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Dublin: 3°C Wednesday 14 April 2021

Demolition derby as Towell nets 4 in Dundalk's rout of Drogheda

It was a one-sided affair at Oriel Park.

Towell tore Drogheda apart tonight.
Towell tore Drogheda apart tonight.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dundalk 6

Drogheda 0

WHILE ONLY A very short drive up the M1 separates the two sides who annually contest the Louth Derby, this was a match between teams heading in very different directions.

As it stands, there’s worlds between them.

What Drogheda would give for a player of Richie Towell’s calibre. While the visitors lined up with Sean Thornton and Keith Treacy in their side, neither could get near Towell at Oriel Park. He plundered four second half goals as Dundalk blew Drogheda United away.

Last season, Stephen Kenny’s men were 7-0 winners against United at the Carrick Road venue.While this result was one goal short, what was not lacking was just how comprehensive winners the champions were.

You’ll struggle to see a more one-sided game in the League of Ireland this season – or any season.

Ironically, for all the possession Dundalk had, they struggled to create any chances of any note prior to Daryl Horgan’s 28th minute opener. Infact, Drogheda had tested Gary Rogers in the opening minute.

Treacy’s free kick was met by the head of Robert O’Reilly but the defender’s flick was easily held by the goalkeeper.

Sean Thorntan appeals a decision It was a miserable night for Sean Thornton and Drogheda. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

That was as good as it got for Mark Kinsella. In just his second game in the dugout as Drogheda’s caretaker manager, he could do nothing to stop the irrepressible Dundalk force. For the first half hour, they toiled but held out.

Then, Towell showed some nifty footwork in the penalty area before pulling back for Horgan. The winger opened the scoring against Sligo Rovers last week, and did so again here. His low shot was precise and powerful.

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Five minutes after the restart, Dundalk doubled their lead. This time, their roles were reversed. Horgan’s run brought him deep into Drogheda territory and he laid the ball off for Towell who shot low past Micheal Schlingermann.

Stephen Kenny’s men don’t tend to lose two goal winning margins and there was little expectation that would start against Drogheda but any slight hopes of a comeback where extinguished completely when Jason Marks saw red on 55 minutes for chopping down Sean Gannon in full flight.

Moments later, Towell’s penalty made it three before David McMillan – fouled for the spot kick – got in on the act with a neat volley from close range. Just three minutes later, Towell completed his hat-trick when he curled a shot beyond Schlingermann’s reach and into the top corner on 76 minutes.

Stephen Kenny celebrates Stephen Kenny's side are now within touching distance of back-to-back titles. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

In injury time, Towell plundered his fourth to pile on the misery for the Drogheda fans on their short journey home. That was his 23rd goal of the season, an exceptional record from central midfield. With Dundlak now 11 points clear at the summit, their best player is a shoo-in for the end of season awards.

Drogheda’s goal difference is now -24, the same as resurgent Limerick. They now lie just two points clear of the relegation play-off positions and play three of the top five in their final four games.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Dane Massey, Chris Shields, Richie Towell, Ronan Finn (Sean Maguire, 81), Darren Meenan (John Mountney, 73), Daryl Horgan, David McMillan (Ciaran Kilduff, 77).

DROGHEDA UNITED: Micheal Schlingermann, Mick Daly, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Joe Gorman, Stephen Maher, Sean Thornton (Mark Hughes, 69), Sean Brennan (Robert Bayly, 61), Adam Whelan, Keith Treacy (Lee Duffy, 57), Jason Marks.

Referee: Rob Rogers

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About the author:

Barry Landy

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