Daniel North struck twice in the top-of-the-table clash as leaders Sligo Rovers ended Drogheda’s 10-match unbeaten run in fine style.
Sligo almost broke the deadlock when Gavin Peers nodded Raffaele Cretaro’s centre goalwards and North flicked the ball narrowly wide at the far post. Mark Quigley then saw a 30-yard effort deflected narrowly wide, and so it was no surprise when the Bit O’ Red hit the front on 10 minutes. Cretaro swung in another corner and Jason McGuinness’s header was blocked on the line by Derek Prendergast, but Peers stooped to nod the rebound past Gabriel Sava.
The keeper then failed to hold a cross by Gaynor aimed for North but he was saved by left-back Shane Grimes, who booted the ball clear.
Drogheda had a decent spell midway through the half and Sean Brennan — whose brothers Ryan and Gavin were ruled out through sickness — and Declan O’Brien had shots blocked but the visitors extended the lead on 35 minutes. David Cawley swung a great pass out to Gaynor and his super cross reached North, who flicked a classy finish past Sava.
Just when the game seemed to be ebbing away from Drogs, Declan O’Brien popped up at the near post to nod past Gary Rogers from Shane Grimes’ left-wing cross. And O’Brien almost hauled Drogheda level on 58 minutes, his diving header from Brian Gannon’s cross flying a foot wide of the opposite upright.
Sligo sealed the points with a third goal on 80 minutes, North tucking the ball away from close range from a clever Quigley pass.
DROGHEDA UNITED: Sava; Quigley, McNally, Prendergast, Grimes; Mulvenna (Brady 72), Gannon, Foley, M O’Brien, S Brennan (Marshall 89); D O’Brien.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Boco, Peers, McGuinness, Davoren; Cretaro, Ventre, Cawley, Gaynor; Quigley, North (Lynch 90).
Referee: Damien Hancock (Dublin).
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