Competition: League of Ireland Premier Division
Date: 23 June 2023
Result: Drogheda United 1 – 2 Dundalk
Tickets: €35 for a family ticket (two adults, two kids)
Attendance: circa 2,500
Game/ Experience Rating: ☆☆☆
The Game: My second Louth derby of the season, and they are generally quite exciting if not overly high quality. Drogheda dominated much of this one, well on top in the first half, including taking the lead and hitting both posts early in the second period, too. Dundalk are dangerous, though, especially with Pat Hoban up front – he became the club’s record goalscorer with his first of two goals here.
Dundalk scored two second half goals in as many minutes to take control of the game – pretty much their only decent chances of the game, from what I can recall. That said, I may have that wrong – dealing with a toddler while you watch the match isn’t the easiest and I didn’t exactly take every second of this in. From what I saw, it was a good game overall, without ever being truly compelling.
The ground: I’ve been to United Park before, and unintentionally found myself in the away end that time (they were playing UCD, and there were next to no away fans). This time I was the opposite side of the pitch, and it’s a much better set up: easy access, lots of flares from the home fans and a couple of decent snack spots. There’s a slightly irritating policy around standing on the barrier (the stewards allowed it for 70 minutes and then decided not to anymore), but otherwise a pretty good place to watch football. Fairly run down, but that’s part of the charm, I think.
Extras: Decent coffee, lively fans (at least until they were behind, which is understandable in a derby), a surprisingly large full-time police presence, and a nice lad in a technicoloured suit. All good fun.
Assorted asides: I’ve worked out recently that this is actually the easiest professional club to visit from my place, so might well be back more often. Fingers crossed they stay up, a promotion/ relegation play off is not looking impossible this year.
My totals for the year so far:
Games: 15. Home wins: 9 Draws: 4 Away wins: 2
Goals: 44. Home goals: 30. Away goals: 14. Goals per game: 2.93