SLIGO ROVERS - even without captain Danny Ventre and leading scorer Danny North -- scored an emphatic 4-1 win against second placed Drogheda United in the Airtricity League at the Showgrounds last night (Saturday).
The stakes were high; the game was effectively a 'six pointer' and had Drogheda won they would have gone top.
Instead Rovers showed some of their best form this season, scored four and have gone four points clear of their nearest challengers...AND they have a game in hand.
Sligo were buoyed,too, by the 1-0 win their Europa League conquerors Spartak Trnava of Slovakia ad against top Romanian side Steuea Bucuresti on Thursday night - Martin Mikovic whose two goals against Sligo effectively eliminated them also scored the midweek winner.
Even more exciting for manager Ian Barraclough last night was that four different players scored Rovers goals -- Mark Quigley, Seamus Conneely, Romuald Boco and Joseph N'Do gave Rovers the points.
Sligo were without Ventre, and North while Drogheda were without centre-half Derek Prendergast....and it was a vital absence for the Boynesiders, who were unbeaten in the past two months.
In the 4th minute, Joseph Ndo went close for Sligo from a free-kick at the edge of the area after Ross Gaynor was fouled. N'Do shot over.
Paschal Millien had a chance two minutes later when Boco supplied him with a pass from the left. Millien mis-kicked and shot harmlessly wide.Blasted Home
In ten minutes Rovers went 1-0 ahead when Seamus Conneely found Mark Quigley in space at the edge of the Drogheda penalty area. Quigley unleashed a right-footed shot which Gabriel Sava at full stretch could not reach.
In 18 minutes Ballina man David Cawley got his body in front of Ryan Brennan's goal-bound shot which might have put Drogheda back in the game.
Sligo went 2-0 ahead in the 42nd minute. Boco's fierce shot was spilled by Sava at the feet of Conneely, who blasted the ball home.
Drogheda then went close in the 45th minute but Gavin Peers deflected Ryan Brennan's shot into the side netting.
Drogheda made two half-time substitutions but didnt threaten the threatened the Sligo goal until the 58th minute. Declan O'Brien's volley from 20 yards presented by problems for Sligo goalie Gary Rogers.
Sligo went 3-0 up in the 60th minute when good interplay between Mark Quigley and Joseph N'Do then saw N'Do beat two Drogheda defenders, round the Drogheda keeper and then set up Boco to head home.Through Ball
Drogheda pulled a goal back through substitute Peter Hynes on 75 minutes who headed home Gavin Brennan's cross to the back post.
On the 80th minute N'Do scored himself, taking a through ball from Rafael Cretaro and shooting under the diving Sava to make it 4-1.
On full time, as at half time, Drogheda wasted a scoring chance - Sligo substitute Ryan Connolly, who had come on for Connelly, lost possession to Sean Brennan but he shot weakly from a few yards.
Ross Gaynor and David Cawley got yellow cards for Sligo while Conor McMahon, Gavin Brennan and Paul Crowley were 'yelow carded' for Drogheda.Sligo Rovers:
Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Romuald Boco, David Cawley, Joseph N'Do, Seamus Conneely, Ross Gaynor, Mark Quigley, Pascal Millien. Subs: Ryan Connolly (for Conneely, 57th minute), Rafael Cretaro (for Millien, 64th min), Lee Lynch (for Cawley, 84th min).
Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava; Philip Hand, Alan McNally, Cathal Brady, Alan Byrne: Ryan Brennan; Gavin Brennan, Paul Crowley, Conor McMahon, Eric Foley; Declan O'Brien. Subs: Sean Brennan (for Ryan Brennan, half time), Peter Hynes (for Cathal Brady, half time). John Sullivan (for Foley, 64 mins).
Referee: Padraig Sutton.