Saturday 25 January 2020

Flood winner dampens St Pat's title bid

JOHN FLOOD struck a late winner as managerless Drogheda caused a major upset at Hunky Dorys Park by completing a famous double over high-flying St Pat's.

The Boynesiders, with reserve team boss Darius Kierans in charge on a temporary basis, outplayed and out-fought the Inchicore side who missed a chance to return to the top of the table with this defeat.

In a scrappy opening, the best chance fell to the visitors when Drogheda 'keeper Paul Skinner completely missed Ryan Guy's through ball, leaving Vinny Faherty with an empty goal in front of him. However, young left-back Eoghan Osborne managed to get a foot in to deflect the ball away from danger.

On 29 minutes it was Pat's 'keeper Gary Rogers pressed into action, saving at point-blank range from Flood's flick after Conor Kenna's poor header back to his colleague. But Rogers was helpless from the resulting corner as Crowley rose highest to head Joe Kendrick's kick to the net.

The Drogs threatened to double their lead on 37 minutes as Flood got the better of Shane Guthrie before crossing for Gareth O'Connor, whose close-range volley flew narrowly wide. Then, in the second and final minute of first-half stoppage time, the visitors levelled when Faherty rose to head Derek Doyle's free-kick to the net.

When Osborne failed to appear for the second half, forcing Drogheda into a reshuffle, the impetus seemed to be with the Inchicore men, but they were subdued, and it was the home side who had the first real chance as Flood's header was saved.

Pat's boss Pete Mahon emptied his bench as his side pressed for a winner, but it was Drogheda who struck when Flood steered in Kendrick's cross. Pat's had one last chance but sub Alex Williams shot across the face of goal.

DROGHEDA -- Skinner; Treacy, McNally, Kendrick, Osborne (Smyth 46); B McGill, Crowley, O'Connor, E McGill, R Brennan (Kerr 90); Flood.

ST PAT'S -- Rogers; Pender (Lynch 16), Guthrie, Kenna, Bermingham; Guy, Mulcahy (McAllister 80), S Byrne, Doyle; P Byrne, Faherty (Williams 83).

Ref -- Alan Kelly (Cork).

Irish Independent

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