|February 23, 2018||7:45 pm||Premier Division||2018|
Sligo Rovers picked up their first points of the season with a 2-1 victory over neighbours Derry City at The Showgrounds.
Second-half goals from Adam Morgan and Alistair Roy appeared to be enough to secure all three points for Rovers, before Ronan Curtis’ late goal made the hosts sweat.
With both sides suffering opening day defeats, this game would have been treated as a must win by managers Ger Lyttle and Kenny Shiels.
The hosts enjoyed the best of the early play, with Ben Doherty forced to be alert when Eduardo Pinceli’s quick free-kick fell to Adam Morgan and his ball into the box causing problems for the Derry defence.
Ally Roy was causing the visitors a host of problems early on, but his threatening ball was just inches away from meeting the feet of Caolan McAleer in front of goal.
Chelsea loanee Mitchell Beeney just joined Ger Lyttle’s troops two days ago, and making his debut for the club he certainly made an impact when he got his legs in the way of a Ronan Hale effort that looked destined for the back of the net after good work from Curtis and Ben Doherty.
Another debutant for the Bit o’Red was former Candystripe Patrick McClean, and he forced his former team-mate Ger Doherty into action when his left-footed volley looked troublesome for the visitors with the 36-year-old forcing the shot clear.
Both McAleer and Roy tried their luck after 20 minutes but neither but the Derry defence under enough pressure.
Beeney was again forced to be alert when Rory Hale was through on goal, the 22-year-old though, just got enough on it to force a corner.
In an end-to-end game, the hosts went on the attack almost immediately with Doherty keeping out McCabe’s low drive, before picking up a knock himself when he came well off his line to prevent Pincei’s ball over the top from getting to Morgan in time.
The Bit o’Red were playing with a bit more urgency after the re-start, with Gary Boylan doing well to beat Ben Doherty on the right before his cross was sent goalwards by Derry native McClean, he looked on in agony as the visitors got enough bodies in the way.
Boylan was beginning to make waves on the right side, the Mayo man ran 50 yards before being hacked down by Cole on the edge of the box, winning a free-kick in a dangerous position. Pinceli sent the resulting free straight into the arms of Doherty.
The momentum was with Rovers, and again Doherty was the hero for Kenny Shiels’ men when his fingertip save forced David Cawley’s outstanding strike just over the bar.
Ger Lyttle’s men continued to press and they were rewarded on 76 minutes when former Liverpool man Adam Morgan bundled the ball over the line after a goalmouth scramble.
Rovers kept the pressure on, and were well deserving of their 2-0 lead when Cawley’s ball split open the Derry defence, and the onrushing Roy calmly slotted the ball past Doherty to double the lead.
Curtis captalised on a lapse in the Rovers defence to lessen the deficit, but it proved to be little more than a consolation
Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Gary Boylan, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Seamus Sharkey, Patrick McClean; Rhys McCabe, David Cawley, Eduardo Pinceli; Caolan McAleer (Craig Roddan 87), Adam Morgan (Greg Moorhouse 84), Ally Roy,
Derry City: Ger Doherty; Conor McDermott (Jamie McDonagh 61), Armin Aganovic, Darren Cole, Ben Doherty; Nicky Low, Aaron McEneff; Ronan Curtis, Rory Hale (Eoin Toal 78), Ronan Hale; Rory Patterson.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
KO 26 45 53 75 84 84 87 FT
|The Showgrounds, Church Hill, Knappagh Beg, Sligo, Ireland|
|Referee||Assistant Referee||4th Official|
|Paul McLaughlin||Emmett Dynan|