Micheal Schlingermann made a string of second-half saves as Drogheda United defeated Shamrock Rovers 1-0 at Tallaght Stadium in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division to heap more pressure on under-fire Hoops manger Trevor Croly.
Gavan Holohan’s early goal gave Drogheda a big win to move them up to eighth in the table as Rovers' fans vented their anger at Croly and the club’s board at the finish.
Boos and chants of “we want Croly out” and “sack the board” rang out as Rovers blew a chance to move to within three points of second-place Cork City who lost at Bohemians.
Enjoying plenty of possession, Drogheda forced three early corners as they started positively.
And it wasn’t long before Rovers’ sluggish start was punished as Drogheda deserved their 15th minute lead, for what proved the only goal of the game.
A long throw from Daire Doyle was merely helped off the head of a Rovers defender and Holohan’s crisp volley went in off the crossbar and keeper Barry Murphy.
That spurred Rovers into life and they almost levelled from their first corner of the game on 22 minutes.
Sean O’Connor’s delivery came off a Drogheda player for skipper Conor Kenna at the back post. His header, though, was straight at Schlingermann.
Three minutes later, O’Connor showed poor composure as he blazed over the top after being released by Ronan Finn.
Drogheda were causing Rovers problems when they got forward and they wasted a guilt-edged opening to double their lead on 28 minutes.
Gavin Brennan set up Carl Walshe, who showed good feet to skip past Kenna only to slice over the bar.
Croly wasn’t liking what he was seeing and he made a tactical switch in the hope of bringing a bit of impetus to his side, with Marty Waters replacing Shane Robinson and Gary McCabe moved to play in the hole.
It scarcely made an impact as Rovers somehow avoided falling further behind in stoppage-time at the end of the first half.
Murphy saved his side with three good stops from Walshe, Gary O’Neill and then Holohan in a frantic goalmouth scramble.
Rovers were booed off by their fans at the interval but got received plenty of support after the restart as
Ciaran Kilduff was introduced in an attacking move by Croly.
The big striker almost levelled on 58 minutes, surging past two defenders from Finn’s pass before his shot was deflected to safety by Schlingermann.
The big Drogheda keeper was worked twice more by McCabe with long-range drives soon after as Rovers upped the pressure.
But Schlingermann was there with the stop of the night on 85 minutes, turning Karl Sheppard’s close-range shot on the turn over the bar for a corner.
Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Jason McGuinness, Evan Osam; Robert Bayly, Shane Robinson (Marty Waters 39); Gary McCabe, Ronan Finn, Sean O’Connor (Ciaran Kilduff 54); Dean Kelly (Karl Sheppard 67).
Drogheda United: Micheal Schlingermann; Daire Doyle, Alan McNally,Ciaran McGuigan, Shane Grimes; Mick Daly; Cathal Brady (Sean O'Connor 77), Gavan Holohan, Gavin Brennan, Carl Walshe; Gary O’Neill (Declan O'Brien 80).
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).