Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Morgan Treacy/INPHO Drogheda United players congratulate Eric Foley after his opening goal.
# Five-Star
Drogheda overcome Dundalk in five-star Louth derby
Five goals and a red card mark the Wee County derby.

Drogheda United 4 Dundalk 1

THERE ARE FEW better ways to kick off a new SSE Airtricity League season than with a Louth derby and the first ever meeting of Drogheda United and Dundalk on the opening day of a league season didn’t disappoint.

Goals from Eric Foley, Gavin Brennan and two from Declan O’Brien handed new Drogs boss Robbie Horgan a dream start in the job and a 4-1 victory over their local rivals ensured Horgan could have asked for little more of his side as they blew Stephen Kenny’s pre-season fancies away.

In an opening period where Dundalk created more chances, Foley’s sensational 25-yard free-kick left Dundalk goalkeeper Peter Cherrie with no chance and had the visitors ruing missed opportunities.

Kurtis Byrne and Daryl Horgan were guilty of letting good chances go begging, with the former Cork City star twice missing the target with the game scoreless.

While Foley’s strike ensured Drogheda lead at the break, minutes into the second half they had a two goal cushion. Gavin Brennan found himself free in the box to sidefoot Daire Doyle’s cross past Cherrie.

It was to get even better for the Claret and Blues three minutes later, when Declan O’Brien opened his account for the season with a smart finish on the turn.

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Pat Hoban headed Dundalk back into the match on 63 minutes but just three minutes later O’Brien stooped low to head in Gavin Brennan’s free kick.

Drogheda had to finish the game with ten men however as Brennan was harshly shown red for taking down Stephen O’Donnell late on.

The defeat spells bad news for Stephen Kenny, whose side have lost their opening three games in all competitions this season and also means Dundalk haven’t won on the opening day since 2010.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Michael Schlingermann (David Ryan, 10), Michael Daly, Shane Grimes, Paul Andrews, Alan McNally, Cathal Brady (Carl Walshe, 74), Gary O’Neill, Gavin Brennan [c], Daire Doyle, Declan O’Brien (Austin McCann, 92), Eric Foley.
DUNDALK: Peter Cherrie, Sean Gannon (John Mountney, 80), Andy Boyle, Chris Sheils, Stephen O’Donnell [c], Patrick Hoban, Kurtis Byrne (David McMillan, 59), Ruaidhri Higgins (Darren Meenan, 56), Dane Massey, Daryl Horgan, Richie Towell.

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