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Monday, July 16, 2012
Drogheda United, down to 10 men for most of the second half after the dismissal of Ryan Brennan, leapfrogged St Patrick’s Athletic into second place in the Premier Division with victory at Richmond Park yesterday.
St Pat’s, perhaps weary after their exertions against IBV in the Europa League in Iceland on Thursday, were always playing second fiddle as Mick Cooke’s men moved within six points of leaders Sligo Rovers.
Drogheda had the perfect start on 10 minutes when a Pat Flynn back-pass was miskicked by goalkeeper Barry Murphy into the path of Gavin Brennan, who shot home from close range.
The visitors went close to doubling their lead four minutes later when Alan Byrne headed a Philip Hand cross off the post, with Murphy beaten.
Striker Stephen O’Flynn went close to an equaliser for Pat’s on 32 minutes but after being played in by James Chambers, he turned and fired in a shot from 30 yards which rebounded off the crossbar with keeper Gabriel Sava helpless.
Murphy came to the home side’s rescue with two excellent saves just prior to the interval when first getting down to grab a Declan O’Brien header before pushing away a Cathal Brady effort.
Drogheda were reduced to 10 men on 48 minutes when Cork referee Graham Kelly showed the red card to Brennan after a needless foul in midfield on Chambers. O’Flynn had one effort which flashed across the face of goal and then Gabriel Sava pushed over a long-range effort from Ger O’Brien as Pat’s pushed forward.
Defender Ian Bermingham wasted the chance of an equaliser when heading wide at the far post on 67 minutes from a teasing cross from O’Brien.
Pat’s could not make their numerical advantage pay and were rocked back on 75 minutes when Drogheda claimed a second goal.
A Byrne effort was not cut out by substitute keeper Brendan Clarke and Peter Hynes was able to squeeze the ball home from close range.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Murphy (Clarke 45); G O’Brien, Flynn (Browne 44), Price, Bermingham; Bolger, Chambers, Carroll; Forrester, O’Flynn, Kelly (Flood 64).
DROGHEDA UNITED: Sava; McMahon, McNally, Prendergast, Hand; Brady (Hynes 53), Crowley, Byrne, G Brennan (Marks 68); R Brennan, D O’Brien.
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).
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