Drogheda United assistant manager Kevin Doherty believes his side can overturn a first leg deficit after they lost 1-0 to Shelbourne in the First Division promotion play-off at United Park.
The Drogs conceded the winner midway through the first-half as James English headed beyond Paul Skinner with Doherty left frustrated with his side’s display.
“I think it’s a combination of disappointment and frustration,” the former Shels player admitted post match. “It was a typical play-off game, very little football was actually played and it was a battle on the pitch.
“We had worked a lot on defending set-pieces during the week but there’s not much you can do with the quality of Lorcan Fitzgerald’s delivery and that was the difference on the night.”
Drogheda had strong penalty appeals turned down shortly after Shels’ opener when Chris Lyons tumbled in the area under the challenge of Derek Prendergast with Doherty convinced his side should’ve had a penalty.
“Chris turned the defender and he was just about to shoot when the tackle came in. He didn’t play the ball and I was very surprised when it wasn’t given, as there was no reason why Chris would go down in front of goal.
“To be fair to the referee, I spoke to him after the game and he said he didn’t see it so he couldn’t give the decision and I understand that.
“We have to forget about it now and make sure we have no excuses on Monday night.”
Drogheda won the previous league meeting at Tolka Park back in July and Doherty feels that the wider pitch will suit his players in the second leg.
“We were brilliant both times we’ve played them away this season and we’ll take some confidence from that.
“I know it’s a cliché but it’s only half-time in the tie. We stressed to the players beforehand that nothing would be won or loss this evening and that’s still true.
“We have everything to play for on Monday night and I’ve no doubt we’ll see a big reaction from the players.”