League Report: Bohemians 3 - 1 Drogheda United

Oluwaseun Akintunde is challenged by Gary Deegan during Bohemians Premier Division encounter against Drogheda United at Dalymount Park on Monday, 6 March 2023.

Oluwaseun Akintunde is challenged by Gary Deegan during Bohemians Premier Division encounter against Drogheda United at Dalymount Park on Monday, 6 March 2023. Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Paul Corcoran reports from Dalymount Park

Drogheda United suffered their first defeat of the season when they lost 3-1 to Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Monday night.

Jordan Flores and Ali Coote put the side 2-1 up at half time with Freddie Draper scoring for the visitors between their goals. Coote turned provider in the second half for Oluwaseun Akintunde for an early second half goal.

Declan Devine opted for four changes to his side after their 1-0 loss to Shelbourne on Friday night, with Paddy Kirk, Grant Horton and Adam McDonnell all dropping to the bench – Dylan Connolly missing out due to suspension after his sending off at Tolka Park.

Jay Benn came into the side to make his debut for the Gypsies, with Krystian Nowak, Akintunde and James McManus all joining him in the starting line-up.

Drogheda United, fresh off the back of a win against Sligo Rovers on Friday night went for the same again for their trip to Dalymount with manager Kevin Doherty opting for no changes.

The home side were on top from the offset with four corners in quick succession in the opening five minutes, Coote going closest when he linked up with Jonathan Afolabi to cut inside the box, but he fired wide.

They didn’t have to wait much longer for a goal however, when Akintunde was brought down in a dangerous position by Ryan Brennan in the ninth minute. Coote and Jordan Flores stood over the ball, but it was Flores with a cool strike over the wall and into the left side of the goal to give the Gypsies the lead.

United scored in the 15th minute when a ball was played into the six-yard box, James Talbot came to gather the ball but Freddie Draper nipped in to steal the ball from the goalkeeper and sneak it over the line to bring the sides level.

Bohs went close again in the 21st minute after some great pressure in the Drogheda box, a short pass from Akintunde to Afolabi had the goal at their mercy but the forward blazed the ball over the bar.

The visitors went close on the half hour mark after a tidy move when Darragh Markey linked up with Adam Foley on the right, Foley delivered a great ball into Dayle Rooney, but the midfielder couldn’t keep his header on target.

Flores had his initial cross cleared by Emmanuel Adegboyega but his header only went as far as Coote in the 38th minute, the midfielder blasted the ball through a crowded goalmouth to restore Bohemians’ one goal lead.

The Gypsies added a third in the 51st minute with a great team manoeuvre, Declan McDaid raced down the left wing before crossing to Coote, who was deep inside the box -  the midfielder was at a dead end with Colin McCabe right in front of him so he opted for a quick back heel to Akintunde who fired the ball at goal. The shot was blocked but just managed to roll over the line.

Bohemians had a penalty shout on the hour mark, a ball from Akintunde appeared to strike the hand of Conor Keeley inside the Drogheda box, referee Ray Matthews waved play on – despite the loud protestations of the home crowd.

Draper went close to getting the visitors back in the game in the 65th minute when Foley stripped Flores of the ball on the right – he squared it to the striker, but Talbot was quick off his line to make the close range save.

A dangerous corner kick from Warren Davis caused a goal mouth scramble in the 80th minute, several Drogheda players teed up shots, but the Bohs defence held strong to deny the visitors any way back into the game.

Bohemians move into second place, a point behind leaders Derry City. They travel to Richmond Park to face St Patrick’s Athletic in four days time while Drogheda make the trip to Dublin on Friday to face UCD.

Bohemians: James Talbot; Jay Benn (Grant Horton 71), Jordan Flores, Krystian Nowak, Kacper Radkowski; James Akintunde, Keith Buckley (Adam McDonnell 71), Ali Coote, Declan McDaid (Dean Williams 82), James McManus; Jonathan Afolabi.

Subs not used: Luke Dennison, Drew Baker, Patrick Kirk, John O'Sullivan, James Clarke, Kris Twardek.

Booked: Jay Benn (17), Kacper Radkowski (73).

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Emmanuel Adegboyega, Elicha Ahiu, Conor Keeley, Evan Weir; Ryan Brennan (Dylan Grimes 58), Gary Deegan, Adam Foley (Warren Davis 76), Darragh Markey (Luke Heeney 76), Dayle Rooney (Michael Leddy 68); Freddie Draper.

Subs not used: Fiachra Pagel, Jarlath Jones, Emre Topcu, Darragh Noone, Sean Brennan.

Booked: Dayle Rooney (28), Adam Foley (64), Evan Weir (86).

Referee: Ray Matthews.

Attendance: 4,114

extratime.com Player of the Match: Ali Coote (Bohemians)