Mikey Drennan was yet again the hero for Shamrock Rovers as they scraped past a dogged Drogheda outfit at Tallaght Stadium.
Drennan scored his 7th league goal of the season converting a cross from exciting youngster Brandon Miele.
Like most home games this season Rovers had the majority of possession but this time failed to convert chances and test goalkeeper Michael Schlingermann. The hosts started the brighter side and Miele fed Keith Fahey but his shot was saved by the former Monaghan goalkeeper.
The solitary goal came after 19 minutes when good work from Simon Madden and then Miele, and the latter’s cross to the far post was tapped home by The Hoops top scorer, Drennan.
Rovers should have worked Schlingermann when a Fahey corner was headed over the bar by David O’Connor. Moments later former Drog Ryan Brennan sprung the offside trap and cut the ball back to the ever-willing Fahey but his shot was straight at the keeper.
Drogheda were defending in numbers and stopping Rovers from building any rhythm in midfield and looked dangerous on the counter attacks with Carl Walshe firing at the side netting early on. Sean Brennan also wasted some promising chances hitting the ball mindlessly over the bar on more than one occasion from distance.
The standard of the second half didn’t improve and there were scarce chances at either end. Making his first appearance against his former club, Gavin Brennan, headed wide after some good Rovers pressure at the start of the second period.
After the hour mark Drennan volleyed over from a promising position at the edge of the box and with the influx of substitutes for both sides the game petered out until Miele struck an unstoppable shot that rattled the woodwork in the dying moments of the game where Rovers just edged out lowly Drogheda.
The hero of the game was Mikey Drennan who scored the only goal of the game as he brought Rovers into second place into the league. It was Drennan’s 7th league goal of the season since joining from Aston Villa over the winter period.
The former Drogheda United favourite hasn’t set Tallaght alight since his big move down to Dublin 24, and the winger struggled tonight and was taken off after an hour for Rovers’ longest serving player, Gary McCabe.
BATLLE OF THE NIGHT
Pat Fenlon v Johnny McDonnell – McDonnell has so far frustrated top sides like Dundalk, Cork City and St. Patrick’s Athletic in the league but could not get the better of the experienced Fenlon who kept all three points at Tallaght.
With this win Shamrock Rovers climb to second in the league ahead of Cork and close the gap on the runaway leaders Dundalk. Rovers face Dublin rivals Pat’s in Inchicore next week which will feature the return of Keith Fahey to Richmond Park. Shamrock Rovers are still unbeaten in all competitions this season.
Drogheda are now 9 games without a point and the future of McDonnell will have to be brought into question. Drogs now have a massive game at the bottom of the table at home to Bray Wanderers, where it will have serious repercussions at the wrong end of the league.
Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Max Blanchard, David O’Connor; Patrick Cregg (Stephen McPhail 69); Ryan Brennan, Keith Fahey; Brandon Miele, Mikey Drennan, Gavin Brennan (Gary McCabe 60).
Drogheda United: Micheal Schlingermann; Mick Daly (Sam McGowan 49), Alan Byrne, Joe Gorman, Jason Marks; Lee Duffy, Mark Hughes (Robert O’Reilly 82), Stephen Maher, Carl Walshe; Sean Brennan (Cathal Brady 72), Tiernan Mulvenna.