Dundalk 2-1 Drogheda United
It is common for teams caught between two European ties to lose focus on the bread and butter of normal league action. However, while Dundalk were missing eight players who would normally be challenging for a place in the starting eleven Dundalk overcame a strong challenge from Drogheda United in Oriel Park last night to win the Louth Derby.
Dundalk lined out again without Peter Cherrie, Liam Burns and Michael Synott through injury but received a boost when Nathan Murphy was passed fit to start at left-back. Ross Gaynor, Garry Breen, Ciaran McGuigan and Michael McGowan were all suspended for this fixture and the influential JJ Melligan was absent after his departure from the club.
Drogheda shocked the home crowd when they took the lead after just eight minutes. Eoghan Osbourne crossed from the left for John Flood, who scored twice for Dundalk in the Jim Malone Cup against Drogheda in February, to control the ball before applying a simple finish past Gregg.
Dundalk equalised after 22 minutes with a contender for Dundalk FC goal of the season. Neale Fenn produced a perfectly weighted through ball for Tiarnan Mulvenna who crossed magnificently for Stephen McDonnell to truly introduce himself to the Dundalk supporters with a superb header past Paul Murphy. It’s a goal that will be worthing watching on the new DFCTV highlights!
Dundalk took the lead just before half-time when Fahrudin Kudozovic sent Tiarnan Mulvenna straight through on goal. Mulvenna put just about enough power on his shot for it to sneak under Murphy’s body and then over the line with Drogheda defenders close to retrieving the situation.
Dundalk produced a battling peformance in the second half to seal the points with Wayne Hatswell and Tom Miller particularly impressive in the centre of defence. Former Dundalk player Jamie Duffy went close with a header while Joe Kendrick forced Matt Gregg into a good save from a direct free-kick. Drogheda believed they had earned a point when Flood headed home after a scramble in the six-yard box. However, to the relief of the Dundalk fans the assistant referee had his flag for offside raised before the ball crossed the line.
Dundalk: Matt Gregg; Shaun Kelly, Tom Miller, Wayne Hatswell, Nathan Murphy; Stephen Maher, Alan Cawley, Stephen McDonnell ( Breen 82); Tiarnan Mulvenna, Neale Fenn, Fahrudin Kudozovic.
Drogheda United: Paul Murphy, Eoghan Osbourne, Joe Kendrick, Alan McNally, Eric McGill; Paul Crowley, Garreth O’Connor, Mick Daly, Ryan Brennan, Kevin Ross (Duffy 54); John Flood.