Pressure is growing on Drogheda United boss Robbie Horgan after his charges slumped to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of an excellent Limerick side in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division at United Park.
The Shannonsiders were stronger in every facet of the game as they followed up last week’s impressive victory over St Pat’s in some style, inflicting a ninth defeat in 10 matches on their hosts.
Danny Galbraith shot home from the edge of the box to put Limerick ahead after only eight minutes, and the visitors extended their lead on 24 when Tam McManus beat Dave Ryan at his near post with a low drive.
Declan O’Brien pulled one back on the half-hour mark when he glanced home a corner kick, but that goal was immediately cancelled out by a brilliant Shane Duggan volley to leave the Shannonsiders 3-1 ahead at the break.
Worse was to follow for the Drogs just four minutes into the second half when Shane Tracy’s corner kick for the visitors sailed straight into the net.
Limerick pressed for more but they cruised to three points to jump into the top half of the table.
Drogheda forced two early corners, and yet it was Limerick who broke the deadlock from their first attack on eight minutes, Danny Galbraith driving home from 18 yards after latching onto Patrick Nzuzi’s square pass.
Worse was to come for the Boynesiders mid-way through the first half when Tam McManus ran onto a Danny Galbraith flick and bore down on goal before beating Dave Ryan at his near post.
Only for the keeper’s elder brother Barry, Drogheda would have been back in it on 29 minutes as Declan O’Brien’s superb overhead effort was somehow tipped over the bar at point-blank range.
But the deficit was halved from the resulting corner as Declan O’Brien bundled in Gavin Brennan’s corner at the near post.
The celebrations had barely denied down, though, when Limerick restored their two-goal lead, skipper Shane Duggan brilliantly volleying past a static Dave Ryan from 25 yards.
Chances were at a premium coming up to half-time, but two minutes after the restart the elder of the Ryans came to Limerick’s rescue with another excellent stop, tipping Gary O’Neill’s dipping shot onto the roof of the net.
Instead of being right back in the game, Drogheda then conceded a calamitous fourth goal on 49 minutes when Shane Tracy’s in-swinging corner kick nestled in the far corner of the net for 4-1.
After that it was damage limitation for Drogheda and somehow they managed to hold out without conceding any further goals.
DROGHEDA UNITED: David Ryan; Gavan Holohan, Alan McNally, Daire Doyle (Paul Andrews 46), Shane Grimes; Cathal Brady (Carl Walshe 79), Eric Foley (Paul Crowley 52), Sean O’Connor, Gavin Brennan; Gary O’Neill; Declan O’Brien.
Subs not used: Philly Hughes, Dominic Mahon, Roy Kierans, Dylan Connolly.
LIMERICK: Barry Ryan; Patrick Nzuzi, Samuel Oji, Stephen Folan, Shane Tracy (Tony Whitehead 81); Prince Agyemang; Jason Hughes, Shane Duggan, Danny Galbraith (Darragh Rainsford 88); Rory Gaffney, Tam McManus (Ross Mann 74).
Subs not used: Michael Leahy, James McGrath, Kieran Hanlon, Shane Cusack.
Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).