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95th minute Mandroiu winner hands Shamrock Rovers dramatic victory over Drogheda

Mandroiu’s header arrived for the champions in the 95th minute.

Drogheda United 0
Shamrock Rovers 1

Brendan Graham reports from Head in the Game Park

A 95TH MINUTE Danny Mandroiu header saw Shamrock Rovers take maximum points in a really hard fought battle with Drogheda United this evening.

graham-burke-and-the-rovers-backroom-staff-celebrate-their-late-winner Celebrations for Shamrock Rovers after their late goal. Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Changes were made by both managers for the game with Stephen Bradley bringing in Dylan Watts, Sean Hoare, Gary O’Neill and Rory Gaffney and Drogheda starting Luke Heeney, Ryan O’Shea and 19-year-old Killian Phillips making his competitive debut for the club.

It was Rovers who made the better start to the game with Finn and O’Neill busy in the middle probing their way up the pitch in search of that final pass. Aaron Greene went close on ten minutes as he met Watt’s looping cross at the back post but he couldn’t quite get his effort on target.

Drogheda had a fantastic chance to take the lead with fifteen minutes on the clock. Mark Doyle robbed the ball off Sean Kavanagh in the middle of the park. Doyle took off towards goal once he got the ball to his feet. His attempted pass across the box for Chris Lyons was intercepted well by a crucial touch from Lopes to avert the danger.

liam-scales-watches-his-header-hit-the-crossbar Liam Scales watches his header hit the crossbar. Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Daniel O’Reilly’s commanding presence had to be called upon twice in a matter of minutes on the half hour mark, first from Rory Gaffney off the line and moments later he somehow managed to put the unmarked Sean Gannon off enough to see his effort sail off target.

Both defences were on top in the second half with chances hard to come by.

Substitute Graham Burke did brilliantly well to force a last ditch save from Colin McCabe as the game entered the final ten minutes. Burke swung at the ball on the edge of the box and his speculative effort went all the way through to McCabe who had to react at the last second to make the save.

As the game entered the final five minutes Rovers pushed hard for the opening goal of the game. A Sean Hoare near post flick was followed moments later by a Dylan Watts cross that flashed right across the face of goal but there was no green and white hoop there to capitalise.


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drogheda-united-supporters-watch-the-game-from-outside-the-ground Drogheda United fans watch the game from outside the ground. Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Amazingly as the clocked ticked into the 95th minute Danny Mandroiu headed home a Dylan Watts corner at the back post to win the game for the reigning champions with the last play of the game.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; James Brown, Daniel O’Reilly, Hugh Douglas, Dane Massey; Gary Deegan, Killian Phillips, Luke Heeney (Darragh Markey 76), Ryan O’Shea (Jack Tuite 90); Chris Lyons (Brandon Bermingham 69), Mark Doyle.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Liam Scales, Roberto Lopes, Sean Hoare, Sean Kavanagh (Lee Grace 70), Sean Gannon; Ronan Finn (Daniel Mandroiu 70), Gary O’Neill (Chris McCann 58), Aaron Greene, Dylan Watts; Rory Gaffney (Graham Burke 64).

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Brendan Graham

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