Friday 14th September 2007, 11:41 pm
14th September 2007
Drogheda United 1
Guy Bates 1
Derry City 0
Referee : Damien Hancock
Live on TG4
Drogheda United at last returned to winning ways as they beat Derry City 1-0 at United Park to consolidate their eight point lead at the top of the League of Ireland Premier Division. The loss is Derry's first league loss under manager John Robertson but Drogheda will be relieved to put a four game run without a win behind them.
Guy Bates scored the only goal of the game in the opening minute and it proved decisive as Drogheda found the defensive stability so visibly lacking in recent weeks.
After being bundled over just outside the box, Bates picked himself up to drill the free kick home with the help of Pat Jennings' upright.
A period of sparring followed where neither side created much as both defences held firm. It might not have been pretty but it was a welcome return to form for a Drogheda team leaking an abnormally large number of goals in recent weeks.
The Drogs looked set to make it 2-0 when Jennings fumbled a cross from Simon Webb but Ken Oman did superbly to get back and hook Richie Baker's shot off the line.
Ruaidhri Higgins forced a first save from Drogheda keeper Dan Connor after the break as he volleyed at goal.
Ciaran Martyn and Gareth McGlynn both went close for the Derry in the latter stages but the Candystripes were lacking up front. Substitute Sammy Morrow had obviously been rushed back into action too soon and didn't last even twenty minutes before having to be withdrawn again through injury.
The win sees Drogheda consolidate their eight point lead at the top of the League of Ireland as they chase their first ever League of Ireland title.
Drogheda United : Connor, Shelley, Gavin, Gartland, Webb, Baker, Robinson, Keegan, Cahill (Keddy 71), Zayed (Grant 89), Bates.
Derry City : Jennings, McCallion, Hutton, Oman, Brennan, McGlynn, Martyn, Molloy, Higgins, Farren (Hargan 62), McHugh (Morrow 56) (McCafferty 73).