Drogheda United claimed the EA Sports Cup with a superb 3-1 win against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium.

Declan O’Brien fired past Oscar Jansson at the near post for the opener and a Kerrea Gilbert own goal from Philip Hand’s corner doubled their lead just before-half-time.

Killian Brennan's unstoppable free-kick gave Rovers hope in the second half, but Eric Foley made sure of the win with a 25-yard strike past Jansson.

Rovers ended the game with ten men when Conor Powell was red carded.

Rovers made three changes from their last game, as Craig Sives, Colin Hawkins and Conor Powell came into the side.

Mick Cooke made just one change as Paul Crowley replaced John Sullivan in the centre of midfield.

Rovers created the first chance after 14 minutes after a poor start from both side.

Foley fouled Thomas Stewart on the left and Gary McCabe whipped in the free-kick that skipped of the head of Gavin Brennan and almost nestled in the top-corner.

Rovers had another good opportunity three minutes later when a free-kick move almost paid off.

McCabe shaped to shoot but Stephen Rice played to Killian Brennan who fired straight at Sava in the Drogheda United goal.

Drogheda came more into the game and two minutes later had a good chance of their own.

Foley played the cross from deep but Gavin Brennan’s header couldn’t beat Oscar Jansson.

The home side created the best chance of the half on the 20-minute mark. 

McCabe started the move on the right which ended with Ronan Finn with a glorious chance on goal against Sava, but the midfielder chose power instead of placement and Sava made a good save.

United took the lead after 33 minutes and it was little surprise given some of the questionable Rovers defending that came previously.

Gavin Brennan’s short corner caught the Hoops sleeping and his cross found Declan O’Brien who somehow squeezed the ball past Jansson at the near post from a near-impossible angle.

Alan McNally's cross to the back post found the head of Gavin Brennan and he forced Jansson into a brilliant one handed save soon afterwards.

The resulting corner by Eric Foley found Paul Crowley and he headed just wide.

Drogheda’s pressure paid off as they doubled their lead two minutes before the break.

Oscar Jansson failed to deal with Philip Hand’s corner from the right and defender Kerrea Gilbert knocked the ball into his own net to compound the misery for the home team.

Gilbert was roundly booed by his own fans for the aftermath and part of the second-half as they vented their frustration.

The away side continued their pressure in the opening minutes of the second period as Foley found O’Brien in the penalty box but he couldn’t get his header on target.

Rovers got right back in the game 13 minutes into the second half.

Paul Crowley fouled Gary McCabe on the edge of the penalty area and Killian Brennan fired an unstoppable free-kick into the top corner of Sava’s goal.

The comeback was short-lived as Drogheda regained their two goal lead just two minutes later.

Gavin Brennan’s cross was partially cleared to Eric Foley 25-yards out and his strike deflected off Colin Hawkins to fly past the helpless Jansson.

It got even worse for Rovers when they were reduced to ten men with 18 minutes remaining when Powell dragged back O’Brien as the striker looked to run through on goal and he was given a straight red card by referee Tom Connolly.

Drogheda pressed for another and Ryan Brennan and Peter Hynes had chances to extend their lead as they cruised home.

It left director of football Brian Laws knowing he has a massive job to take his side to the European places this year, while Drogheda celebrated a historic win that added to an already stunning campaign so far.

Shamrock Rovers: Oscar Jansson, Kerrea Gilbert, Craig Sives, Colin Hawkins, Conor Powell; Gary McCabe (Billy Dennehy, 60 mins), Ronan Finn, Stephen Rice, Killian Brennan; Thomas Stewart (Daryl Kavanagh, 60), Ciaran Kilduff (Gary Twigg, 65).

Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava, Brian Gannon, Derek Prendergast, Alan McNally, Philip Hand; Ryan Brennan, Gavin Brennan, Paul Crowley, Eric Foley; Declan O’Brien (Sean Brennan, 92 mins), Peter Hynes (Tiernan Mulvenna, 89).