Sligo Rovers 4 - 1 Derry City
SLIGO ROVERS are eight points clear with four games to play after their 4-1 win against Derry City in the Airtricity League at the Showgrounds last night (Saturday).
It's been played like a squeezebox at the summit this past month or so - the chasers feel they're closing the gap on the leaders, only for Sligo to stretch off into the distance the next night.
Still, a squeezebox yields some sweet tunes. As in:-
*** Not even the prospect of having to play teams 2, 3 and 4 in the League table in successive weeks in October suggests there will be any stemming of the Sligo tide.
*** Sligo have now played 26 games, won 16, drew nine, have scored 49 goals and conceded just 17. Only one game has been lost. They are the League's top scorers.
They have the best defence...and by an Irish mile. Last night there were 4,083 in the Showgrounds; much higher than any games in England and Scotland yesterday afternoon.
It is impressive by any standard. It seems certain this team shortly will match Rovers League winning feat in 1937 of having the League title wrapped with two games to go.
In a certain set of circumstances they could even confirm the League title as early as next Friday night in Cork.
Last night Rafael Cretaro bagged a brace, something he's been threatening to do in several recent games.
It's a huge personal triumph for the Tubbercurry man whose best days at the Showgrounds seemed gone for good when he headed off to Bohemians three seasons back.
Now he and another gifted 'nearly' journeyman Mark Quigley seem set to finally receive Airtricity League winners medals on Friday October 26th.
Last night, Lee Lynch scored another goal and Derry even gifted an own goal to Sligo.
Return to Form
Joseph N'Do had a hand in two goals, and showed a return to the type of form which has excited crowds all over Ireland for many seasons.
In the 2nd minute, A short corner taken by N'Do found Ross Gaynor whose cross was headed just wide by Jason McGuinness.
Rovers were ahead in the 15th minute after Pachal Millien's trademark mazy run forced a corner. Ndo’s inswinger was put into his own net by Derry’s Ryan McBride under pressure from Sligo’s Gavin Peers.
N'Do himself scored but had the goal disallowed for offside in the 25th minute.
Sligo did go 2-0 ahead in the 35th minute when Stewart Greacan’s poor clearance was gratefully accepted by Rafael Cretaro.
The Rovers made it 3-0 in the 57th minute when Joseph N'Do -- that man again -- laid off neatly to Lee Lynch. His pass found Cretaro who, again, had the measure of Greacen to claim his second goal of the night.
Former Sligo man David McDaid put one past Sligo keeper Gary Rogers after Ruaidhri Higgins’ through ball beat the Sligo defence. 3-1....but not for long.
Sligo’s fourth came on 76 minutes through Lee Lynch scored with a fine individual effort in the 76th minute after intercepting a poor Derry throw-in.
Sligo had many other chances. Paschal Millien played a full game and gave Dermot McCafferty a game he will prefer to forget. Millien had a great chance in the 30th minute but blazed over. He had another good chance saved by Doherty in the 83rd minute.
Liam Buchanan's chance in the 87th minute to add to is personal tally came to nothing.
Man of the match was undoubtedly Cretaro, who served notice it was going to his night as early as the 7th minute when Lee Lynch set up the Tubber man, whose attempted chipped shot ended up on the roof of the Derry net.
Finally, along with conceding four goals, Derry City also had four players yellow-carded last night -- Higgins, Deery, McBride and McNamee.Sligo Rovers:
Gary Rogers, Seamus Conneely, Jason McGuinness, Gavin Peers, Ross Gaynor, Paschal Millien, Joseph N'Do, Lee Lynch, Danny Ventre, Rafael Cretaro, Mark Quigley. Subs: Liam Buchanan for Quigley 68th minute; David Cawley for Lynch and Ryan Connolly for Cretaro, both 80th minute. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Jeff Henderson, John Dillon and Martin Owens.Derry City:
Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Dermot McCafferty, Stewart Greacen, Ryan McBride, Patrck McEleney, Ruaidhri Higgins, Barry McNamee, Kevin Deery, Mark Farren, David McDaid. Subs: Conor Murphy for McEleney 64th minute; Shane McEleney for Greacen 74th minute and Ryan Curry for Deery 83rd minute.Referee:
Paul Tuite (Dublin).Always be first with Sligo news - Never miss a story - Join us on Facebook