Drogheda United – Match Report vs. Dundalk FC (23/06/23)

The third Louth Derby in the league saw Drogheda try to gain revenge and beat their local rivals Dundalk FC, after failing to do so in the 2 previous league meetings this season. It looked as if their luck had finally changed going 1-0 up inside 10 minutes after a goal by Adam Foley, slotting the ball into the back of the net inside the 6-yard box after a corner.

Throughout Drogheda were the better side, created the better chances and should have scored at least another goal to merit their play. But 5 minutes of madness late in the second half completely turned things around as on loan striker Freddie Draper saw red for an off the ball incident in between Dundalk scoring twice, Patrick Hoban getting both, including one from the penalty spot to crown himself as Dundalk FC’s top goal scorer ever, on his way to earning his side the 3 points and a clean sweep of Louth Derby’s in the league this season.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Darragh Markey

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Irish
  • Age: 26
  • Date of birth: 23/05/1997
  • Club: Drogheda United
  • Career: Cherry Orchard FC, St Pat’s, Drogheda United
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Other Positions: Right Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Attacking midfielder Darragh Markey had a brilliant game where his technical ability really shone, without doubt he was the most technical player on the pitch. And whilst at the top end of the age bracket for Target Scouting, I couldn’t not include him after his performance.

The Irish midfield has a smaller frame standing at 1.70m, but this gave him a smaller centre of gravity, and an agility that meant he could quickly turn or move away from pressure. He had short burst of acceleration, that he used to move away from his marker and receive the ball in space, once he received the ball his first touch was often excellent. He could receive and play off both feet and had the composure to still continue to try and play even when under pressure.

Markey had a strong ability to scan, and would often find pockets of space to operate in, he expertly linked play and showed real variety in his movement, whether it be dropping deeper or moving into wider channels he looked comfortable no matter where.

He had strong vision and often had the execution to pick out runners or teammates in space, although a few passes may have been under hit, these were mostly difficult passes to execute as he tried to create openings. Whilst technical brilliant Markey was also one of the hardest working players, he was constantly on the move whether that be closing the opposition down, using his acceleration to press intensely, moving to find space, or tracking back as far as his own box his stamina levels meant he could do it all.

Markey didn’t show too many weaknesses to his game, the odd under hit pass was just a small blip, although what may limit him playing at higher levels is a slight lack of upper body strength. He could be quite easily knocked off the ball, found if difficult to challenge in Aerial Duels, to the point where he would often try and fake to jump to try and disrupt the defender rather than physically engage. He also wasn’t an attacking midfielder that often looked to get into the box, operating more as a link player instead.

Rating – A1

Markey had a brilliant game, his technical ability and eye for space allowed him to really dictate the tempo of the game for Drogheda, Strong with and without the ball, with great stamina levels. With his contract running out at the end of November 2023 according to TransferMarkt, I’d be surprised if a team at a higher level doesn’t take a chance on Markey, especially if he can find a way to add goals or get into more goal scoring positions to his game.

Emmanuel Adegboyega

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Irish
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 16/09/2003
  • Club: Drogheda United
  • Career: Glenmuir Utd, Warrenpoint U20, Newry U19, Drogheda U19, Dundalk FC, Drogheda Utd
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Other Positions: Defensive Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Emmanuel Adegboyega showed some quality for Drogheda United, a clear strength of his is his physical attributes. Standing at 1.90m tall aided him in how strong he looked in the air but also showed great strength, pushing attackers off the ball at times without having to make a tackle. He was also very quick over long and short distances allowing him to mop up any balls over the top.

Adegboyega was a very aggressive defender, always looking to get out and win the ball and he used his long legs to win the ball often showing nice timing in the tackle, as well as using his physical strength to win the ball back with ease at times. Although he was often guilty of being overly aggressive, stepping out of the defensive line when he should have waited, which often left huge gaps behind him which the opposition could take advantage of. Luckily his speed meant he could get back into position often, but this defensive naivety also cropped up again as Adegboyega gave away the penalty when recovering that eventually gave Dundalk FC the win.

