Dungannon Swifts will be hoping to have a much stronger team on duty when the Setanta Cup resumes in September - their inadequacies were cruelly exposed at Stangmore Park last night as the defending champions cruised to a convincing victory.
Drogheda were ahead inside four minutes and they never really looked back.
Paul Keegan created the chance for the settling early strike as he played a perfectly weighted pass to Tony Grant.
The former Glenavon player spotted the approach of keeper Dwayne Nelson before clipping the ball inside the far left post.
A Jamie Tomelty free caused concern in the visiting defence, with man of the match Brian Shelly making a clearance at the back post, the ball just inching past the upright.
Drogheda were dangerous from dead-balls, scoring from their first real attempt on 35 minutes.
Joe Kendrick was the instigator, a long ball was headed down by centre half Gavin, with Graham Gartland ensuring the ball entered the net, deftly tucking it inside the post.
Swifts switched to a more positive 4-4-2 set-up for the second half, Aidan McCarron making way for Austin Friel who quickly beat three men before just failing to find McAllister.
A clever free from Tomelty caused more problems for Drogheda, goalkeeper Ewings unable to hold the powerful effort with Gartland clearing an Adam McMinn follow-up.
A return for club captain Declan O'Brien after an 11-month lay-off on 62 minutes proved an effective change as a challenging shot from the forward won a corner.
While Keegan's corner was designed to extend the lead, the manner of the score wasn't planned, Swifts defender McMinn turning the ball into his own net. With four minutes to go O'Brien's deft finish killed off Swifts.
DUNGANNON SWIFTS: Nelson, McConkey, Gallagher, McMinn, Curran, Tomelty, McAllister, Hegarty, Fitzpatrick, McCarron, Murphy. Subs: Morgan, Friel, McGerrigan, Ferry, McAliskey, McElwee, Okunaiya
DROGHEDA UNITED: Ewings, Kendrick, Gavin, Gartland, Hughes, Baker, Grant, Shelly, Keegan, O'Keefe, Cahill. Subs: C Byrne, Robinson, O'Brien, S Byrne, Zayed, Barrett, Thaim.
Referee: Brian Turkington (Belfast).