Drogheda in danger


Derry city substitute Darren McCaul sent Drogheda United hurtling towards the First Division when his 81st-minute winner at the Brandywell yesterday extended his side's six-match unbeaten league record.

Kevin Mahon's men got off to the perfect start when Johnny McIvor broke the deadlock after just nine minutes, but afterwards Derry struggled to build on that lead and kill this game off.

Derry were made to pay for their complacency in the 27th minute. Greg O'Dowd floated corner was headed clear of the area but the ball dropped perfectly into the path of the advancing Darren O'Keeffe whose rightfoot volley crashed into the Derry net.

The home side huffed and puffed afterwards and while they dominated the lion's share of the possession, they failed to test Drogheda goalkeeper Gareth Byrne until the latter stages.

With just nine minutes remaining, McCaul brought the attendance to life when he chased after Beckett's pass up the right flank. Having outwitted Foley, the substitute cleverly cut-back inside the area to squeeze his right-foot shot past Byrne.

DERRY CITY: Platt, McCallion, McLaughlin, Hutton, Kelly, Doherty, McCready, Hegarty, Coyle, Beckett, McIvor. Subs: McCaul for McCready (56 mins); Quigley for McIvor, Taylor for McLaughlin (82 mins.)

DROGHEDA UNITED: G Byrne, A Murphy, Boyle, Foley, Maher, O'Keeffe, McDonald, C Murphy, Impey, O'Dowd, M Byrne. Subs: Butler for M Byrne (60 mins).

Referee: P Whelan (Dublin).