Cup for Cooke as Hooped dreams of silverware ruined

Shamrock Rovers 1 Drogheda United 3

Cup for Cooke as Hooped dreams of silverware ruined

Shamrock Rovers 1 Drogheda United 3

Drogheda United’s excellent season got tangible reward at Tallaght Stadium as they deservedly lifted the EA Sports Cup for the first time in 28 years to inflict further misery on Shamrock Rovers.

While it was Drogheda boss Mick Cooke's first trophy as a manager, it marked an inauspicious first game in charge for Rovers' boss Brian Laws who also saw his team finish with ten men.

A slow burner of a game finally caught fire on 21 minutes when Rovers missed a terrific chance to take the lead.

Ciaran Kilduff’s lay off put Ronan Finn in on goal but the midfielder’s low drive was straight at the feet of keeper Gabriel Sava.

It was a bad miss Rovers would rue as Drogheda took the lead on 32 minutes when Gavin Brennan’s low cross in from the end line was turned home at the near post by man-of-the-match Declan “Fabio” O’Brien.

Drogheda doubled their lead two minutes before the break when Philip Hand’s low corner was punched by keeper Oscar Jansson against right-back Kerrea Gilbert with the ball ricocheting to the net for an own goal.

Rovers looked to have got back into the game on 59 minutes when Killian Brennan found the top corner with a brilliant free-kick.

But Drogheda hit back within two minutes. A clearance from Colin Hawkins ran kindly for the in-rushing Eric Foley whose drive deflected off Hoops’ skipper Stephen Rice to wrong-foot Jansson and hit the back of the net.

Left-back Conor Powell being shown a straight red for pulling down O’Brien in a last-man challenge on 72 minutes just about summed up Rovers' evening.

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