Connor Malley celebrates his 65th-minute goal. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Wee Win

Dundalk take Louth derby spoils as Drogheda fail to make dominance count

Connor Malley scored against the run of play and the hosts missed a penalty late on at Weavers Park.

Drogheda United 0

Dundalk 1

DUNDALK TOOK THE Louth derby spoils on the short trip back up the M1 to Oriel Park as they somehow beat Drogheda United at Weavers Park.

The home side dominated from start to finish but two decisive moments in each penalty area decided the first derby clash of the season. Connor Malley’s 65th-minute goal came totally against the run of play.

When it seemed a late penalty would hand Drogheda a route back into the contest and give them at least a point against their fierce rivals, Nathan Shepperd denied Freddie Draper from 12 yards.

Those players, officials and supporters in claret-and-blue will wonder long into the night and beyond how their team failed to take anything from a game in which they were the superior team throughout.

Their failure to net against Dundalk may speak to goalscoring problems. Six games into the season, the sample size of matches is too small to judge that for now.

It remains to be seen whether Kevin Doherty will take any solace from a brave, gallant performance. Goals and points are the aim of the game. What is not in dispute is how impressively his thriftily assembled team performed against a much more fancied outfit.

darragh-markey-and-johannes-yli-kokko Drogheda’s Darragh Markey and Johannes Yli-Kokko of Dundalk. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Dayle Rooney was a constant threat in the opening 45 minutes while Darragh Markey probably should have scored after stealing the ball from Andy Boyle. Instead, he blazed over with the onrushing Nathan Shepperd in his eyeline.

Dundalk offered next to nothing as an attacking unit in that first half. Finnish midfielder Johannes Yli-Kokko’s off-target effort as close as they came.

Not much changed after the break either. Emmanuel Adegboyega and Rooney had chances for the hosts, buoyed by a bolshy and boisterous sold-out home crowd.

Malley’s goal was an outlier, an act completely out of whack with the way the game played out. Malley delivered the sucker punch, curling in a fine effort after good work from Boyle and Rayhaan Tulloch on the left.

nathan-shepperd Dundalk goalkeeper Nathan Shepperd. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The Drogs thought they were back in it late on. Darragh Leahy tripped the superb Dylan Grimes in the area. Freddie Draper, the on-loan Lincoln City striker, stepped up. Nathan Shepperd denied him, diving brilliantly to his left to palm away the penalty.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Elicha Ahui (Michael Leddy, 85), Emmanuel Adegboyega, Conor Keeley, Evan Weir; Gary Deegan; Dylan Grimes, Darragh Markey, Ryan Brennan, Dayle Rooney; Freddie Draper (Warren Davis, 90+3).

Dundalk: Nathan Shepperd; Archie Davies, Wasiri Williams, Andy Boyle, Darragh Leahy; Greg Sloggett (Hayden Muller, 90+3), Connor Malley; Johannes Yli-Kokko (Ryan O’Kane, 58), Rayhaan Tulloch (Robbie Benson, 82); Cameron Elliott (Alfie Lewis, 58), Patrick Hoban (John Martin, 76).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel