A solitary Aaron Ashe goal, his eighth of the season, which came from the move of the match, was the difference at United Park as Drogheda United ran out 1-0 winners over Cabinteely.

Drogheda, who surprisingly lined out in their away kit despite Cabinteely wearing white, started the game the better of the two sides. Sean Brennan found space down the right wing before cutting back to Gareth McCaffrey who saw his effort well blocked.

Next, it was the turn of Colm Deasy to attack down the right, playing a dangerous ball into the box, which was cleared straight back to him, and he would watch as his header bounced wide of the Cabinteely goal.

It was Cabinteely who would control the remainder of the opening quarter as they began to find space in midfield. Mark Slater and Shane Boyle, who looked dangerous throughout, had a number of efforts in quick succession go either high or wide of the Drogheda goal.

Just after the half hour mark, Cabinteely almost hit the front as Slater played a dangerous ball in from a free kick on the right. Drogheda failed to clear their lines, resulting in a goalmouth scramble which eventually resulted in a Cabinteely corner.

In a game where neither side controlled for a long period of time, momentum switched back in favour of the home side later in the half. Drogheda would then have their best chance of the half as a corner from the impressive Sean Brennan was headed goal bound by Luke Gallagher, only for Michael Kelly to save well.

The ball was then cleared for a second Drogheda corner and it was again Gallagher who was on the end of it, having two efforts, one blocked by his captain Thornton while the other went just wide of the far corner.

The sides would go in level at half time and the first real chance of note in the second period didn’t come until the 66th minute as Drogheda netted the winner.

An inspired double substitution from Pete Mahon saw midfielder Jake Hyland and captain Sean Thornton replaced by new signings and former Cabinteely players, John McKeown and Richie Purdy.

Just minutes after stepping onto the field, Purdy and McKeown linked up well in midfield before the latter played a ball to Griffin. He controlled well before turning his man and playing a through ball to Aaron Ashe, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner for his eighth goal of the season.

That goal would end up being Drogheda’s last proper chance in the game as for the last quarter of an hour it was the visitors who piled on the pressure as they searched for an equaliser.

The introduction of Aji Sule and Ollie Hamzat in the closing minutes gave Cabinteely what they were looking for: pace against a tiring Drogheda defence.

Cabinteely would go on to have five corners in succession. However, they failed to create a goalscoring chance as Oscar Brennan had a volley well blocked by a Drogheda defender.

Cabinteely continued to attack looking for the equaliser but would fail to find it as Drogheda hung on, to remain second in the table, a point ahead of UCD while increasing their gap over Cobh Ramblers to seven points.

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Kevin Farragher, Stephen Dunne; Sean Thornton (Richie Purdy 61), Jake Hyland (John McKeown 61), Sean Brennan; Gareth McCaffrey (Derek Doyle 88), Marc Griffin, Aaron Ashe.

Subs Not Used: Patrick Dunican (GK), Lloyd Buckley, Sam O’Connor, Liam Donnelly.

Booked: Aaron Ashe (87).

Cabinteely: Michael Kelly; Andrew McGovern, Edward McDonagh, Adam Maher (Aji Sule 78), Aaron Brilly; Mark Slater (Ollie Hamzat 86), Oscar Brennan, Shane Boyle (Gavin Howard 75), Kevin Knight; Ben Harahan, Joe Doyle.

Subs not used: Cathal Gillen (GK), Jamie Broderick, Paul Fox, Christian Lotefa.

Booked: Adam Maher (77).

Referee: Michael Connolly.

Attendance: 450 (est).

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Gareth McCaffrey (Drogheda United).

Match report courtesy of Extratime.ie

You can see pictures from the game as taken by Larry McQuillan here.