Two goals in less than two minutes helped Drogheda United book their place in the last eight of the FAI Ford Cup with a deserved 3-2 win over First Division side Longford Town.

In the 55th minute Paul O’Conor drew the game level, after Brian McCarthy's 17th-minute opener, heading home David Cassidy’s pass and then over one minute later Shane Grimes put them ahead. 

Former Town player Cathal Brady added a third in the 73rd minute and Derek O’Brien's late goal proved only a consolation. 

The home side started the game brightly with Gary Shaw flashing his header just wide in the fifth minute.

Drogheda had appeals for a penalty in ninth minute when Ryan Brennan went down from a challenge by Keith Quinn but referee Kevin Regan waved away the visitors’ protests.

Town then got a hold on proceedings and in the 17th minute they broke the deadlock when Ryan Connolly’s corner was headed to the net by defender Brian McCarthy.

Drogheda gradually began to get back into the game.

After the half hour Alan Byrne’s shot from outside the box just went over and then two minutes later Brady’s cross was punched clear by Town keeper Chris Bennion.

Bennion pulled off a fine save one minute from the break to deny Gavin Brennan.

From the resultant corner Brennan curled his effort wide.

The pressure eventually paid off for Drogs in the in the 55th minute when O’Conor drew them level and just over one minute later they took the lead through Grimes.

They continued to pile on the pressure and Bennion had to be alert on a number of occasions.

The Town netminder pulled off an excellent save in the 65th minute to deny Brady but the winger was to get on the scoresheet eight minutes later.

Town substitute Josh O’Hanlon should’ve scored in the 88th minute but his effort just went wide.

Minutes later O’Brien made for a nervy finish when he pulled a goal back but Drogheda held on the win.

Longford Town: Bennion; Mulhall, Hope (Deans 66), McCarthy, Quinn; O'Neill (O’Hanlon 60), Gorman, Connolly, O’Brien; O’Sullivan, Shaw (Ebbe 78).

Drogheda United: Slingermann; Daly, Byrne, Prendergast, Grimes; Brady, R Brennan (Foley 90), G Brennan, O’Conor, Cassidy; O’Brien (Hynes 78).

Referee: Kevin O’Regan (Kerry)