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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 21 October, 2014

Barstooler: 5 talking points from last weekend’s Airtricity League action

Drogheda continue to climb, while the Hoops still can’t find a win.

Drogheda boss Mick Cooke.
Drogheda boss Mick Cooke.
Image: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Still no joy for Hoops

It’s a month since Shamrock Rovers last recorded a win in the Premier Division as fans again left Tallaght Stadium frustrated after a 0-0 draw with Bray Wanderers.

The reigning league champions have only found the back of the net twice in their last four games and are fortunate to remain ten points behind leaders Sligo, who dropped two at home to Cork City over the weekend.

Stephen Kenny, whose side are in European action this evening (check out the liveblog here), believes he is already beginning to turn the club’s fortunes around by sorting out their defensive problems but might still need to explore the option of bringing in a couple of bodies to freshen the squad up.

Dundalk soldier on

Since taking over the reigns at Oriel Park, caretaker boss Darius Kearns has led Dundalk to two respectable draws. Derry were the visitors on Friday night and despite taking the lead and having a number of chances to double it, the Candystripes had to settle for a point. Bringing on Michael Rafter and changing to a 4-4-2, the Lilywhites got their just reward through captain Chris Shields, who headed home an equaliser.

A couple more brave performances like this one and Dundalk could be looking to bring Kearns in on a permanent role.

How high can Drogheda climb?

Gavin Brennan has shown he has a knack for popping up with important goals this season and, for the second week in a row, scored to help Drogheda to a win over a Dublin team. Just four points sit between them and top spot now and that’s three away wins on the trot.

With a home game against UCD next up and Sligo facing a tricky fixture away to St Patrick’s Athletic on Sunday, Mick Cooke’s side could potentially be breathing down the Bit O’Red’s neck this time next week.

Quigley on the double

A week after scoring his first league goal for Sligo, Mark Quigley went one better by coming off the bench to rescue a point for Sligo. The ex-Dundalk striker grabbed two second half goals, including a late penalty, as Ian Baraclough’s side got out of jail at the Showgrounds.

Danny North has carried the goalscoring responsibilities this term but Quigley is undoubtedly one of the best forwards the league has to offer on his day.

Golazzo

Conan Byrne’s strike at Tolka Park was a belter. The former Sporting Fingal winger starts the move down the right and a couple of passes later, comes onto the ball at the edge of Drogheda’s box to thump it first time into the top corner. Contender for goal of the season.

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