Sligo Rovers 3 - 0 Dundalk
LESS THAN an hour after two of his recent goals were screened on RTE as contenders in the contest for August goal of the month, Mark Quigley put Sligo Rovers 1-0 ahead in a key Airtricity League match at the Showgounds last night (Monday).
Rovers eventually had a comfortable 3-0 victory in the end against a Dundalk side who have not won since May 21st last.
Sligo, for its part, claimed their 15th win -- with only one defeat -- in a game last night watched by 3,265. This is the second consecutive Monday night the Showgrounds turnstiles have topped three thousand supporters.
Liam Buchanan also scored his first goal since signing for Sligo two months ago, almost an hour after he had come on as sub for the injured Quigley.
The only two Dublin challengers to Sligo wilted in other games elsewhere last night, ie Shamrock Rovers and St Patricks Athletic.
Drogheda came from behind against Derry last night to maintain some semblance of a chase to the line for the League title, six points adrift and Sligo have a game in hand. There are just six weeks left.
The dawning reality, day by day, is that Sligo Rovers fans might be able to don early Halloween masks and ''party'' even before the kick-off against current League champions Shamrock Rovers in the final game, on Bank Holiday weekend Friday October 26th.
Last night, Sligo had the game's first opportunity in the 9th minute, as Ross Gaynor sent his shot across the face of goal.
However, Mark Quigley soon opened the scoring against his old club approaching the 12th minute.
Quigley's 20 yard pass found Lee Lynch, who beat his marker on the left flank and steered the pass back into the path of Quigley at the edge of the penalty area.
Dundalk might have had an instant equaliser but goalkeeper Gary Rogers confidently held Mark Griffin's powerful drive.Quick Advance
In the 31st minute Mark Griffin struck a weak free-kick from 20 yards at Rogers.
For Rovers, Liam Buchanan was just 10 minutes on the field when he failed to connect with a Rafael Cretaro pass just yards from goal.
The duo combined again in the 42nd minute but Buchanan's attempted lob -- after a superb pass from Cretaro -- was thwarted by the quick advance of Dundalk keeper Peter Cherrie
Cherrie wasnt so lucky when Sligo went 2-0 ahead last night in the 49th minute. The keeper failed to claim Ross Gaynor's free from the right and Gavin Peers was on hand to net the type of goal which has been his hallmark when he moves up for frees and corners.
In the 52nd minute the every eager and industrious Buchanan might have stretched Sligo's lead to three but he drew a great reflex save out of Cherrie from close range.
Danny Ventre's mis-placed back-pass in the 64th could have gifted Dundalk a lifeline but Stephen McDonnell's low drive hit the post.Partial Touch
Sligo controlled the pace of the game in the final quarter and never had to exert themselves to protect their lead. Dundalk's frustration was underscored with three yellow cards, for Stephen Maher, Paul Whelan and Mark Griffin.
For Sligo, Paschal Millien's competiveness and his mazy runs have delighted the Showgrounds crowds all season and last night was no exception.
His best chance came when Millien beat two Dundalk defenders in the 83rd minute, only to see his angled shot drop on the top of the Dundalk net.
Liam Buchanan rounded off a great personal night when a tap-in in the 86th minute gave the former Scottish League player his first goal since coming to Sligo.
Cherrie in the Dundalk goal, under pressure from Jason McGuinness, could only get a partial touch on an in-swinging corner from Joseph N'Do and the ball dropped kindly for Buchanan.Sligo Rovers:
Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Ross Gaynor, Seamus Conneely, Joseph N'Do, Danny Ventre, Lee Lynch, Rafael Cretaro, Mark Quigley. Subs: Paschal Millien for Keane 25th minute, Liam Buchanan for Quigley 29th minute and David Cawley for Ventre 84th minute. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Jeff Henderson, John Dillon and Ryan Connolly.Dundalk:
Peter Cherrie, Paul Whelan, Derek Foran, Liam Burns, Nathan Murphy, Stephen Maher, Chris Shields, Gary Shanahan, Stephen O'Donnell, Michael Rafter, Mark Griffin. Subs: Chris Reilly (for Shanahan 72), , Paul Walsh (for Burns 53). Subs not used: Philip McCabe, Conor McDonnell, William Woods and Barry Conlon.Referee
: T Connolly (Dublin).Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook