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Premier Division

  • 27 September 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
  • Referee: P. Tuite
  • • Attendance: 1500

Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Drogheda United - Thomas Stewart seals Hoops victory

Shamrock Rovers 3-1 Drogheda United - Thomas Stewart seals Hoops victory

Brian Lawless

Goals from Thomas Stewart and Gary McCabe were enough to secure three points for Trevor Croly's side thanks a weak performance from Drogs

Shamrock Rovers eased to victory over a disappointing Drogheda United side thanks to a Thomas Stewart double and a goal from Gary McCabe, despite Gavin Brennan equalising for Drogs in the first-half.

Gary McCabe had an early corner for the home side but it was easily punched clear by Gabriel Sava.

At the other end, Graham Rusk had a great chance of an early goal after a clear shot from eight yards out, but it came to nothing. Shane Robinson responded for Rovers making a nice run in-between a broken Drogheda back line, but he over-hit the resulting shot.

Thomas Stewart hit the crossbar for the Hoops on 15 minutes after taking a nice cross from Billy Dennehy on his head. There was a nice flow to the game early on, but Rovers were the better side throughout the opening exchanges.

A mistake for Sava almost cost his side a goal when on 21 minutes , as he stumbled in the box controlling a back pass, McCabe almost managed to get through but he was stopped at the last second as the ball trickled out for a goal kick, much to the relief of the Drogheda fans.

The first goal of the game went to the home side when Robinson got on the end of a lovely through ball, playing it on to Conor Powell who took a shot at Sava, who could only punch the ball to one side, which saw Stewart run in to send it to the back of the net from inside the six yard box.

Despite the home side having most of the possession, a nice one-two between Paul O’Connor and Gavin Brennan outside the box saw the latter neatly slot the ball past Barry Murphy making it all square 10 minutes from half-time.

Mick Cooke was by far the more pleased of the two managers at the break, after his team managed to find the net despite being the weaker of the two sides and adding very little in the way of attack.

There was a slow start to the second-half from both sides, but it wasn’t long before the Hoops were dominating once again and a nice ball played in by Sean O’Connor went to McCabe but the resulting volley only rebounded off the crossbar.

McCabe managed to find to net on the hour mark when he smashed a shot past the fingertips of Sava and into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Drogs tried to step up their game after this and were not going to let the home side win that easy, but there was no stopping the Rovers attack as Karl Sheppard, fresh off the bench, almost made it 3-1 when Stewart played him in a perfect cross in the box but the sub mis-kicked it.

They was continuous sloppy play from both sides in the last 15 minutes as the atmosphere died down, and there shouts of discontent from the Rovers fans, who clearly believed their team should have a higher goal margin.

Drogheda missed a fantastic chance to equalise with five minutes left as Declan O’Brien hit the ball over the bar, an inch or two lower and it would have sailed into the net. But it was clearly Shamrock Rovers’ night and Stewart managed to find his second as the referee brought an end to the game.

This marks the second win over Drogheda for Shamrock Rovers in the space of a week after their victory in the EA Sports Cup final last weekend. Shamrock Rovers’ next game is at home to Bray Wanderers on Monday Evening, while Drogheda are travelling to Tolka Park to face Shelbourne.