Sligo Rovers 0 - 0 Bray WanderersMARK QUIGLEY
sealed a great performance in a Sligo shirt when he was made Man of the Match in RTE's live telecast of the 0-0 draw with Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds last night (Friday).
Only a fine first half acrobatic save by his namesake Darren Quigley stopped Sligo taking all three points.
Sligo are now seven points clear in the Airtricity League with five games to go. They have no games in hand. They have much to be optimistic about.
Manager Ian Barraclough was playing for all three points last night -- make no mistake on that, he emphasised it on TV -- but Bray proved a bogey as they did in the Showgrounds earlier in summer.
Sligo had three claims for penalties, two of them reasonable, but Cork referee Anthony Buttimer was having none of them.
Buttimer also infuriated Sligo fans, who booed when he blew full time just as three extra minutes had elapsed as Sligo mounted a promising attack.
However, Bray were full merit for a draw and it must be remembered that it was here in July, same venue and same score, that Shamrock Rovers began to bid goodbye to their chance of three successive League titles.
In particular, Bray again belied their second-from-bottom status with a well disciplined second half drill. Penalty Claims
Indeed Shane O'Connor's sweeping shot after taking a return pass from Jason Byrne in the 50th minute could have won the game for Bray but it inched outside the far upright.
It all started so differently; for the first 20 minutes Sligo threatened to swamp 'The Seagulls' on a fine night of weather in a town still basking in the glory of Olympic Gold won by townie Katie Taylor.
However, Sligo, playing in blue last night, lacked any real killer punches. They especially missed the penetration and width Alan Keane brings to the team with his incisive darting runs. Paschal Millien failed to make any real impression when he was introduced.
Joseph N'Do had a flat showing at midfield apart from a few timely interceptions and his corners -- such a strong feature all season in Sligo's surge to the summit -- failed to pose any threat and left Jason McGuinness feeling frustrated.
Mark Quigley was the only player to shine in both halves for Sligo. Unquestionably, he was the classiest player on the pitch.
In the first half Quigley was involved in almost every move worth noting.
In that opening period he was well supported by Rafael Cretaro, who featured in two penalty claims.
Jeff Henderson also will be pleased with his opening 45 minutes especially as he finally got to start a game in the Sligo shirt.
In that first half Rafael Cretaro, Jeff Henderson and David Crawley all had chances.
In the 10th minute Rovers players had a shout for a penalty but it was Sligo supporters who were shouting loudest in the 18th minute when Rafael Cretaro seemed to have been clearly caught by Dane Massey. Referee Anthony Buttimer was unsympathetic.
The 30th minute saw the chance of the game fall to Mark Quigley. His brilliant chip, without ever lifting his head, was tipped over the bar in a superb acrobatic save by Bray keeper Darren Quigley.
Quigley versus Quigley? It sounded like a potential re-run of a Hollywood film classic.
The game's first real chance had also fallen to Quigley. He was put through down the right but failed to spot the unmarked Danny Ventre and the chance was lost.
Sligo had a real chance in the 70th minute when Quigley, again, went close but he could not steer Ross Gaynor’s cross home.
Cretaro also had a chance after David Cawley’s cross, but his weak shot was easily saved by Quigley in the Bray goal.Saved Smartly
Cawley himself almost broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute after Quigley’s ball set up the midfielder but the Bray keeper save smartly.
Adam Mitchell's red hair would have been matched with a red face as he nearly gifted Sligo the game in the 87th minute when his sliced clearance over the bar from Gaynor’s cross could easily have become an own goal.
Bray always looked cable of scoring their own goals too - with Jason Byrne, Daire Doyle, Kieran Marty Waters and, most notably, Shane O'Connor all having good chances to cause the shock of the League season.
There was a winner last night: Paddy Power was offering what seemed a soft 5-1 if Sligo, Derry and Bohemians all won their matches last night. Hmmm. Bray Wanderers:
Darren Quigley, Dane Massey, Adam Mitchell, Danny O’Connor, Shane O’Connor, Sean Houston, Dean Zambra, Daire Doyle, Kieran Marty Waters, John Mulroy, Jason Byrne. Sub: Adam Hanlon for Mulroy 84th minute.Sligo Rovers
: Gary Rogers, Seamus Conneely, Jason McGuinness, Jeff Henderson, Ross Gaynor, Danny Ventre, David Crawley, Joseph N'Do, Lee Lynch, Rafael Cretaro, Mark Quigley. Subs: Paschal Millien for Ventre 71st minute and Ryan Connolly for Jeff Henderson 85th minute.Referee
: Anthony Buttimer (Cork).Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook