Kierans is “extra” special as Drogheda Town make the cup swap
SHERIFF YC 1
ROGHEDA TOWN 2
Drogheda Town booked their place in the next round of the Metropolitan Cup with a 2-1 extra-time win away to Sheriff YC on a cold Friday night.
The two sides had met at Marian Park the week before in the league and Town ran out comfortable winners on that occasion, but it was a much different story at the all-weather facility in Clontarf.
A tight first half saw the sides goalless at the break. Town started well and they had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when they were awarded a penalty towards the end of the opening quarter.
A corner was kicked into the box, the ensuing scrum saw a Town striker pulled down and the referee pointing straight to the spot.
Santi El-Petra stepped up to take a penalty, with Thomas O’Connell absent, but his effort was saved and the hosts hacked the ball clear.
It was the home team that came out of the blocks quicker in the second half, and Adam McDonagh was put through.
Town just couldn’t handle the increase in tempo and Sheriff took the lead after 70 minutes. The central defensive pair were split by a through ball and, after going one-on-one, the Dublin winger slotted the ball past the oncoming keeper.
That goal really sparked Drogheda into life as they created every chance in the last 20 minutes.
Emmanuel Santos went close and another well-worked move saw Nathan Seery fire just wide. Then with 80 minutes played Town won a corner.
They had been getting good buys from their set-pieces and this time a poorly taken corner was headed into the air by a Sheriff defender. The ball was forced back into the box and Santos poked it home from close range to tie the game.
Town had several chances to finish the game during the 90 minutes, but extra time was probably a fair result on the night.
The first half of these two periods of extra time was a tough affair with neither side committing too much in terms of attack.
Some long-range efforts got across both goals and burst out of the cage, but never troubled either goalkeeper.
Then five minutes into the second half of extra time, Town took the lead.
Craig Pentony stepped into the box before pulling the ball back to Santos on the edge of the area. He smashed a low shot into the corner through a sea of bodies.
The hosts were then reduced to 10 men as tempers began to flare.
After that, Town held possession to see out the win and progress to the next round.
Credit must be given in particular to defender Shane Kierans who produced a man-of-the-match performance for Drogheda.
That makes it four games unbeaten now for caretaker boss Sean Brennan since taking charge.
There is no game for the Marian Park side for the next seven days and while Brennan may only have a few more weeks with the club before returning to Drogheda United, he has them very much back on track.
Drogheda CITY: Adam McDonagh, Daryl McDonagh, Shane Kierans, Manny Smith, Jack Kileen, Andy Hickey (Connor Tully), Santi El-Petra, Craig Pentony, Sam Kileen (Sean Caffrey), Emmanuel Santos, Nathan Seerey (Stephen Keely).