Ruaidhri Higgins headed a last minute winner for Bohemians to reignite their Airtricity League championship ambitions at Dalymount Park.
A resolute and well organised Drogs looked to have forced the champions into dropping more crucial league points before the former Derry City man pounced to break Drogheda hearts and seal the win on the stroke of full time with his bullet header past Paul Skinner into the Shopping Centre end goal.
It wasn’t all good news for Bohs on the night though as Mark Rossiter went off with a leg injury just two minutes into the second half.
Skinner and his defence had to withstand tough earlier pressure from Bohs, who started well despite the late evening sun beaming straight into their faces from the School End of the ground.
One of the first chances they sniffed out was from Paddy Madden on five minutes following an initial half shot from Jason Byrne after a cracking deep run from Brian Shelley.
Bohs were strong at the back too. Paul Keegan showed good awareness on 12 to nip onto a low cross from Drogs’ Brian King in the box and clear the ball before any of the inrushing Drogs men could connect.
As the game progressed Bohs had the upper hand but were guilty of some sloppy play, misplaced passes and poor finishing. A good example came on 21 minutes when a corner from the left rebounded out to Shelley on the right but from a reasonably good position he fired high and wide.
Skinner made a superb save from Madden on the half hour after the youngster got his head to Killian Brennan’s free kick. Just one minute later Paul Crowley - wearing a protective face mask - rifled narrowly wide for Drogs following a corner from the right.
Bohs fans were shouting for a penalty on 42 minutes, thinking the ball had struck Crowley on the hand in the box, but referee Richie Winter didn’t see anything in it. Crowley went down clutching his face and received treatment, and a fresh shirt, on the sideline.
Bohs were forced into making an unexpected change just two minutes into the second half. Anto Murphy replaced Rossiter who took a knock to the leg and couldn’t continue.
Drogs boss Alan Mathews introduced Glen Fitzpatrick for Colm Smyth on 64 minutes and with that went with a 4-5-1 formation at times with Fitzpatrick up front. This really frustrated Bohs who found it impossible to break Drogs down.
Dead ball specialist Brennan did show flashes of his brilliance as the second period progressed and smashed and absolutely fantastic left footed free kick on target on 67 minutes.
Unfortunately for him, Skinner was well placed and pulled off an equally fantastic save but he could do nothing about Higgins’ effort on 90 which left the Drogs players and their 150 fans shellshocked and dissapointed.
Bohemians: B Murphy; Rossiter (A Murphy 47), Powell, Shelley, McGuinness; Higgins, Greene (Cretaro 67), Brennan, Keegan; Byrne, Madden (Madden 77).
Drogheda United: Skinner; Harris, Treacy, Kendrick, McNally (R Brennan 85), McGill, O’Connor, Daly, King; Smyth (Fitzpatrick 64), Crowley.
Referee: R Winter.