Shelbourne blew a two-goal lead but still did enough to scrape themselves off the foot of the Airtricity League Premier Division table, courtesy of a 2-2 draw against Drogheda United.

Early goals from Derek Doyle and Paul Andrews put Shelbourne in control at Tolka Park.

However, a brace from Gavin Brennan got Drogheda back in the game. Indeed, home keeper Lee Murphy had to make two terrific saves in each half to ensure that Shelbourne hung on.

The point is enough to lift John McDonnell’s side off the foot of the table on goal difference ahead of Bray Wanderers, who lost at Shamrock Rovers. Shelbourne also have a game in hand.

After five straight defeats, Shelbourne were in need a bit of good fortune and their bright start was rewarded with a freakish lead goal on 13 minutes.

Skipper Dean Kelly’s persistence won a second corner of the night and Doyle’s in-swinging delivery dropped into the net at the far post.

It got better for the home side ten minutes later when they stretched their lead on the counter-attack.

Kelly again did well before Sean Brennan won a throw in the corner.

Robert Cornwall’s long throw wasn’t cleared, with Brennan’s initial shot being blocked, before central defender Andrews’ low drive took a slight deflection to enter the net off a post, despite Micheal Schlingermann getting a glove to it.

Drogheda were back in it on the half-hour. Doyle was guilty of a push on Peter Hynes as they came to meet a Philip Hand free- kick and Gavin Brennan smashed the resulting penalty down the middle.

Eight minutes later, Shelbourne had Murphy to thank for an absolutely stunning one-handed save to push Ryan Brennan’s 25-yard shot over the bar.

However, Murphy was at fault for Drogheda’s equaliser on 61 minutes, allowing Gavin Brennan low cross-cum-shot from the left to go right across him and into the far bottom corner of the net for a soft goal.

Murphy redeemed himself with his second top stop of the night when parrying away Paul O’Conor’s drive on 70 minutes, before Schlingermann deprived Shelbourne substitute Darren Tinnelly at the other end.

Shelbourne: Lee Murphy; Robert Cornwall, Adam O’Connor, Paul Andrews, Pat Flynn; Adam Hanlon, Brian Gannon (Graham Gartland 90), Stephen Hurley, Derek Doyle (Darrenn Tinneely 73); Sean Brennan (Robert Bayly 77); Dean Kelly.

Drogheda United: Michael Schlingermann; Gavin Holohan, Paul McNally, MickDaly, Philip Hand; Cathal Brady (Jason Marks 74), Ryan Brennan, Paul O’Conor (Eric Foley 87), Gavin Brennan; Declan O’Brien, Peter Hynes.

Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).