Sean Boyd hit the winner for the second week running as Shelbourne chalked up their first back-to-back victories of the season.

Shelbourne consolidate in mid-table while the only consolation after a fourth successive defeat for Drogheda sees them remain three points ahead of second bottom Finn Harps who lost at home to UCD.

Despite plenty of endeavour from both sides, a dour first half was devoid of any telling goalmouth action as Shelbourne manager Damien Duff watched from the stands in serving the second of a three-match dugout suspension.

With a good shape to them, Drogheda shaded a scrappy opening period as Shelbourne had to work hard to get their passing game going.

Reds' striker Boyd looked in on goal from Shane Farrell’s clever ball over the top 20 minutes in, but Sam Long was alert to the threat and out quickly to collect.

Aodh Dervin’s incisive ball then put Conor Kane away down the left. The wingback glided past several defenders before his weak cross was deflected out for a corner as Jack Moylan and Boyd hoped for a better delivery.

Drogheda’s only threat before the break stemmed from a Dayle Rooney corner on the half hour. Keith Cowen headed the ball back across goal to Sean Roughan whose shot scarcely troubled goalkeeper Brendan Clarke.

With far more impetus to their game, Shelbourne thankfully sparked the game to life with what proved the only goal of the night six minutes after the interval.

A bout of good possession ended with Farrell's perfectly weighted diagonal ball picking out Boyd, who peeled off a defender to score with a well-placed downward header for his fifth goal of the season.

Their tails up, it might have been 2-0 five minutes later, skipper Luke Byrne’s powerful header arrowing just over the crossbar from Farrell’s corner.

Long prevented Shelbourne extending their lead on 65 minutes with the save of the game one-on-one from Kane who bore down on goal from Moylan’s through ball.

With four substitutes on, Drogheda chased the game and were close to an equaliser on 71 minutes.

Chris Lyons’ miscued shot ran across goal for fellow sub Ryan Brennan whose first time drive ballooned over the top.

Shelbourne defended stoutly for much of the remainder of the game, coming close to a second goal on the break in added time.

Kameron Ledwidge broke from deep to give Stanly Anaebonam a run on goal. Drogheda defender Sean Roughan got back well to snuff out the threat.

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; Aaron O’Driscoll, Luke Byrne, Shane Griffin; John Ross Wilson, JJ Lunney, Aodh Dervin, Conor Kane; Jack Moylan (Stanley Anaebonam 90), Shane Farrell (Kameron Ledwidge 84); Sean Boyd.

Drogheda United: Sam Long; Andrew Quinn, Keith Cowan, Sean Roughan, Dane Massey (Ryan Brennan 60); Dayle Rooney, Gary Deegan, James Clarke, Evan Weir (Georgie Poynton 66); Darragh Nugent (Dylan Grimes 66); Dean Williams (Chris Lyons 62).

Referee: Rob Hennessy (Clare).