Dundalk returned to winning ways with a tense derby day victory over Drogheda United at Oriel Park.

The visitors arrived on the back of a crucial win over UCD on Friday night, but they had a different manager in the dug-out with Darius Kierans back at the helm following Paul Lumsden's sudden change of heart. Kierans' players responded in perfect fashion, hitting the front after just eight minutes.

Eoghan Osbourne's forceful run down the left saw him approach the Dundalk byline. His cut-back was good and John Flood – who scored twice against Drogheda for Dundalk in a pre-season friendly – finished from close range.

Dundalk had a perfect chance to hit back just two minutes later but Neale Fenn somehow managed to place the ball wide of the post after taking an Alan Cawley pass under control.

The equaliser arrived in the 22nd minute and it was the result of a swift counter attack. Neale Fenn played Tiarnan Mulvenna clear on the right. His cross was inch perfect and Stephen McDonnell was on hand to turn the ball past Paul Murphy for a debut goal.

Injuries and suspensions meant that Mulvenna was making a rare start but the local forward further staked his claim for a regular place when he put Dundalk in front approaching half-time. Faz Kuduzovic played him in with a beautiful reverse pass and even though Mulvenna's strike wasn't the truest, it had enough to beat Murphy and trickle over the line.

A dour second-half saw both goalkeepers rarely called into action. Drogheda pushed for an equaliser and they thought they had it when Michael Daly turned a header past Gregg in the 85th minute, but the goal was ruled out for offside.

DUNDALK: 22 Matt Gregg; 2 Shaun Kelly, 4 Tom Miller, 3 Wayne Hatswell, 13 Nathan Murphy; 17 Tiarnan Mulvenna, 7 Stephen Maher, 8 Alan Cawley, 16 Stephen McDonnell (19 Johnny Breen, 83 mins); 10 Neale Fenn (captain), 9 Fahrudin Kuduzovic.
Subs: 1 Michael Cooney (GK), 18 Mark Griffin,, 20 Cathal Bellew, 21 John Smyth.
Booked: Wayne Hatswell, 74 mins.

DROGHEDA UNITED: 23 Paul Murphy; 6 Eric McGill, 5 Alan McNally (captain), 3 Joe Kendrick, 12 Eoghan Osbourne; 19 Ryan Brennan, 16 Michael Daly, 10 Paul Crowley, 14 Gareth O'Connor, 17 Kevin Ross (8 Jamie Duffy, 53 mins); 11 John Flood.
Subs: 1 Paul Skinner (GK), 4 Damian Brennan,, 18 Glen Fitzpatrick, 20 Colm Smyth.
Booked: Crowley, 9 mins; Eric McGill, 48 mins; Alan McNally, 70 mins.

REFEREE: Declan Hanney