A goal in either half gave First Division Mervue Utd a win over Premier Division Drogheda Utd in this pre-season friendly played at a very wet and miserable Fahy’s Field on Friday night.
With both managers using the game to give almost all of their named substitutes game time with fifteen second half changes on either side, it was a game of few chances and little goalmouth action with the highlight being the home side's opening score.
That goal came on 26 minutes when winger Etanda Nkololo produced a fine run and a finish to match as he cut in from the left before dispatching a low strike across Gabriel Sava and into the far corner for 1-0. Prior to that only a well struck effort from Pat Hoban, which Sava did well to save, was the only shot on target.
The visitors were level eight minutes later when Sean Brennan’s shot was parried by young home keeper Conor Gleeson and Peter Hynes stroked home the loose ball from close range.
Mervue made five changes for the start of the second half as Johnny Glynn replaced his whole midfield, bar Noel Varley, and strike-force. Drogheda went close on 56 minutes as Sean Brennan found himself in some space but he shot into the side netting.
The winning goal arrived with ten minutes remaining when Sava hesitated in clearing a back pass and Dave Goldbey nipped in to slip the ball into the net for 2-1.
Drogheda move on to play SD Galway in Drom on Saturday night as they spend the weekend in Galway city for both friendlies. Mervue now play Shelbourne next Friday night in Dublin before embarking on a training camp in the UK the following week.
Mervue United: Conor Gleeson; Mark Ludden (Daniel Tully ’71), Barry McEntee (Michael McSweeney ’71), Stephen Walsh, Mike Elwood; Gary Kelly (Shane Keogh ’46), Jason Molloy (Philip Keegan ’46), Noel Varley (Nicolas Barra ’71), Etanda Nkololo (Mike Collins ’46); Peter Dravins (David Goldbey ’46), Pat Hoban (Alex Lee ’46).
Subs not used: Luis Miguel Gomez.
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava (Stephen Trimble ’81); Brian Gannon, Philip Hand (Shane Grimes ’65), Alan McNally (Johnny Breen ’65), Derek Prendergast; Mark O’Brien, Paul Crowley, Dean Marshall (Declan O’Brien ’74), Sean Brennan (Cathal Brady ’74), Gavin Brennan (Chris Kerr ’77); Peter Hynes (Tiarnan Mulvenna ’65).
Subs not used: Ryan Brennan
Referee: Peter Flaherty (Galway)
Attendance: 100 (estimate) - you wouldn’t put the cat out in the Galway weather tonight