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10-man Bohemians defeat Drogheda in game mired by controversy

Derek Prendergast, who was sent off, appeared to be the victim of mistaken identity

Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Drogheda United 0

Bohemians 1

MARC GRIFFIN’S LATE goal earned 10-man Bohemians an unlikely victory over Drogheda United at United Park but the game was dominated by two refereeing decisions that had tempers boiling over down by the Boyne.

Bohemians centre half Derek Prendergast, who was sent off, appeared to be the victim of mistaken identity — in the news recently with high profile instances in the Premier League across the water — in the first half, before Drogheda were awarded a highly debatable spot kick as the opening period edged into additional time.

While Daryl Kavanagh’s tame effort was well saved by Dean Delany, the earlier incident couldn’t be so easily rectified and left a fuming Keith Long overseeing 10 men for 70 minutes of the game.

First, Prendergast saw yellow for dragging down Kavanagh as he tore towards the area but moments later when Cathal Brady was fouled in a similar position, Prendergast was shown a second yellow and then red by referee Paul McLaughlin — despite left-back Lorcan Fitzgerald appearing to be the player guilty of committing the foul.

After a lengthy debate that involved assistant referees, fourth official Tomas Connolly and an irate Bohs bench, McLaughlin stood by his decision and former Drog Prendergast walked, leaving Bohs with a huge task.

The game itself was lively but lacked real quality in truth. Though missing key close season signings in Sean Thornton and Neil Yadolahi, Drogheda’s recent record against the Gypsies bode well for a result with the Louth side having lost just one of the last 11 encounters between the sides in all competitions.

The sending off would have given them extra belief and they so nearly held a first-half lead when the referee pointed to the spot in the first minute of additional time at the end of the first half. Harshly, Anto Murphy was judged to have taken down Stephen Maher but the excellent Delany read Kavanagh’s spot kick and claimed it cleanly to ensure it was level at the break.

Despite the numerical disadvantage, Bohs took it to Drogheda in the second half and stood toe to toe with their opponents. Paddy Kavanagh played Dean Kelly through and from a tight angle, he beat Micheal Schlingermann but not the post.

Drogheda’s chances were mostly from range. Mick Daly and Stephen Maher forced saves from Bohs stopper Delany before Lee Duffy’s brilliant chip beat the keeper only for Fitzgerald to clear off the line.

Three minutes from time, Griffin got on the end of Kealan Dillon’s through ball and dinked cheekily over Schlingermann to secure a very, very unlikely — but welcome — three points for the Gypsies.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Mick Daly, Alan Byrne, Lloyd Buckley, Joe Gorman, Stephen Maher, Lee Duffy, Michael Scott (Sean Brennan, 56), Cathal Brady, Mark Hughes (Shane Dunne, 67), Daryl Kavanagh.

Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Robert O’Reilly, Carl Walshe, Matthew Rooney, Tiernan Mulvenna.

BOHEMIANS: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Keith Buckley, Anto Murphy, Paddy Kavanagh, Robbie Creevy, Adam Evans (Kealan Dillon, 84), Dean Kelly (Marc Griffin, 78).

Substitutes: Lee Steacy, Karl Moore, Jason Byrne, Stephen Best, Adam Wixted.

REFEREE: Paul McLaughlin

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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