Deadly Drennan's double delight for Rovers
Mikey Drennan is getting used to scoring winning goals for Shamrock Rovers. His two tonight ended their scoreless run at home as they stay on the coat-tails of early leaders Dundalk. Sub Brandon Miele also got a late third on his debut.
Drennan got the winner for Rovers in their 2-1 victory over Sligo ten days ago and he had his shooting boots on again in Tallaght last night to see off a Galway United team who have just three points from their opening six matches.
Rovers had failed to score in their previous two home games against Cork and Bohemians. This win maintained their unbeaten start to the season as they moved to within a point of Dundalk, who play bottom team Limerick tomorrow.
The opener came in the 18th minute and it was a Galway mistake that let Rovers in as they failed to deal with Simon Madden's long ball.
Goalkeeper Conor Winn rushed from his goal and then hesitated at the edge of his box, he wanted the ball to come in so he could pick it up, but should have volleyed it clear. That indecision allowed Gavin Brennan to get to the ball ahead of the ex Rovers 'keeper to head it into the path of Drennan who had the simple task of prodding the ball into the empty net.
Keith Fahey, Ryan Brennan and Drennan himself all missed chances to extend Rovers' lead before they eventually got the second goal in the 68th minute.
David O'Connor found the ex Aston Villa striker and his shot deflected in off
Galway defender Andy O'Connell.
Drennan then missed a great chance for his first League of Ireland hat-trick minutes later, Winn saved his low shot after more good Rovers' play.
Miele replaced Gavin Brennan with six minutes left, and finished into the top corner in added time with one of his first touches to make it 3-0.
Galway are finding life back in the Premier Division difficult. They scored 52 goals winning promotion via the play-offs last season and lost just five matches all season. They have now lost five of their first six games this term. Their lack of goals or wins will not have impressed fan and President Michael D Higgins who was at the game.
Galway finished with ten men after Mark Ludden's 77th minute red card. Their play lacked ambition and confidence although they did create some chances to equalise but couldn't find a way past Rover's 'keeper Craig Hyland.
Jason Molloy missed their best chance of the game, his low shot was well saved by Hyland to preserve his fifth clean sheet in six games.
Galway play Sligo, Limerick and Bray in three of their next four games and know they need to add to their points tally in those matches against the teams around them.
Their stats for the new season don't make pleasant reading - Five defeats, three points, just three goals scored and maybe most tellingly, four red cards in their opening six matches.
Rovers remain unbeaten and will be aiming to beat Derry City next Friday which will set up the following week's massive home match against Dundalk.
They had actually started the game slowly in a stadium that lacked any real atmosphere. The game lacked intensity and Ryan Brennan's shout of "lets get a bit of tempo going" summed up perfectly what The Hoops and their fans needed to do.
The Hoops had played Dublin derbies against St. Pats and Bohemians as well as hosting Cork City in their opening three home games. Over 4,000 turned up each of those matches. There was nowhere near that number at this game.
Danny North's knee injury meant he missed the game. They missed his scoring touch in the recent games but in Drennan, they have a young player with bags of pace and energy. The former Aston Villa man has got crucial winning goals against Sligo Rovers and now Galway in North's absence.
Pat Fenlon spoke about needing to change his team's mentality as he wants more games at home this season.
Those words will be ringing in the players' ears as they host leaders Dundalk in their next home game in two weeks.
SHAMROCK ROVERS – Hyland; Madden, Webster, Kenna, D O'Connor; G Brennan (Miele, 84), Cregg, R Brennan (McPhail, 71), Waters (S O'Connor, 71); Fahey; Drennan.
GALWAY UTD – Winn; Horgan, O'Connell, Garcia, Ludden; Molloy (Connolly, 58), Sinnott (Rafferty, 92), Byrne, Shanahan; Curran (Cunningham, 58); Keegan.
ref – Rob Rogers (Dublin)