Drogheda Utd 1 UCD 1
UCD climbed off the bottom of the Premier Division for the first time in five months courtesy of a well-deserved point earned against Drogheda United at Head In The Game Park.
The Students’ recent victory away at Sligo’s Showgrounds, just a second win all season, was just reward for their efforts of late but they leapfrogging Finn Harps in the standings with this draw in what could be a result for Andy Myler and his young team.
It was a defeat to Drogheda back in March that saw UCD fall to the foot of the table so returning to the same venue and leaving with a more positive outcome as the season enters its final stretch will be meaningful. Whether it represents a tide turned is another matter.
Teenager Thomas Lonergan scored his fourth goal in five games to secure the share of the spoils on Boyneside.
He has taken to the task of filling the goalscoring voids of the departed Liam Kerrigan and sidelined Colm Whelan in thoroughly impressive fashion.
The striker was a constant menace to the United defence as the visitors grew into a game initially dominated by Kevin Doherty’s team. They had taken a third minute lead when Adam Foley slotted in from Darragh Markey’s cross.
It was a cheap concession after UCD goalkeeper Lorcan Healy had handed possession straight to Drogheda.
Lonergan’s goal arrived in first half injury time. Dara Keane’s deflected shot fell perfectly for the 18-year-old to sweep his shot into the net.
Drogheda Utd: McCabe; Poynton, Quinn, Cowan, Massey; Deegan, Nugent (Noone, 72); Foley (Grimes, 72), Markey, Rooney (Lyons, 64); Williams (Brennan, 64).
UCD: Healy; Dunne, Gallagher, Todd, Osam; Keane, Higgins (Brennan, 74), Caffrey, Ryan (Dignam, 74); Duffy (Nolan, 89), Lonergan.
Referee: R Harvey.