled the ball in from close range.

The comeback was complete when substitute Holohan shot home after Gary O'Neill's initial effort was brilliantly parried by Cullen, and right on the full-time whistle O'Brien bagged his hat-trick goal.

Drogheda United – Connolly; Doyle, McNally, Crowley, Grimes (Holohan 69); Brady (Walshe 85), Daly, S O'Connor, Brennan; O'Neill; O'Brien.

Cockhill Celtic – Cullen; K McLaughlin, Havelin, O'Connor, Keddy; Derek Doherty (McKinney 86), McDermott, Bradley, Gill (B McLaughlin 89); Moran (O'Donnell 78); G McLaughlin.

Referee – N Doyle (Dublin).

Irish Independent

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