Goals from Eric Foley, Gavin Brennan, and a double from Declan O'Brien send Drogheda top on the opening day
Drogheda United recorded a big win over local rivals Dundalk to go top of the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on day one. Goals from Eric Foley, Gavin Brennan, and a double from Declan O'Brien secured the three points, while Pat Hoban bagged a consolation for the visitors.
Amidst a simmering atmosphere it was the visitors who started the brighter when new signing Daryl Horgan raced clear through on Drogs keeper Michael Schlingermann, but the former Cork player was thwarted at the last by a fine reaction save.
However the tide gradually began to turn, and Drogheda registered their first chance on 29 minutes as debutant Paul Andrews’ header solicited an acrobatic save from Peter Cherrie, but the Scot could do nothing to prevent the opening goal eight minutes later as a beautifully-directed 25 yard free from Eric Foley nestled into the top left corner of Cherrie’s goal.
The action didn’t end with the half-time whistle as substitutes Phillip Hughes and Simon Kelly sensationally received their marching orders following a bust-up in the tunnel as the teams left the field.
The visitors had every right to feel aggrieved at the scoreline given their first half supremacy, and the Boynesiders rubbed further salt in their wounds upon the restart as the previously anonymous Gavin Brennan dispatched a scuffed effort past Cherrie for the game’s second goal.
With the Lilywhites visibly shell-shocked the hosts capitalised further on their new-found fervour as Michael Daly’s incisive pass fed Declan O’Brien through, allowing the talismanic striker to open his account for 2014 with an emphatic finish past the hapless Oriel outfit's netminder.
Dundalk thought they had found their way back into the match with Patrick Hoban’s header on the hour mark, but goalscorers Brennan and O’Brien combined to lethal effect three minutes later to complete the rout.
Gavin Brennan was sent off late on for a dangerous tackle, but Drogs were worthy winners and sit atop the table after day one.