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Dublin: 2 °C Friday 15 November, 2019

Holohan helps Drogheda to victory over Hoops

A 1-0 win at Tallaght Stadium means Darius Kierans’ men move up to eighth in the table.

Holohan celebrates his winner.
Holohan celebrates his winner.

Shamrock Rovers 0-1 Drogheda United 

GAVAN HOLOHAN’S goal in the first half earned Drogheda United all three points in their Airtricity League Premier Division clash with Shamrock Rovers tonight.

The Hoops were hoping to close the gap on the teams above them, but instead suffered a defeat that had the home fans booing at full-time while the win sees Drogheda move up to eighth position.

Drogheda were seeking only their third away win of the season, and when Sean O’Connor struck a tame shot wide for the homeside, Darius Kierans’ men began to dominate.

United’s Cathal Brady was up against 16-year-old Evan Osam on the right side, and he raided forward on several occasions, before winning the throw-in that led to the only goal.

Daire Doyle sent in a low-flying throw that was poorly headed on by Robert Bayly to Holohan, and he manoeuvred his body to strike a half-volley in off the crossbar from six-yards.

Gavan Holohan  25/72014 Holohan scores for Drogheda. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Simon Madden and Gary McCabe on the right were providing what seemed to be the only channel of attack for the homeside, and when the latter set up O’Connor on the edge of the box, he blazed over.

That poor strike along with some wayward passing and lack of ball retention resulted in the home crowd venting their disapproval with 30 minutes played, and Trevor Croly introduced Kieran Marty Waters to replace Shane Robinson soon after.

However, the threat from the Drogheda thrown-ins continued, and the visitors almost had a second when the ball somehow found its way into the six-yard box.

Conor Kenna was on hand to clear his lines for the Hoops, but as the half came to a close Drogheda really should have made it 2-0.

Gary O’Neill teed up Carl Walshe to shoot, and after Murphy had saved his initial strike, the winger headed the ball back across goal.

Time seemed to stand still for a moment, with both sets of players thinking it was going over, but it didn’t, and O’Neill reacted quickest, forcing Murphy to punch the ball away.

Having produced only half-chances on front of the United goal, Rovers’ attack was bolstered by the introduction of Ciaran Kilduff with nine minutes of the second half played, and he almost made an instant impact.

Ronan Finn’s weighted pass was gobbled up by the striker, and after dancing through tackles from Alan McNally and Daire Doyle, he saw his shot saved by Michael Schlingermann.

Kilduff was soon involved again when his cushioned chest pass to McCabe allowed him to blast a shot straight at Schlingermann, and another followed a minute later, which was also saved.

Dean Kelly with Daire Doyle 25/72014 Dean Kelly of Rovers with Daire Doyle of Drogheda. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Trevor Croly made his final substitution with 25 minutes left to play, introducing Karl Sheppard for Dean Kelly, but Drogheda dug in.

Sheppard did have a point-blank shot brilliantly saved by the impressive Schlingermann late on, and McCabe was also denied from a free-kick in injury-time.

However, it was the likes of Alan McNally and Ciaran McGuigan that ensured Darius Kierans picked up his second win in his role as care-taker manager.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy, Osam, Kenna, McGuinness, Madden, Bayly, Robinson (Waters 39), Finn, McCabe, Kelly (Sheppard 67), S O’Connor (Kilduff 54). Substitutes: Hyland, D O’Connor, Byrne, Brennan, Waters, Kilduff, Sheppard.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Schlingermann, Daly, Grimes, McNally, Brady (S O’Connor 78), O’Neill (O’Brien 80), Brennan, McGuigan, Holohan, Walshe, Doyle. Substitutes: Connelly, O’Brien, Kierans, Reilly, C O’Connor, S O’Connor, Mahon.

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Simon Walsh

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