Freddy Draper (file photo). Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
On Target

Double from Draper secures win for Drogheda against UCD

The win moves Drogheda up to seventh.

Drogheda United 3


Barry Landy reports from Weavers Park

A BRACE FROM in-form Freddie Draper handed Drogheda United victory over UCD at Weavers Park, a result which sees his side leapfrog Sligo Rovers into seventh in the Premier Division.

Such a position is lofty stuff for Drogheda, who have spent much of the last season-and-a-half marooned in eighth place in the league – above the relegation scraps but trailing behind their mid-table rivals.

That is in large part down to their inconsistency. This win over the Students secured back-to-back league wins for the first time in almost exactly a year. That sequence, interestingly, also included victory against champions Shamrock Rovers. Drogheda are a very capable team indeed.

Their recent upturn in fortunes owes much to teenage hotshot Draper, who has notched five goals in his last six outings now. United fans will cross fingers and toes his loan from Lincoln City can be extended until the end of this campaign.

As well as his three-minute double at the end of the first half, he laid on Dylan Grimes’ second half clincher too. Adam Wells had given UCD an early lead but they couldn’t sustain a bright start.

They too are marooned, but at the foot of the table, and they would happily swap for United’s lower midtable obscurity.

After fine work from Ciaran Behan and Daniel Norris, Wells’ supplied an excellent sidefoot finish to find the bottom corner. UCD were unlucky not to double their lead almost instantly. Jake Doyle rattled the crossbar seconds after the game restarted.

Bar chances for Behan and sub Michael Gallagher in the second half, they didn’t come anywhere near as close again.

Draper issued the Students’ defence a warning as to his prowess twice going close before he did eventually find the net. Luke Heeney won the ball midfield and surged forward. Darragh Markey provided the pass to Draper. He timed his run correctly and slotted past the advancing Kian Moore.

The UCD stopper was beaten again minutes later when the striker lobbed him from inside the area. He had been afforded too much space. Draper’s knockdown for Grimes to tap in completed a productive evening for him and secured a rare pair of wins for his team.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Elicha Ahui, Emmanuel Adegboyega, Conor Keeley, Aaron McNally; Luke Heeney (Matthew O’Brien, 90+1), Ryan Brennan; Dylan Grimes, Darragh Markey, Dayle Rooney; Freddie Draper (Adam Foley, 77)

UCD: Kian Moore; Jack Keaney, Harvey O’Brien, Evan Osam (Colin Bolton, 72); Donal Higgins (Michael Gallagher, 53), Dara Keane (Matthew Alonge, 73), Ciaran Behan, Alex Nolan (Brendan Barr, 58); Daniel Norris, Jake Doyle (Danu Kinsella-Bishop, 72).

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan

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