A late Aaron Ashe brace added the gloss to a convincing 4-0 win for Drogheda United over Cabinteely at United Park on Friday night. Man of the match Sean Brennan opened the scoring with Eoin Kirwan doubling the lead before substitute Ashe scored two goals in three minutes to help banish the memories of last week’s 3-0 loss to Shelbourne.
Pete Mahon made four changes from that defeat with goalkeeper Patrick Dunican dropping to the bench in favour of Stephen McGuinness. Sam O’Connor operated as the sole striker instead of Aaron Ashe whilst Jake Hyland and Colm Deasy started in place of Derek Doyle and Lloyd Buckley. Cabinteely made one change from the 2-0 defeat to Waterford with Stephen Hanley dropping to the bench with Shane Boyle starting.
The visitors, playing with Ben Hanrahan and Joe Doyle up front, had their first chance with only two minutes on the clock. Michael Brown fed a ball forward to Hanrahan and his cross from the touchline just failed to find a loitering Doyle in the six-yard box.
Drogheda, through Jake Hyland, responded with a shot from distance but the midfielder’s attempt was easily saved by Cabinteely keeper Michael Kelly. The home side went close on twelve minutes when an Adam Wixted cross evaded Sam O’Connor’s outstretched leg. A few minutes later Colm Deasy’s cross morphed into a shot on goal as the looping trajectory forced Kelly to backtrack and athletically get his fingertips on the ball, enough to push it onto the cross bar.
The breakthrough for the Caret and Blue came via Sean Brennan just past the twenty-minute mark. The midfielder played a delightful one-two with Sam O’Connor inside the Cabinteely box before finishing low past Kelly into the bottom right corner of the goal.
Cabinteely had two chances either side of half-time, with both falling to defender Karl Byrne. The first attempt sailed high and wide whilst the second, with Byrne through on goal, saw the defender chip a harmless shot into the keeper’s welcoming arms.
The home side doubled their lead on just shy of the hour mark through an Eoin Kirwan strike. Sean Brennan slid the ball to Jake Hyland and the midfielder dinked the ball to Kirwan who, from a central position just inside the box, turned and fired into the bottom right corner of Kelly’s goal.
Cabinteely did continue to try find a way back into the game and on 75 minutes Edward McDonough made good progress from the side-line into the box where he crossed low to Joe Doyle. Doyle’s shot was rolling towards the goal before it was blocked by the foot of a Drogs defender and ultimately cleared.
The win and three points were put beyond any doubt for Drogheda when 80th minute sub Aaron Ashe netted twice in three minutes. A cross from Deasy was met by the head of Ashe which looped over the stranded Cabo keeper and bounce into an empty goal for his first and Drogheda’s third of the evening.
Moments later Andrew Wall was caught in possession by Ashe and the former Bohemians player fired home past Kelly to complete a 4-0 win over the South Dublin side.
Next up for Drogheda United is a home game on the 8th April against Limerick whilst Cabinteely welcome Cobh Ramblers to Stradbrook on the same day.
Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Luke Gallagher, Stephen Dunne, Niall Cooney, Colm Deasy; Eoin Kirwan, Sean Brennan, Aaron Molloy, Jake Hyland (Derek Doyle 65), Adam Wixted (Aaron Ashe 80); Sam O’Connor (Marc Griffin 70)
Subs Not Used: Patrick Dunican, Liam Donnelly, Lloyd Buckley, Joseph Jackson
Cabinteely: Michael Kelly; Karl Byrne (Lloyd Cairns 74), Kevin Knight, Andrew Wall, Edward McDonough; Aaron Brilly, Shane Boyle, Oscar Brennan, Michael Brown (Stephen Hanley 78); Joseph Doyle, Ben Hanrahan
Subs Not Used: Ollie Hamzat, Cathal Gillen, Sean Burke, Shane Heffernan, Troy Owens
Match report courtesy of extratime.ie