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Keith Ward grabs hat-trick as Bohemians scalp Drogheda

Stevie Folan scores late winner against Derry to boost Galway United’s survival hopes

Bohemians’ Keith Ward celebrates after scoring his second goal during the Airtricity Premier League match against Drogheda United at United Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Drogheda United 1 Bohemians 4

A spectacular Keith Ward hat-trick ensured a miserable night for Drogheda as Bohemians cruised to a 4-1 win at United Park as both teams finished with 10 men.

Drogheda’s first and only chance of a drab first half came when Shane Supple spilled a Thomas Byrne free early on but Chris Mulhall could only hook it back across goal.

Ishmail Akinade almost broke the deadlock when his diving header connected with a Derek Pender cross but Stephen McGuinness scrambled the ball wide.

The visitors had a series of chances before breaking the deadlock on 10 minutes when Keith Ward let fly from 25 yards to beat McGuinness. Ward added a second just before half-time when he was played through and beat the goalkeeper at his near post.

Keith Long’s side were reduced to 10 men when Oscar Brennan picked up a second yellow card early in the second half. Drogheda followed suit on the hour mark when Chris Mulhall was shown a straight red for an off the ball incident with Rob Cornwall.

The visitors then scored two wonder goals. Ward bagged his hat-trick with another long range effort on 64 minutes but he was outdone 60 seconds later by Dinny Corcoran who lobbed McGuinness from 45 yards to make it 4-0.

The hosts added a consolation on 69 minutes when Thomas Byrne played through sub Seán Brennan and he beat Supple from close range.

DROGHEDA UNITED: McGuinness, Elworthy, Mulcahy, Dunne, Kane (Purdy, 28 mins), Wixted, Hollywood (S Brennan, 59 mins), Bayly (Elliot, 63 mins), Gallagher, Byrne, Mulhall

BOHEMIANS: Supple, Morris, Cornwall, O’Hora, Pender (Casey, 71 mins), Ward, Sule, Brennan, Akinade (Gannon, 58 mins), Corcoran (O’Connor, 82 mins), Kavanagh.

Referee: Robert Hennessey (Limerick)

Galway United 2 Derry City 1

Stevie Folan cracked home a late winner to give Galway United’s hopes of staying the Premier Division a huge boost at Eamonn Deacy Park.

The game seemed to be heading for a draw, which was of minimal value to either side with Derry battling for an European spot.

Galway hit the front after 14 minutes when Kevin Deveney fired home from inside the box after a deflection fell kindly for him.

But Derry’s excellent passing game got them back in contention and they never panicked.

They got on level terms 13 minutes from the break when the impressive Rory Patterson finished from close range with a fine shot to the net.

Both sides had chances after the restart to hit the front with Patterson going close to edging Derry in front.

At the other end Gavan Holohan and Ronan Murray had chances but couldn’t hit the target.

The game seemed to be heading for a draw when Folan struck for the winner 13 minutes from time.

Galway forced a couple of corners in quick succession and the experienced Folan pounced to drill home the winner from inside the box and secure a vital win in their battle to stay in the top flight.

GALWAY UNITED: C Winn; C Horgan, N Maher (A Byrne, 21 mins), S Folan, M Ludden; K Devaney, R Hale, D Cawley, G Holohan (C Melody, 92 mins), R Murray; P Cunningham (E McCormack, 72 mins).

DERRY CITY: G Doherty; L Schubert (J McIntyre, 84 mins), E Toal, A Barry, C McDermott; H Monaghan, N Low, B McNamee, B Doherty (C Farren, 84 mins); R Patterson, R Curtis.

Referee: Ray Matthews (Kerry).