Sunday 17 December 2017

Hoops sunk by sucker-punch

Drogheda United 2 Shamrock Rovers 1

Shamrock Rovers Samul Bone shapes to launch the ball ahead of Drogheda United's Mark Doyle. Photo: Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers Samul Bone shapes to launch the ball ahead of Drogheda United's Mark Doyle. Photo: Sportsfile

Drogheda United ended a five-match run without a league victory thanks to a last-minute goal in a thrilling finale last night.

Sean Thornton's first-half penalty looked to be enough for United but Graham Burke's spot-kick levelled matters in the 89th minute.

Shamrock Rovers' Graham Burke celebrates his goal against Drogheda United. Photo: Sportsfile
Shamrock Rovers' Graham Burke celebrates his goal against Drogheda United. Photo: Sportsfile

However, there was late drama as Ryan McEvoy got his head to Thornton's free-kick. The ball took a touch off a Shamrock Rovers defender before beating Tomer Chencinski.

The visitors went close early on through Ronan Finn's header and Dave McAllister's goalbound effort.

Thornton earned Pete Mahon's strugglers the penalty in the first half. The midfielder was brought down by Sam Bone in the area and he picked himself up to open the scoring.

After the break, Rovers had chances to equalise through Trevor Clarke and sub Sean Boyd and eventually drew level when referee Rob Rogers pointed to the spot and Burke netted from 12 yards. In the protests, Sean Brennan was red-carded.

Referee Rob Rogers sends off Drogheda United's Sean Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile
Referee Rob Rogers sends off Drogheda United's Sean Brennan. Photo: Sportsfile

But the hosts weren't to be denied. McEvoy headed home in injury-time to give Drogheda their first home win over Rovers in the league in 12 years.

Drogheda Utd - McGuinness; Deasy, Gallagher, Farragher, Dunne; Purdy, Thornton, Hyland; G Brennan (S Brennan 39), McCaffrey (McEvoy 89), Doyle (Byrne 81).

Shamrock Rovers - Chencinski; Madden, Lopes (Meenan 67), Devine, Clarke; Webster, McAllister (Boyd 61), Finn; Bone (Doona 76), Shaw, Burke.

Ref - R Rogers (Dublin)

Irish Independent

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