Derry slumped to their first league defeat under John Robertson as a first half Guy Bates strike settled the encounter at United Park last night.
Derry did more than enough to have taken something from what was an open game. And yet again they have been far from outplayed by the league leaders this season only to come away empty handed.
It was Drogheda's first win in five league games and they have re-established themselves as firm favourites to go on to lift the title as they have re-opened an 11 point gap at the top.
Derry were rocked by the goal which came in the first minute of the game as the defence was caught cold, Bates squeezing in only his second goal of the campaign.
It took them a while to find their feet but it became quite an open game and City really should have found themselves on level terms by the break but missed several good chances.
In last night's other Premier Division games Cork beat Longford 3-2 at home while St Patrick's Athletic had a 4-2 win over Bray Wanderers at Richmond Park.