Updated: 12/05/18 : 06:44:02
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Hoban heartbreak hits Sligo Rovers

SLIGO ROVERS hard season in 2018 just got a whole lot harder with their 2-1 defeat by Dundalk in the SSE Airtricity League at Oriel Park last night, Friday.

Patrick Hoban hit a brace, netting a 23rd minute penalty and then, with less than a minute of normal time left, he headed home Dane Massey’s cross.

Both players were shown yellow cards in the celebrations, elations really, which followed.

Massey and Hoban have each caused ‘grief’ with past winning goals in the Showgrounds but nothing matched last night’s heartbreak. 

Paciest player on the pitch last night was Dylan Connolly and no surprise that he earned the Dundalk penalty after Patrick McClean grounded him.

The Bit O’ Red battled, and then some, to get back into the game and go in 1-1 at half time.

Linesman Spotted

It was the linesman who spotted the incident which gave Sligo Rovers their penalty in the third minute of added time before the break.

Caolan McAleer intercepted a poor back pass by Stephen Folan, later substituted.

Dundalk keeper Gary Rogers seemed to crash into McAleer, though many home fans in the attendance of 2,134 didn’t agree.

Rogers got a yellow card ‘though the travelling Bit O’ Red fans thought it should have been a straight red.

Rhys McCabe duly slotted home from the spot past Rogers, the former Sligo League and Cup winning ace.

Rovers might have had another spot kick shortly before, the same players involved, Rogers and the tenacious McAleer.

Turkey Shoot

It was mostly one way traffic in the second half and on occasion looked like a turkey shoot as Dundalk lined up chances galore.

Chief culprit in the ‘miss’ stakes was Oriel substitute Marco Tagbajumi. 

Hoban, too, might have sealed it up earlier but John Mahon halted him with 20 minutes to go.

Quarter of an hour earlier Hoban seemed to have a fair claim on a penalty after Mahon, the ex Ballisodare United man, clattered into him real hard.
Further Daylight

Elsewhere, all the results worked against Sligo Rovers last night.

Bohemian win put further ‘daylight’ between them and Sligo, while St Patrick’s Athletic moved four points ahead of Rovers last night.

                                           Latest Ireland Airtricity League Table

Must Win

Sligo Rovers next outing is a trip to meet St Pats on their home turf in Inchicore next Tuesday night.

It has become a must-win for Rovers to retain any chance of a top six spot at season’s end. 

Last night, Rovers seemed to have done just enough to deliver a ‘season’s best.’

Indeed only a 94th minute line clearance by Dean Jarvis robbed Sligo Rovers sub Adam Morgan of an equalizer. 

Such are the margins between winning and losing in May 2018.

Those tuning into RTE’s Soccer Republic show next Monday night will note the Bit O’ Red played last night in navy with white numbering. 

Please do not adjust your sets....just yet anyway.

DUNDALK: Gary Rogers, Seán Hoare, Brian Gartland, Stephen Folan, Dean Jarvis, Chris Shields, Robbie Benson, Dylan Connolly, Ronan Murray, Michael Duffy and Patrick Hoban.

Subs used: Dane Massey for Folan  56th minute, Jamie McGrath for Murray 66th minute and Marco Tagbajumi for Shields 79th minute. 

Subs not used: Gabriel Sava, Gavin Smith, Georgie Poynton and Krisztián Adorján.

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney, Gary Boylan, Kyle Callan-McFadden, John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon, David Cawley, Rhys McCabe, Caolan McAleer, Raffaele Cretaro and Greg Moorhouse.

Subs used: Jack Keaney for McClean 42nd minute, Adam Morgan for Moorhouse 60th minute and Adam Wixted for Cretaro 67th minute.

Subs not used: Ed McGinty, Lewis Morrison, Eduardo Pincelli and Callum Waters.