Drogheda kicked off with a strong breeze behind them and immediately forced a corner from which they scored. Gavin Brennan and David Cassidy worked a quick set-piece and the latter’s driven cross was powerfully headed home by Michael Daly.
To their credit, Bohs quickly recovered from this early blow and gained a foothold in the game, and they finally created a chance of note on 17 minutes when Keith Buckley’s corner kick was headed over by Roberto Lopes.
But Drogheda remained on top and it came completely against the run of play when Bohs forced an equaliser on 36 minutes. Dwayne Wilson turned Derek Prendergast in the centre circle and raced clear before drilling a low shot past keeper Gabriel Sava.
The visitors quickly found themselves back on the defensive, though, and after Paul O’Conor cracked a shot off the bar he restored Drogheda’s lead on 41 minutes, scoring at the second attempt after his initial shot was blocked on the line.
Just before half-time a Gary O’Neill chip came back off the woodwork as Drogheda pushed for a third goal, and that near miss became significant on 53 minutes when Ryan McEvoy buried a shot past Sava after superb play by Andy Mulligan to prevent the ball running out and then set up his colleague.
Mulligan then slipped at a crucial moment when he looked certain to put Bohs ahead, before Eric Foley grazed the crossbar with a free kick for Drogheda.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Sava; Gannon, McNally, Prendergast, Grimes; Rusk, Cassidy, O’Conor, Daly,G Brennan; O’Neill.
Subs: Foley for O’Conor (64min), O’Brien for Rusk (74min), Hynes for O’Neill (86min).
BOHEMIANS: Delaney; Lopes, Mulcahy, Byrne; Barker, Mulligan, Pender, McEvoy, Buckley; Lyons, Wilson.
Subs: O’Leary for Wilson (87min), Devanney for Lyons (90min).
Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).