Drogheda lay another blow into St Patrick’s title aspirations
Dane Massey with a sumptuous free-kick, Mark Doyle and Adeyemo all on target
Drogheda’s Gary Deegan celebrates his team’s win over St Pat’s with fans watching from outside the ground. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Drogheda 3 St Patrick’s 1
Drogheda United are up to fourth in table after laying another blow into St Patrick’s Athletic’s title aspirations at Head in the Game Park.
Dane Massey’s sumptuous free-kick and Mark Doyle’s fifth of the season put Tim Clancy’s side in control at the break and although substitute Nahum Melvin-Lambert pulled one back eight minutes from time, Jordan Adeyemo killed the game off with a third for the hosts.
Massey got off the mark for Drogheda in last week’s 7-0 rout over Waterford’s Under-19s and the defender continued his streak by smashing home the opener on 22 minutes.
Jamie Lennon incurred a booking for hauling down Chris Lyons, allowing Massey to step up and curl the resultant free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and beyond Vitezslav Jaros into the top corner.
Jake Hyland, who scored the last time Drogheda beat St Pat’s four years ago, succeeded in thwarting the impact of player of the month Chris Forrester as St Pat’s struggled for fluency.
Instead of the visitors pressing to regain their title challenge, it was newly-promoted Drogheda supplying the threat in the final third. Their second goal, on the stroke of half-time, was another fine example of exquisite finishing.
Gary Deegan was at his tenacious best in winning the ball back in midfield and he fed Doyle to embark on a surging run. The striker got a bit of luck along the way by availing of John Mountney’s ricochet but there was nothing fortuitous about his pinpoint rising strike from just inside the box.
Having failed to test David Odumosu once in the first half, St Pat’s finally worked the home goalkeeper on the hour from a Billy King free-kick.
However, it took Melvin-Lambert to sweep home from close-range to set up a grandstand finish which was soon quashed by fellow substitute Adeyemo pouncing after Lee Desmond’s tackle on James Brown rolled into his path.
DROGHEDA UTD: D Odumosu; J Brown, D O’Reilly, D Massey, C Kane; D Markey (J Adeyemo 75), L Heeney (J Clarke 71), G Deegan, J Hyland (R Murray 63), M Doyle; C Lyons.
ST PATRICK’S: V Jaros; J Mountney, S Bone (B McCormack 70), L Desmond, I Bermingham; J Lennon (N Melvin-Lambert 77), C Forrester; M Smith, B King, A Lewis; R Coughlan.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Donegal)