Drogheda United 1 - 1 St. Patrick’s Athletic

November 7, 2018

Match Report by Robert O’Reilly

Drogheda United suffered penalty heartache at the hands of St. Patrick’s Athletic  in last night’s FAI cup quarter final replay at Hunky Dorys Park.

Derek Prendergast headed the Drogs into the lead on 78 minutes but a fortuitous last-gap Vinny Faherty goal sent the game into extra time and subsequent penalties.

Mick Cooke made one change from Friday’s match with John Sullivan deputising for the injured Paul Crowley. As for St. Pat’s, Liam Buckley brought in Pat Flynn and Greg Bolger to replace Kenny Browne and John Russell.

The Drogs began with the same 4-3-3 formation that stifled St. Pat’s last week and this contributed to a lacklustre opening to the game.  The first chance of the match fell the way of the Dubliners with Greg Bolger shooting narrowly wide from 20 yards.

And it was St. Pat’s again who created the next opportunity. A corner kick was cleared to Chris Forrester and the winger’s drilled effort was miraculously cleared off the line by Brian Gannon as the away side appealed in vain for handball.

It appeared as though Drogheda had taken the lead on half an hour when Peter Hynes headed home a terrific cross from Brian Gannon only for the linesman to disallow the goal for a dubious foul.

United came even closer to breaking the deadlock five minutes later as a devilish delivery from Phillip Hand saw Gavin Brennan head the ball onto the Saints crossbar in the last meaningful action of the first half.

In a game of missed chances, Vinny Faherty somehow managed to head over the bar from inside the six yard box following neat interplay from James Chambers and Chris Forrester.

A minute later and Drogheda were on the attack as strong hold-up play from Peter Hynes brought Declan O’Brien into the box and his lay off was well struck by John Sullivan only for a desperate St. Pat’s block to divert the ball wide.

Drogheda were almost the architect of their own downfall on 72’ when James Chambers played a delightful ball over the top of the United defence and Gabriel Sava and Alan McNally almost combined to put the ball into their own net.

Again, Drogheda counter attacked immediately and a Gavin Brennan cross was missed by Declan O’Brien when it seemed Drogheda were certain to take the lead.

But they didn’t have to wait long. Five minutes later, a deep Phillip Hand corner to the backpost was powered home by Derek Prendergast for the opening goal, the least the Boynesiders deserved.
A frantic final ten minutes ensued as St. Pat’s abandoned their short passing move in favour of a more direct approach which ultimately paid dividends.

A long hopeful ball from James Chambers fell in the box and a rushed clearance ricochet off Vinny Faherty for the leveller and a fierce blow for the home side.

Little of note occurred in extra time as St. Pat’s dominated possession without piercing the resolute Drogheda backline.

Penalties ensued as Barry Murphy became the hero for the Inchicore side. He saved from Tiarnan Mulvenna, Sean Brennan and Gavin Brennan to dump the Drogs out of the cup in the cruellest manner.

St. Pat’s will face our Louth rivals Dundalk in the semi final while Drogheda will look to bounce back in the best possible fashion in the EA Sports cup final against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght on Saturday.

Drogheda United Team: Gabriel Sava, Brian Gannon, Alan McNally, Derek Prendergast, Phillip Hand, Ryan Brennan (Sean Brennan 105’), Eric Foley, John Sullivan (Stephen Quigley 83’ ), Gavin Brennan, Declan O’Brien (Tiarnan Mulvenna 104’), Peter Hynes
Subs Not Used: Shane Finegan, Conor O’Keefe, Cathal Brady, Johnny Breen.

St. Pats Team: Barry Murphy, Ger O’Brien (Aidan Price 73’), Conor Kenna, Pat Flynn, Ian Bermingham, Sean O’Connor, Chris Forrester (Jake Kelly 67’), James Chambers, Jake Carroll, Greg Bolger (Stephen O’Flynn 81’) Vinny Faherty.
Subs Not Used: Brendan Clarke, Darren Meenan, Dean Kelly, Ryan Coombes.

Yellow cards:
Drogheda United: Gavin Brennan, Alan McNally. Stephen Quigley
St. Pat’s: Greg Bolger, Sean O’Connor, Pat Flynn, James Chambers

Referee: Damien Hancock

Drogheda Man of the match: Gavin Brennan