Sean Thornton fights for the ball in the season opener against Bray.
# returning hero
An ex-Premier League midfielder created the winner as Drogheda's dream start continues
Sean Thornton’s free kick was turned home to give the home side all three points.

Drogheda United 3-2 Sligo Rovers

Drogheda United turned their good start to the SSE Airtricity League season into an excellent one at United Park, with Neil Yadolahi’s second half header enough to secure a 3-2 win over Sligo Rovers.

Dinny Corcoran’s seventh minute goal was a deserved fruit of Sligo’s early labours as fresh from last week’s credible draw with Cork and an 8-0 EA Sports Cup win in midweek, they started brightly.

Both of these sides have undergone significant overhauls in the four month off-season, with new managers in in charge in each dugout. Of the 22 starters the last time these two met in September, only seven lined out here. That is the nature of the League of Ireland though.

Every week you’re bound to come up against a former hero or stalwart and for Sligo so far this season, they’ve proved a thorn in their side. Last week, a late strike from ex-Bit O’Red Ross Gaynor denied Owen Heary’s side all three points.

Here, not long after Dinny Corcoran’s seventh minute strike had put Sligo in front, their former striker Daryl Kavanagh got between Peers and Stephen Folan to head in an equaliser from Jason Marks’ cross.

At that point, Drogheda looked likely but Sligo worked their way back into it. Their second came from a set piece. As with the first, Russell provided the delivery for Peers to head past Micheal Schlingermann. It looked like it might make the long trip back west all that more sweet.

However, Cathal Brady – moved from right wing to right back for a time after the break – sprung free and his shot beat Ryan Coulter and the post for 2-2.

Six minutes later, the game was won. Sean Thornton – the United Park returning hero – delivered a free kick that was flicked on by Neil Yadolahi. The young defender’s touch flew over Coulter and into the net to send the home crowd into raptures.


DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Mick Daly, Alan Byrne, Neil Yadolahi, Joe Gorman, Stephen Maher, Sean Brennan (Lee Duffy, 78), Sean Thornton, Cathal Brady (Michael Scott, 86), Jason Marks, Daryl Kavanagh.

Substitutes: Dylan Connolly, Lloyd Buckley, Shane Dunne, Michael Scott, Carl Walshe, Lee Duffy, Tiernan Mulvenna.


SLIGO ROVERS: Ryan Coulter, Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Stephen Folan, Danny Ledwith, Kevin Devaney, David Cawley, Johnny Russell (Sander Puri, 86), Steven Beattie, Raffaele Cretaro (Morten Nielsen, 77), Dinny Corcoran.

Substitutes: Ciaran Kelly, Eoin Wearen, Sander Puri, Morten Nielsen, Keith Ward, Jake Dykes, Ryan McManus.

REFEREE: Robert Harvey

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