Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Sligo Rovers
SLIGO ROVERS all but ended Shamrock Rovers chance of retaining their Airtricity League crown after the sides shared an exciting 1-1 draw at Tallaght Stadium in west Dublin last night (Monday).
Spectators were treated to two fine goals and plenty of scoring chances on either side. Shams needed to win but Sligo will be happiest this morning with the outcome.
However, the League race is not quite over as St Patricks Athletic last night won all three points in Cork in a single goal surprise victory which moved them third, while Drogheda tightened their grip on second place over the weekend with an away win.
It was a former Pat's player, Mark Quigley gave Sligo a half-time lead with a super volley last night before Ronan Finn equalised with a sublime effort just after the restart.
One On One
Shamrocks could -- and should -- have gone ahead in the first minute. Gary McCabe beat Joseph N'Do to the ball in midfield before slipping inside for Tommy Stewart. But, one-on-one, the big forward could only find goalkeeper Gary Rogers with a powerful drive.
McCabe again went close in the seventh minute when his 25 yard free-kick was just yards wide.
Outside of those two clearcut chances the Hoops created little to suggest they can halt Sligo from taking their crown this season.
For Sligo, Paschal Millien showed what he was capable of early on with a neat turn and shot from a tight angle.
Sligo went ahead in the 32nd minute. Joe N'Do played a quick free-kick from just inside the halfway line into Paschal Millien, who chested the ball into the path of Mark Quigley. The on-form striker let the ball bounce before he smashed home on the volley from 25 yards. It was a real Roy of the Rovers goal
Romuald Boco should have doubled Sligoís lead in the 42nd minute. After neat work by Seamus Connelly, Quigley headed across goal but Shamrocks goalie Oscar Jansson brilliant kept out Boco's shot from six yards.
The Hoops showed urgency after the interval and Killian Brennan had a chance before Shamrocks did equalise. That score came in the 50th minute and it wasnt without its talking point. Frantic Pace
After prolonged pressure by the Hoops deep in the Sligo half, referee Anthony Buttimer waved away penalty appeals. The ball appeared to strike one of the Sligo players in the midriff. Sligo's defence hesitated but cleared the ball amidst the protestations, only for Ronan Finn to drive into the top right hand corner from just outside the box.
The frantic pace of the game continued into the second half, reflecting that it was a 'must win' for Shamrocks and a 'must not lose' for Sligo.
The next real chance didnít arrive until the 73th minute when, just before he was substituted, Sligo's Paschal Millien turned Craig Sives in the box before squaring invitingly for the on-rushing Seamus Conneely, who was inches away from tapping home.
Final chance for Shamrock Rovers to save their League title fell to substitute Ciaran Kilduff but his late effort was blocked out behind. A disappointing result for the reigning champions who now drop to fourth place.Shamrock Rovers:
Oscar Jansson, Kerrea Gilbert, Colin Hawkins, Craig Sives, Conor Powell, Gary McCabe, Stephen Rice, Ronan Finn, Killian Brennan, Gary Twigg, Tommy Stewart. Subs used: Ciaran Kilduff for Stewart, 70th minute; Billy Dennehy for Brennan 75th minute; Daryl Kavanagh for Twigg 86th minute. Subs not used: Reyaad Pieterse, Chris Turner, Conor McCormack, Ken Oman.Sligo Rovers:
Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Ross Gaynor; Danny Ventre, Seamus Conneely, Joseph N'Do, Romuald Boco; Paschal Millien, Mark Quigley. Subs used: Rafael Cretaro for Millien, 73rd minute; Lee Lynch for N'Do, 82nd minute. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Jeff Henderson, Martin Owens, Ryan Connolly, John Dillon.Referee: