Match Report by Tony Ghee
Drogheda United 4 (Murray '35, Doyle '44, Adeyemo '87, '90+3)
Longford Town 1 (Dobbs '53)
Longford Town remain second bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after losing 4-1 to Drogheda United at Head in the Game Park, as goals from Ronan Murray, Mark Doyle and a brace from substitute Jordan Adeyemo gave the home side all three points, while Aaron Dobbs scored the consolation for Longford.
Longford Town manager Daire Doyle made five changes to the side that lost away to Sligo Rovers. Mick Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Joe Manley, Aaron Robinson and Rob Manley all made way.
In their place, Lee Steacy, Mick McDonnell, Karl Chambers, Dean Zambra and Conor Davies were all introduced to the starting eleven.
The first opportunity of the contest arrived on nine minutes. James Brown whipped in a cross from the right that picked out the unmarked striker Chris Lyons sixteen yards out from goal, but he flashed his header wide.
Lyons had another headed chance in the seventeenth minute but again he directed his header wide, this time, from Ronan Murray’s left-wing corner.
The home side continued to apply serious pressure to the Town rearguard and should have hit the front on thirty-two minutes.
A superb pass from Doyle found Lyons on the left, he raced to the end-line and pulled the ball back into the path of the inrushing Darragh Markey, but he somehow miscued his shot badly wide from twelve yards out.
Within a minute, the home side came close to breaking the deadlock again, when Dane Massey narrowly headed a Murray corner just off target.
However, the ‘Claret & Blue’ deservedly took the lead just sixty seconds later. They earned a free-kick twenty-five yards out from goal on the left, and Murray curled his strike over the Town wall and into the net at the near post despite Town keeper Lee Steacy getting his gloves to the ball.
The home side doubled their advantage just before the interval with a superb move. Killian Phillips played a sumptuous pass down the right flank to Brown and his dangerous curling low cross pin-pointed Doyle at the near post, he controlled the ball brilliantly before finding the far corner with a composed finish.
The introduction of Aaron McNally at half-time and Rob Manley on fifty-four minutes had a galvanizing impact on the Town.
Longford were back in the game after fifty-two minutes with a goal from out of nowhere.
Callum Thompson delivered a low cross from the left and Dobbs flicked shot seemed to have been gathered by Drogheda keeper David Odumoso, but the ball squirmed out of his grasp and Dobbs pounced to tap home from close range.
In the fifty-fourth minute, Town Centre-back Mick McDonnell rose highest to meet a Dylan Grimes corner, but his header went just over the Drogheda bar.
Then on sixty-two minutes, a great run and shot from Rob Manley whistled just past the Drogheda post.
Town stopper Steacy made a smart save from Brown on eighty minutes after he had been set up by substitute James Clarke.
However, it was Drogheda who got the crucial next goal to decide the contest, as substitute striker Adeyemo weaved his way past two Town defenders before firing a low shot to the far corner on eighty-six minutes.
The icing on the cake for the home side came deep into stoppage time when Adeyemo latched onto a ball from fellow substitute James Clarke and his rising shot rocketed past Steacy to complete the victory for United.
Drogheda Utd (3-2-3-2): Odumosu, Phillips, O’Reilly, Massey, Brown, Kane, Markey, Deegan, Mulvey, Lyons, Doyle.
Substitutions: Clarke for Murray (75 minutes), Adeyemo for Lyons (82 minutes), O’Shea for Markey (87 minutes).
Longford Town (4- 2-3-1): Steacy, Chambers, McDonnell, O’Driscoll, Kirk, Dervin, Zambra, Thompson, Davies, Grimes, Dobbs.
Substitutions: McNally for Chambers (half-time), Rob Manley for Davies (54 minutes), Bolger for Zambra (75 minutes), Byrne for McDonnell (85 minutes).