League Preview: Drogheda United -v- Derry City

Gary Deegan on the ball in United's 2-1 loss to Derry City in February 2024

Gary Deegan on the ball in United's 2-1 loss to Derry City in February 2024 Credit: John-Paul McGinley (ETPhotos)


The Boynesiders host the Candystripes at Weavers Park on Friday as they seek their first league win in six games and only their second of the sesason.

Drogheda's only victory was a 2-1 home victory over Bohs back the beginning of March.

However, with four draws banked, it means United sit on seven points after eight games, four points above their Louth rivals Dundalk who prop up the table.

When Kevin Doherty’s side went to Derry earlier in the season, they lost 2-1 with Evan Weir getting on the scoresheet with a free kick – Wier is top scorer for United with three league goals.

Last week, the Boynesiders were unlucky to be held to their third draw in a row as goals from Oisin Gallagher and another strike from Wier, either side of a Shelbourne strike from Mark Coyle, had them in the lead in injury time against the Reds.

However, Sean Boyd popped up in the fourth minute of injury time to score and ensure the spoils were shared.

In the four matches Drogheda and Derry played out last season, Derry won twice (3-0 at home and 1-0 away) with Drogheda winning 1-0 in the Brandywell in April. The August match in Louth was a scoreless draw.


The Candystripes come into Friday’s game on the back of a 4-1 thumping over Dundalk - a result that precipitated Stephen O’Donnell’s departure from the Lilywhites. It stopped the run of three games without a win for Ruadhri Higgins' side.

His team were 1-0 up at the break thanks to Adam O’Reilly, with Will Patching, Danny Mullen and Michael Duffy scoring in the second half. The win moved City into second spot in the league but they remain six points behind Damien Duff’s Shelbourne side who sit top of the table.

“There's no getting away from it, we had a poor couple of weeks where we lost back-to-back games,” said Higgins speaking to his club’s media team, “but outside of that there have been good signs.

"It's been very much up and down, but we know that if you can be consistent and you're able to put a run together, you can make a real impact on the league table."

"Winning matches obviously brings confidence into the group and we've had a full week to prepare for the Drogheda game, so it's one we're looking forward to.'

"We won on one of our visits there last season but there have also been quite a few draws and a few defeats as well. They're obviously a very tough nut to crack, particularly down there.

"In their last couple of home games they've conceded a 94th minute equaliser to the league leaders and before that they held St Pats as well, so two of the top teams in the country have been unable to beat them."

Referee: Damien McGrath


October 2021 was the last time Drogheda United beat Derry City at home. That was a 1-0 victory earned thanks to a Killian Philips first half goal.

Drogheda United do have the chance to move out of the relegation play-off position that they currently sit in. They would need to beat Derry and hope that Bohs lose by more than a goal against Shelbourne in Tolka Park.


2-1 away win

Drogheda United

Injured: None

Doubtful: Andrew Wogan

Suspended: Luke Heeney

Derry City

Injured: Colm Whelan, Ben Doherty.

Doubtful: Cameron Dummigan, Patrick Hoban

Suspended: None