Wednesday 22 November 2017

Gavan Holohan's early strike turns up heat on Rovers

Shamrock Rvs 0 Drogheda Utd 1

Gavan Holohan, Drogheda United, in action against Gary McCabe, Shamrock Rovers
Gavan Holohan, Drogheda United, in action against Gary McCabe, Shamrock Rovers
Cathal Brady, Drogheda United, in action against Kieran Waters, Shamrock Rovers
Ronan Finn, Shamrock Rovers, in action against Daire Doyle, Drogheda United

DROGHEDA goalkeeper Micheal Schlingermann made a string of second-half saves to frustrate Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium as the pressure mounted on Hoops' boss Trevor Croly.

Gavan Holohan's early goal gave Drogheda a big win which moved them up to eighth in the table and afterwards the Rovers' fans vented their anger at Croly and the club's board.

Boos and chants of "we want Croly out" and "sack the board" rang out as Rovers blew a chance to move to within three points of second-placed Cork City.

Enjoying plenty of possession, Drogheda forced three early corners as they started positively.

And it wasn't long before Rovers' sluggish start was punished as Drogheda deserved their 15th-minute lead for what proved the only goal of the game.


A long throw-in from Daire Doyle was merely helped on off the head of a Rovers defender and Holohan's crisp volley went in off the crossbar and goalkeeper Barry Murphy.

That spurred Rovers into life and they almost levelled from their first corner of the game on 22 minutes.

Sean O'Connor's delivery came off a Drogheda player for skipper Conor Kenna at the back post. His header, though, was straight at Schlingermann.

Three minutes later O'Connor showed poor composure as he blazed over the top after Ronan Finn put him in. Drogheda were causing Rovers problems when they got forward and they wasted a gilt-edged opening to double their lead on 28 minutes.

Gavin Brennan set up Carl Walshe, who showed good feet to skip past Kenna only to slice wildly over the bar.

Croly wasn't liking what he was seeing and he made a tactical switch in the hope of bringing a bit of impetus to his side with Marty Waters replacing Shane Robinson and Gary McCabe moved to play in the hole behind the striker.

It scarcely made an impact as Rovers somehow avoided falling a second goal behind in first-half stoppage-time.

Murphy saved his side with three good stops from Walshe, Gary O'Neill and then Holohan in turn in a right goalmouth scramble.

Rovers fans booed their side off at the interval and that was followed by chants of "sack the board". Hoops fans did get behind their team in the second half with Ciaran Kilduff soon brought in as they went two up top in chasing the game.

The big striker almost levelled on 58 minutes, surging past two defenders from Finn's pass before his shot was deflected to safety by Schlingermann.

The big Drogheda goalkeeper was worked twice more by McCabe with long-range drives soon after as Rovers upped the pressure.

And Schlingermann was there again to produce the save of the night on 85 minutes, turning Karl Sheppard's close-range shot on the turn over the bar for a corner.

Shamrock Rovers – Murphy; Madden, Kenna, McGuinness, Osam; Bayly, Robinson (Waters, 39); McCabe, Finn, S O'Connor (Kilduff, 54); Kelly (Sheppard, 67).

Drogheda United – Schlingermann; Doyle, McNally, McGuigan, Grimes; Daly; Brady (S. O'Connor, 77), Holohan, G Brennan, Walshe; O'Neill (O'Brien, 80).

REF – G Kelly (Cork).

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