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Drogheda come out on top of six-goal thriller for first win of season

Over 2,000 supporters were treated to a cracking game at Head In The Game Park.

Drogheda manager Kevin Doherty celebrates with the fans after the game.
Drogheda manager Kevin Doherty celebrates with the fans after the game.
Image: Tom Maher/INPHO

Drogheda United 4

UCD 2

Barry Landy reports from Head In The Game Park

DROGHEDA UNITED EARNED their first win of the season as they came out on top as over 2,000 supporters were treated to an exciting six-goal clash at Head In The Game Park.

As part of an initiative to get more supporters to take in some League of Ireland fare on a Friday night Drogheda United offered free tickets to all for this encounter – forgoing matchday revenue in the hope that it would have much longer-term benefits.

2,024 – including Crystal Palace’s Killian Phillips – were on Boyneside to see six goals and many will surely return.

Chris Lyons got off the mark for the season with two first half strikes while Gary Deegan’s opener was his first goal for the club. Dean Williams joined that club in the second half, either side of consolation efforts from Sam Todd and Liam Kerrigan.

Starting the season with two defeats, some pondered whether Drogheda would find themselves involved in a relegation scrap this year. A game against promoted UCD is a yardstick on which to measure such assumptions.

New boss Kevin Doherty will be pleased by how efficient his team were in front of goal. Deegan was in the right place to claim a loose ball on the edge of the area and he swept a fine effort just inside Lorcan Healy’s right-hand post. Four minutes later, he found Lyons in a similar position.

The striker expertly turned his marker and then fired a rising shot into the net. The hard running of Lyons and Darragh Markey was proving difficult for UCD to handle.

Lyons’ second arrived just before the interval. He met Georgie Poynton’s hanging cross at the back post.

Andy Myler’s team didn’t look like scoring in the first half but should have pulled one back early in the second. Evan McCaffrey failed to keep his sidefoot shot on target.

They did when Sam Todd turned in a corner minutes later. Drogheda, however, were never unduly concerned and they soon regained their three-goal lead.

So fierce was the impressive Dean Williams’ strike for United’s fourth, it made a hole in the netting that needed repairing before play was restarted. Anything Myler could do to fix UCD’s performance came too little, too late.

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There was still time for Liam Kerrigan’s lob to hit the net. Drogheda goalkeeper Colin McCabe failed to collect a cross and left his goal open. Kerrigan made no mistake with a smart finish over a group of defenders and into the open goal.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Sean Roughan (Keith Cowan, 74), Mark Hughes, Dane Massey; Georgie Poynton, Gary Deegan, James Clarke (Darragh Nugent, 63), Evan Weir; Darragh Markey (Dayle Rooney, 76); Dean Williams, Chris Lyons.

UCD: Lorcan Healy; Evan Osam, Eric Yoro, Sam Todd, John Ryan; Jack Keaney, Adam Verdon (Danny Norris, 46); Liam Kerrigan, Evan Caffrey (Adam Lennon, 76), Dylan Duffy (Donal Higgins, 46); Colm Whelan.

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan

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