Sunday 21 April 2019

Kelly delighted to hit the heights against Cobh

At six foot three Drogheda defender Ciaran Kelly cuts an imposing figure and the 19-year-old made the most of his frame on Friday night to bag his fourth league goal this season for the Boynesiders. It was a crucial strike as The Drogs secured a 2-1 win at home to Cobh Wanderers.

Since signing for the Boynesiders this year from St Pats, Kelly has been a mainstay in the starting XI. Speaking after Friday's win, Kelly singled out a team mate for thanks in helping him score his 15th minute goal.

"It was a great corner by Richie Purdy but Chris Lyons did well to block off the keeper, obviously my first shot was parried but Chris did really well and luckily I could react quickest and head the ball home, so yeah I have to thank Chris for the goal," he laughed.

Drogheda adopted the tactic early on to pump balls into the box and try and use Kelly's height advantage as Cobh keeper Paul Hunt seemed to be struggling with the sun in his eyes.

"We noticed that early on with balls going into the box, and obviously with me being so tall, there was no-one really marking me so it was great to get the first goal and obviously I had a few chances after that."

The Boynesiders would soon be pegged back in somewhat controversial circumstances and Kelly, like most in attendance, was of the opinion that it was a very harsh call to award a penalty against Kealan Dilllon.

"I think it was very harsh, his hand was down and I think more so it hit his torso then his hand, but his hand certainly wasn't out. And you could see by the players' reactions and the fans reactions, there was no-one really looking for the penalty, but I think it was very harsh."

It was another defender, Luke Gallagher, who scored the winning goal, capping off a great night's work for the back four.

"It was great, that's the thing, if our strikers aren't doing it one week then it's great that the defenders can chip in with a few goals and obviously if we can't keep a clean sheet then the strikers can score also."

Cobh made it difficult for Drogheda late on with the introduction of some big subs, "They threw on a few big lads and made it difficult for us at the end, but I think Paul Skinner had a great game and he made some crucial saves and thank god we only conceded the penalty."

This game always had the chance of being a much more tricky affair, "Having beaten them well in the first game we played against them we knew it wouldn't be the same again as they have had some good results recently, so we weren't going to take them lightly.

There were two water breaks in the game, "It was very warm, but you adapt to it. We had been training all week in that weather and you get used to it and you keep your concentration and dig it out and that's what we did."

With some big games on the horizon Kelly says Drogheda will be on somewhat of a revenge mission.

"We have two massive games coming up now. Shels and Finn Harps and I think they are the two who are likeliest to finish closest to us, so if we can get three points against Harps and three against Shels that would be huge, especially Finn Harps as we feel we owe them one. "

Drogheda Independent