Airtricity Premier Division: Matchday 4 - Drogheda beat Bray in six-goal thriller as Shamrock Rovers hammer Shelbourne

Drogheda United beat Bray Wanderers 4-2, while Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers, and Derry City all kept their title hopes alive with wins
Bray Wanderers 2-4 Drogheda United

Drogheda United took an early lead at the Carlisle Grounds thanks to Dean Marshall's goal after just half a minute. Marshall met Tiernan Mulvenna's cross to head home his second goal of the season. Neither goalkeeper had to do much for the rest of the half, with the major talking point coming in the 44th minute when Adam Mitchell was forced off the field for treatment after a clash of heads. Mitchell was unable to continue, and was replaced by Daire Doyle.

Jason Byrne scored his second goal in two games to grab a second half equaliser for Bray. The forward had to just slot the ball in after Marty Walters' 52nd minute cutback. The scores were not level for long with Brian Gannon netting for Drogheda after a lovely solo run from midfield.

Bray's chances of a comeback were hindered in the 66th minute when Dane Massey was sent off for a reckless stamp on Gannon. Five minutes later Sean Brennan showed a lovely bit of skill in the box to make it 3-1, before substitute Declan 'Fabio' O'Brien ensured the three points with a close-range goal.

Dean Zambra's long-range free-kick gave Bray a consolation goal, but it was too late for a Seagulls comeback. The win is Drogheda's second of the campaign and moves them up to seven points.
Derry City 2-0 Cork City

Many eyes were on Derry City youngster Patrick McEleney at the Brandywell tonight, including a scout from Newcastle United, but it was 21-year-old Stephen McLaughlin who stood out for the Candystripes. McLaughlin looked to have headed Derry into the lead after 18 minutes, but the referee ruled it out for a push in the box. Derry finally got the opener in the 49th minute after a beautiful pass from Barry Molloy found Mark Farren, who squeezed the ball past Mark McNulty.

The Cork keeper was to blame for Derry's second, as he was beaten to a long ball by McLaughlin who had a simple finish. Tommy Dunne made a triple substitution for the Leesiders to try to salvage something from the game, but the closest they got was a shot into the side netting from defender John Dunleavy.
Dundalk 2-1 UCD

After three league games without scoring, Dundalk started strongly against UCD with Stephen McDonnell and Michael Rafter going close in the first 20 minutes. UCD goalkeeper Mark McGinley forced McDonnell's shot onto the crossbar before tipping Rafter's long-range effort over.

The Lilywhites finally found the net after half-time when John Moutney met Nathan Murphy's free kick to head home their first goal in almost 600 minutes of competitive action. The game sparked to life with that goal and Shane O'Neill doubled the home side's lead with a looping header just five minutes later.

UCD were given a lifeline when they won a 67th minute penalty for a foul by goalkeeper Peter Cherrie. Graham Rusk scored from the spot to set up a lively final 20 minutes. The penalty was Rusk's third goal of the season - after slotting home two penalties last week against Bray.

The Students attacked in numbers late on, but Cherrie held firm in goal to give Dundalk their first win of the 2012 season.
Monaghan United 0-1 Sligo Rovers

An even opening 45 minutes saw both sides create chances. The defences held firm though as Sligo Rovers' clever wide-play came to nothing and Monaghan United's Conor Murphy found it difficult as the lone frontman. However, a lapse in concentration early in the second half from Monaghan's defence let Danny North in to score.

The introductions of Owen Humphrey and Shane Dunne did little to spur Monaghan on, and Sligo held onto their lead quite comfortably. In fact, Rovers should have doubled their lead but John Dillon could not properly connect with North's cross.

The win gives Sligo Rovers three points to keep them level with Shamrock Rovers in the title race.
Shamrock Rovers 4-0 Shelbourne

A combination of queues, heavy traffic, and the presence of President Michael D Higgins caused Shamrock Rovers and Shelbourne to kick-off 10 minutes later than scheduled, but the latecomers were rewarded when Rovers took the lead after just seven minutes.

Shels goalkeeper Dean Delany took Billy Dennehy down in the box, giving away a penalty and receiving a red card. Paul Skinner came on in goal, but could not stop Gary Twigg's spot kick.

Shamrock Rovers doubled their lead after half an hour thanks to Stephen Hurley's bizarre own goal. Hurley thought he was playing a simple back pass to Skinner, but the goalkeeper had moved to the edge of the area, and the ball rolled into the goal. Before half-time, Ronan Finn made it three with a rasping shot that was too much for Skinner to keep out.

Another defensive mistake gifted Shamrock Rovers a fourth. Ian Ryan's weak header was collected by Aaron Greene who snuck the ball under Skinner. There was more drama before the end as the home side also went down to 10 men. Gary McCabe foolishly dived, but did not trick the referee and Derek Tomney handed out a second yellow to send McCabe to the sidelines.

Killian Brennan was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet at the end, but his left-footed effort crashed off the crossbar. The win keeps Shamrock Rovers at the summit of the table, with the 4-0 scoreline greatly helping their goal difference.
Bohemians 0-0 St Patrick's Athletic

Sunday's televised Dublin derby did not live up to expectations as the two sides shared the spoils in a turgid encounter at Dalymount Park.

Bohs made seven changes for the contest while Pat's made two alterations from their previous game. Pat's wasted their best chance of the first half when Stephen O'Flynn fired over replacement goalkeeper Andy McNulty's crossbar. O'Flynn sailed a long-range drive over shortly afterwards and the away side went close also through Greg Bolger who angled a drive just wide of McNulty.

The hosts almost stole the three points right at the death when Karl Moore's sweet volley crashed off the underside of the crossbar but replays showed the ball did not cross the line.

Bohemians boss Aaron Callagha was happy with his side's first point and clean sheet of the season: "A draw was a fair result. Both teams would have taken it. Defensively we were strong and kept a good clean sheet."

His counterpart Liam Buckley was disappointed Pat's didn't grab the three points: "If anybody was going to win the game then it would have been us. We were pushing more towards scoring and they had one chance in the second half, hitting the post, albeit they were unlucky to score. I thought overall we were probably the better side."