Rovers undefeated but lack of cutting edge costs points
Ronan Finn equalises O’Conor’s opener but Rovers unable to find a winner in Tallaght
Shamrock Rovers' Ronan Finn celebrates scoring against Drogheda United at Tallaght Stadium. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 1 Drogheda United 1: Shamrock Rovers maintained their unbeaten league start when drawing with Drogheda United in an entertaining fixture at Tallaght Stadium last night.
The visitors were far more fluent in the opening exchanges and should have taken the lead in the 11th minute but Ryan Brennan’s header from Gary O’Neill’s centre drifted narrowly wide of the right-hand upright.
However, Rovers’ lack of urgency in closing the ball down was punished three minutes later when full back Shane Grimes was afforded too much time in picking out Paul O’Conor, who headed home from six yards.
A second almost ensued in the 19th minute but Brennan failed to take advantage of an error by goalkeeper Richard Brush, with Drogheda ruining their profligacy as they conceded five minutes later.
There seemed scant danger as Seán O’Connor lined up a corner-kick but Ronan Finn, so often Rovers’ saviour last season, evaded slack Drogheda marking to fire a sumptuous drive beyond Gabriel Sava from 25 yards.
Rovers could count themselves unlucky not to be awarded a penalty within five minutes of the restart as Stephen Rice appeared to be tripped by Grimes, but referee Graham Kelly cautioned the midfielder for simulation.
The introduction of Mark Quigley, Gary McCabe and Ciarán Kilduff, proved Rovers’ attacking intent but the cutting edge markedly absent in their stuttering campaign to date was an increasingly familiar feature in their display.
Indeed, it was Drogheda who spurned the most clear-cut chance of the half, as Conor McCormack made amends for some defensive hesitancy when clearing off the line from substitute Jason Marks five minutes from time.