Report: Ryan McMullen
Hoops put Drogheda to the sword in a dominant display in D24.
Going into our first game in just over 3 weeks, Hoops boss Stephen Bradley made 4 changes to his side that defeated Shelbourne in September; Wing-back’s Neil Farrugia and Trevor Clarke both came into the side replacing Ronan Finn and Sean Kavanagh whilst Richie Towell replaced Liam Burt and Johnny Kenny came in for the suspended Graham Burke.
The home side got off to a flying start when in just the 6th minute a Neil Farrugia cross from the right found its way to Trevor Clarke on the left who struck the ball superbly past Wogan to give the Hoops an early lead.
14 minutes in, Rovers had a second. A Dan Cleary cross found the head of Rory Gaffney who cushioned the ball into the path of Richie Towell who prodded home to double our lead.
Johnny Kenny fired home a beautifully hit strike just before the half-hour mark, having received the ball in the box from Neil Farrugia, out of nowhere Kenny opted to have a go himself despite not having a lot of space and his shot landed in the top left corner of the net, striking past Andrew Wogan in goal for the visitors.
The Hoops were unlucky not to find a 4th before the break when a Drogheda clearance found Pico Lopes inside the box. Lopes’ effort hit the post having taken a deflection on its way; Daniel Cleary’s rebound attempt was then denied by Wogan.
Rovers enjoyed lots of possession throughout the first half and were rewarded with a 3-goal advantage going in at half time.
The Hoops made a double change at halftime, with the introduction of Darragh Nugent & Naj Razi in place of Gary O’Neill & Richie Towell.
It wasn’t long before the Hoops extended their lead when Neil Farrugia was quickest to react to a Gary Deegan clearance, firing home from inside the box to make it 4-0.
Not long after, another goal came for Rovers, Estonian international Markus Poom got on the end of a cross from Rory Gaffney and headed home nicely to make it 5 on the night.
A second for Neil Farrugia almost came just after the hour mark, his shot from the left-hand side of the box went just wide of the target.
Minutes later, Razi also had an opportunity, after playing a one-two with Johnny Kenny, his shot was tapped onto the crossbar from Wogan and put out for a corner.
Rovers were forced to see out the later stages of the game with 10 men as Trevor Clarke was taken off due to injury, however, it made little difference as the Hoops saw out the game comfortably to secure an impressive 5-0 victory.
Friday (October 27th) will see Stephen Bradley’s team make the short trip to Inchicore as they take on St Patrick’s Athletic, Kick off is set 8 pm in Richmond Park with the Hoops being backed by a full away end of 1150 supporters.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus, Lopes ©, Grace, Cleary (Hoare 61’), Farrugia, O’Neill (Nugent 46’), Poom (Burt 61’), Clarke, Towell (Razi 46’), Kenny, Gaffney (Power 61’).
Shamrock Rovers unused substitutes: Pohls, Watts, Finn, Greene.
Drogheda United: Wogan, Heeney (Topcu 58’), Weir, Egan (Noone 46’), Kane, Deegan, O’Brien, Foley, Slater (McNally 46’), Davis (Warren 87’), Robinson (Jones 46’),
Drogheda United unused substitutes: Maher, Cox, Milongo, Haddock.