Airtricity Premier Division: Matchday 23 - Shamrock Rovers defeat high-flying Drogheda United

Sligo Rovers extended their lead at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division with a 3-1 win over Shelbourne, while Shamrock Rovers defeated Drogheda United to close in on second

Derry City 2-0 Bohemians

Derry City returned to winning ways at the Brandywell with a 2-0 win over a lacklustre Bohemians side.

Derry dominated the early stages, with Ryan McBride and Stephen McLaughlin looking sharp for the hosts. They took a deserved lead just before the half hour mark as Conor Murphy scored his first goal for the Candystripes since signing from Monaghan. Murphy tapped in Ruaidhri Higgins' corner as Andrew McNulty failed to claim the set piece.

Bohemians pushed men forward in the second half to try to get something from the match, with substitute Dwayne Wilson forcing Gerard Doherty into a decent save. However, Aaron Callaghan's men were left exposed at the back and saw Derry double their lead five minutes from time through Stephen McLaughlin.
Drogheda United 0-2 Shamrock Rovers

Shamrock Rovers recorded a comfortable win over second-place Drogheda United despite playing the last half an hour with 10 men.

Stephen Kenny returned Ciaran Kilduff to the Hoops' starting lineup, and was rewarded when Kilduff headed in a 16th-minute Gary McCabe corner to open the scoring. Shamrock Rovers piled on the pressure after the goal, and grabbed a deserved second on 33 minutes with Ronan Finn scoring after a great run.

Shamrock Rovers continued to threaten after half time, but despite their dominance, could not add a third and found themselves down to 10 men when Chris Turner received a straight red card for an off the ball incident. The hosts had a man sent off themselves in the 89th minute as Derek Prendergast picked up a second yellow card. Shamrock Rovers held on well to win with Oscar Jansson rarely troubled in the Hoops net.
Shelbourne 1-3 Sligo Rovers

Sligo Rovers extended their lead at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division with a 3-1 win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

A first-minute Ross Gaynor free kick was poorly dealt with by the Shels defence and Jason McGuinness headed in the resulting corner to give Sligo a very early lead. Philly Hughes saw a free kick go wide for Shelbourne before Gavin Peers doubled Sligo's lead, capitalising on some poor defending in the 16th minute. The Bit O' Red remained on top for the rest of the first half with Seamus Conneely and Pascal Millien impressing for the visitors.

Sligo added a third from the spot through Mark Quigley after Brian Shorthall fouled Liam Buchanan in the box. Substitute Paddy Kavanagh pulled one back for Shelbourne with eight minutes left, but it was too late to ignite a comeback.
St Patrick's Athletic 0-1 Bray Wanderers

Bray Wanderers took all three points from a heated encounter with St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park in a game in which three players were sent off.

St Pat's were the better of the two sides in a scoreless first half, with Christy Fagan and Greg Bolger having the best chances for the hosts, while Bray had Dean Zambra forced off with a head injury after clashing with Jake Carroll. Less than 10 minutes later the same thing happened to Adam Mitchell, who collided with fellow Wanderer John Mulroy.

After the break, Kieran Marty Waters picked up a booking for diving before giving away a free kick in a dangerous position. James Chambers went close with the free kick, forcing Darren Quigley to stretch and knock the ball onto the woodwork. In the 64th minute Jason Byrne and Darren Meenan were sent off after a massive altercation which saw players from both sides involved.

Kenny Browne picked up a second yellow card to see the Saints finish the game with nine men, and Kieran Marty Waters popped up at the death to give Bray a late winner and set back St Pat's' title intentions.
UCD 3-1 Cork City

UCD climbed off the bottom of the table with a 3-1 win over Cork City to take them above Dundalk.

An exciting opening at the College Bowl saw UCD take the lead after Cork City had gone close moments earlier. Mick Leahy was on hand to head in Ciaran Nangle's corner on eight minutes. Cork's evening looked to have got worse when Johnny Dunleavy was forced off injured after 20 minutes, but two minutes later replacement Keith Quinn put Keigan Parker through for the equaliser.

UCD's lead was restored after half an hour as City defender Andy O'Connell headed David O'Connor's corner past his own keeper. UCD continued to advance on Cork's goal after the interval, and had a David McMillan goal ruled out for a foul before Robbie Benson added UCD's third on 68 minutes after some neat play by McMillan.

The win sees UCD move to 17 points, one above struggling Dundalk.