On the ball Adegboyega was often composed, looking to play the ball rather than just clear into space. Whilst there was the odd loose pass or casualness to his play, he showed a nice variety of distribution, with low line breaking passes or clipped passes into the attackers he progressed well. Impressively he looked just as comfortable when moving from the right side to the left after Drogheda went down to 10 men. He still wanted to play the ball and continued to look just as comfortable. He even showed glimpses of his technical ability with a free kick late in the second half that really tested the opposition keeper.

Rating – A2

Adegboyega has many strengths to his game as a central defender, his strong physical attributes make him a good 1v1 defender, his speed makes it difficult for the opposition to get past him, whilst being very strong at attacking and defending the ball in the air. He showed ability to pass the ball forward under pressure, and showed good levels of confidence and composure throughout. If he can make better decision of when to go and try to win the ball back, and become more positionally aware defensively he could be a very strong defender for plenty of sides.

Freddie Draper

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 28/07/2004
  • Club: Drogheda United(L)
  • Career: Coventry (Y), Derby (Y) Lincoln City, Gainsborough (L), Drogheda United (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Striker Freddie Draper lead the line by himself for Drogheda and despite his young age looked comfortable in this role. The English striker stands at 1.81m, and used his height and physical strength to cause the opposition defence plenty of problems.

Draper was effective at winning his Aerial Duels, doing just that to get the assist for Drogheda’s goal on the night. Even when he couldn’t win, he often did enough to put the defender off just enough for them to mistime their header or control.

One of his main strengths was how he held the ball up, showing some great first touches although this was sometimes inconsistent. I particularly liked how he would hold the defender off, pining them back allowing himself to turn into space.

Draper showed a good understanding of his role as a lone forward, dropping in as well as trying to run in behind, often arcing his run to stay onside. He liked to try and run behind the defenders, but equally could attack the box from slightly deeper positions. Not blessed with a great running speed over a distance, he showed he could pick up speed to really burst into the box from these positions.

He also showed he had the vision to see teammates for little flick on’s or lay offs, even if the execution wasn’t always quite there it was a positive sign. He pressed well initially, but the intensity did drop as the halves went on. Unfortunately for him in this match he didn’t quite have his shooting boots on, having two chances when 1v1 with the keeper, hitting the post with one and the side netting with the other. Although he still continued to get into these positions showing real resilience. Draper saw red late in the second half for an off the ball incident after a penalty was given to Dundalk, he wasn’t involved in the penalty and didn’t look to have any reason to be involved in any confrontation, but potentially the frustration from missing his earlier chances boiled over on the night.

Rating – A2

Draper showed plenty of attributes needed to play as a striker, physically able to compete even at such a young age and showed a variation to his game too. The striker’s instinct was definitely there with the positions he got himself into, and he showed he could cause defenders all sorts of problems in the air. If he can work on his execution of shorter passes/ layoffs and become even more consistent with his first touch, then there’s no doubt he could go on to be a striker at a higher level.

Elicha Ahui

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 28/12/2003
  • Club: Drogheda United (L)
  • Career: Lincoln U18, Drogheda United (L)
  • Position: Right Back
  • Other Positions: Right Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Elicha Ahui, another defender on loan at Drogheda United from Lincoln City showed some potential from right back. He had great levels of stamina and tried to get up and down the right flank as often as he could, he possessed speed to get back into position and his tall frame and long legs meant he blocked several crosses or passes before they entered the box.

He mirrored wingers well and was often a strong 1v1 defender, although this ability did drop slightly towards the end of the game but after his team were down to 10 men.  Ahui did show that he does need to improve on his defensive positioning though. He would often move forward towards the man, leaving the defensive line and leave space behind him, although difficult when outnumbered in a 2v1, there were times where he stepped up to engage and made it even easier for the opposition to bypass him.

Ahui whilst still young also needs to improve on his technical ability, passes, crosses and headers were mishit and first touches loose a few times, and he did begin to look a little shaky when trying to play under any sort of pressure. Although he did put in a great infield pass after a driving up the pitch, showing he could potentially have the ability it’s just a case of getting that consistency.

Rating – B2

Ahui showed some great strengths at right back, his stamina and ability to block, as well as showing great physical speed across long and short distances. Although his technical ability was fairly raw, particularly his passing and first touch need to improve to reach a higher level. Still young though he shows promise, and if he can work on refining this technical ability and improve on how he positions himself defensively, he could become a strong full back.

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