Report: Rovers 1-1 Drogheda United

Sligo Rovers hosted Drogheda United at The Showgrounds on Saturday night in front of 2317 supporters.

The game was played in very poor conditions as the rain poured down all evening and a strong wind made football difficult in an evenly contested game.

John Russell made a couple of changes from Monday’s game against Shelbourne with Stefan Radosavljevic and Reece Hutchinson coming in for Bogdan Vastsuk and Daniel Lafferty.

Defender Johan Brannefalk came into the squad following a recent ankle injury and was fit enough to make the bench.

The opening period of the game had a fast pace to it with both sides looking to create some chances early on. Frank Liivak had a penalty appeal waved away be the referee and Freddie Draper went close to Drogheda but the half was ultimately an even game with little or no goalmouth action and the sides went in level at the break.

The visitors took an early lead in the second half through midfielder Ryan Brennan who reacted quickest in the area to poke home from close range on 53 minutes.

John Russell brought on Kailin Barlow and Niall Morahan for the last half hour in place of Radosavljevic and Lukas Browning and Rovers started to get on top and were level on 63 minutes through this season’s top goalscorer Max Mata.

Will Fitzgerald waited for Reece Hutchinson to go down the outside on the overlap and he teed him up to cross for Mata to power a header home from close range.

This lifted the home crowd and Rovers pushed for a winner but Drogheda also looked threatening on the counter attack.

Barlow went close with a couple of shots and Dylan Grimes shaved the crossbar late on.

Johan Brannefalk was introduced late on for his return to action and he couldn’t quite keep his cross down in the final moments for Mata who almost got on the end of it.

The referee blew for full-time and the points were shared.

Next up is UCD at home next Saturday night at 7.45pm.