Report: Drogheda United 0-0 Rovers

Sligo Rovers travelled to Head in The Game Park on Friday night to take on Drogheda United in the third meeting of the team this season.

Rovers had the upper hand so far, winning both games in Drogheda and Sligo respectively.

It wasn’t exactly a great advertisement for Summer Football as dark clouds and a cool air surrounded the ground on a cold June evening.

Manager John Russell had to plan without Garry Buckley who picked up a minor knock in last week’s win over Finn Harps and due Nando Pijnaker and Greg Bolger were both ill and not able to travel.

Colm Horgan replaced Buckley in the starting XI with Adam McDonnell coming in to captain the team ahead of David Cawley who was on the bench.

Both sides looked to get in on goal in the opening 15 minutes with the hosts forcing a couple of corners which came to nothing and Aidan Keena proving a threat for The Drogs backline with a tempting cross from the left which just missed Max Mata before the Mullingar man almost got in himself but couldn’t force a shot on goal after knocking the ball past ‘keeper Colin McCabe.

A flurry of corners for Rovers before half time saw us press for an opening goal but they never lead to any clear cut chances and the game was tied at the break.

One of the best chances of the game fell to Will Fitzgerald on 53 minutes. The ball broke in his favour around 40 yards from goal and he dribbled toward goal and just as he was about to shoot, defender Luke Heeney got back to stop him in front of goal. There were strong claims for a penalty but referee Neil Doyle waved them away.

Niall Morahan picked up a knock to the head after 65 minutes and was replaced by David Cawley in Rovers’ first change. Cillian Heaney was also introduced for Karl O’ Sullivan a few moments later.

Max Mata was proving a threat for Rovers, finding himself in good positions but unable to steer two headers on goal in the latter stages.

Drogheda had one or two half chances themselves, substitute Darragh Markey’s free kick was headed straight at Edward McGinty in Rovers’ goal and Adam Foley shot wide inside the area as the game headed towards stoppage time.

Five minutes was added on by the referee and right at the end of that Rovers had the best chance of the game. Cillian Heaney broke forward on the right and found David Cawley in the middle who switched the play to the overlapping Paddy Kirk on the left. His dangerous cross went all the way out the back to Will Fitzgerald whos effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Shane Blaney’s header went wide from the resulting set piece and Rovers must make do with a share of the spoils.

Next up is a home game with Shelbourne next Saturday night at 7.45pm at The Showgrounds.