League of Ireland round-up: Drogheda boost survival hopes against Cork

Limerick gain a lifeline with Galway win while Bohs keep slim European dream alive

Dean Jarvis scored Derry City’s second in their 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell. Photograph: Inpho

Dean Jarvis scored Derry City’s second in their 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Brandywell. Photograph: Inpho

 

Drogheda United 1 Cork City 1

Drogheda United’s survival hopes were given a massive boost as they held Cork City to a 1-1 draw at United Park on Friday night.

Drogheda were gifted the opener on eight minutes when Dan Murray attempted to pass back to Mark McNulty only for Keith Treacy to nip in and poke the ball past the helpless ’keeper.

Cork wasted no time in drawing level, having forced a corner the ball was cleared to Gavan Holohan who pumped it back into the box for Karl Sheppard to head home. Cork had a succession of corners to take the lead in the first-half but couldn’t trouble the Drogheda keeper.

The Boynesiders came to life after the re-start when Keith Treacy hit the target from a free-kick only for McNulty to save. Joe Gorman almost headed into his own net on 53 minutes, the post saved his blushes.

Adam Whelan and Mick Daly both had long range efforts tipped over as the Boynesiders pushed for a winner. A rare McNulty error almost gifted Duffy a goal on the hour mark but luckily for keeper the ball bounced behind the striker.

Stephen Beattie headed just behind at the back post from a corner, but Cork’s set pieces weren’t really working in the second half.

Derry City 3 Bray Wanderers 1

Patrick McEleney may have netted another spectacular strike at the Brandywell last night, but it was Conor McCormack who played no small part in Derry’s win over Bray.

Protecting a back four minus the services of Ryan McBride and Aaron Barry, McCormack produced a disciplined performance to help his side move back into the top half of the table.

And while team boss, Paul Hegarty, will not suggest that Derry are now clear of relegation issues, this win will prove significant with three games remaining.

Mark Timlin got the home side off to the best possible start when he diverted Barry McNamee’s pass firmly into the net from 20 yards after just four minutes.

And full-back, Dean Jarvis, then stooped low to head a Stephen Dooley corner into the net in the 10th minute, the home side off to a flying start.

Graham Kelly came close to reducing the deficit on the half-hour, but the Bray midfielder was denied by Ger Doherty, the Derry keeper pushing the ball around the post at the expense of a corner.

However, eight minutes later the home side really should have put the game out of Bray’s reach, but keeper, Peter Cherrie, did well to parry Ciaran O’Connor’s shot in the one-on-one situation.

Chris Lyons headed agonisingly wide minutes before the break, Derry entering the break on the front foot.

Bray, however, battled their way back into the game in the 53rd minute, the home side conceding a particularly soft goal.

Full-back Ben McLaughlin played a very loose pass towards McCormack before Kelly ghosted in on the blind side to drive a low shot beyond the reach of a startled Doherty.

And Bray went close to levelling matters minutes later when Ryan McEvoy’s goal-bound shot was blocked by a Derry defender inside the six yards box.

But Bray heads began to drop in the 61st minute when Patrick McEleney produced yet another one of his wonder strikes to restore his side’s two goals cushion.

With the visitors failing to adequately clear their lines, McEleney regained possession before curling a delightful effort into the top corner giving keeper, Cherrie, no chance.

Galway United 1 Limerick FC 3

Vinny Faherty struck twice against his hometown club as Limerick carved out a deserved win at Eamonn Deacy Park which gives a huge boost to their hopes of staying in the Premier Division.

The 28-year-old Galway native brought his tally for the season to eleven to keep Limerick’s survival hopes alive and ensure a nervous finish to the campaign for Tommy Dunne’s men.

Ian Turner bagged their other goal, while Sam Oji’s equaliser after half-time wasn’t enough for Galway.

Limerick got on top from the outset and could have taken the lead had Faherty maintained his composure when he was clear through inside the opening minute.

Stephen Walsh played the ball back to his goalkeeper Conor Winn, but even when the United shot-stopper scuffed his clearance, the deadlock wasn’t broken.

However, Faherty made amends in style after 17 minutes when he punished Colm Horgan’s wayward pass.

He jinked past Oji and curled a superb effort into the far right corner.

The sizeable Limerick travelling support were in full voice and it was 1-0 to Limerick at half-time.

Faherty came to Limerick’s rescue early in the second-half, when he denied Stephen Walsh at the back post.

Dave O’Leary went close for the hosts as they pushed for an equaliser, and it duly arrived on the hour.

Ryan Connolly swung in another corner, the ball pinged around the penalty area, and Oji headed home.

Galway weren’t level for long, Turner worked his way into the Galway box before shooting into the roof of the net.

Faherty clinched the win with a powerful header in the 81st minute after being set up by Turner.

Bohemians 2 St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Strikes from Anto Murphy and Karl Moore kept Bohemians’ tenuous hopes of Europe alive as St Patrick’s finished with 10 men at Dalymount Park.

The win narrows Bohemians’ gap on St Pat’s to five points in the battle for fourth place and the one remaining Europa League spot.

St. Pat’s started well and only the bravery of Bohemians’ Dave Mulcahy prevented them from taking a seventh minutes lead.

Christy Fagan met captain Ger O’Brien’s cross with a goal bound volley that cannoned back off the face of central defender Mulcahy.

A similar scenario five minutes later saw Mulcahy’s defensive partner Murphy get his body in the way to deflect a Conan Byrne shot out for a corner.

Having rode their luck, Bohemians stole the lead against the run of play on 14 minutes.

Eoin Wearen swept a deep ball in from the right flank and the unmarked Murphy arrived to side-foot home from close range.

Unfazed, St Pat’s continued to pass the ball well with Delany making another decent save from a header by McGuinness after Aaron Greene’s dinked cross on 35 minutes.

And Bohemians had Delany to thank again for the save of the night three minutes before the break.

Jamie McGrath laid the ball off for Byrne whose blasted shot was brilliantly parried away by the Bohemians’ keeper.

The visitors’ hopes of getting back into it were dealt a blow when McGuinness was sent off on 52 minutes for bringing down Ismahil Akinade, his second card inside three minutes.

Bohemians then doubled their lead on 62 minutes.

Jake Kelly shielded the ball well before laying it off to Moore.

The winger cracked his shot off the underside of the crossbar to see it bounce down over the line with assistant Michelle O’Neill flagging to give the goal.

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