Sligo Rovers
Bray Wanderers

Saturday, 10 August, 2013
2 - 0
SSE Airtricity League

Sligo Rovers leapfrogged Derry City back into third spot in the Airtricity League Premier Division on Saturday with a 2-0 win over Bray Wanderers at the Showgrounds.

Goals in either half from Raffaele Cretaro and Kieran Djilali were enough for the reigning champions to see of a stubborn Wanderers side.

Sligo made three changes from last week's win over Derry City at the Brandywell with Jeff Henderson, Lee Lynch and Anthony Elding taking the places of Gavin Peers (suspension), Iarfhlaith Davoren (knee) and David McMillan (infection) respectively.

Danny Ventre and Aaron Greene returned to the Sligo bench having recovered from respective leg injuries picked up in recent weeks.

Ismahil Akinade and Shane O'Connor missed out for the Wicklow side with injury. Boss Pat Devlin made one change from last week's 1-1 draw with Shelbourne as Stephen Quigley took the place of Conor Earley.

It was the away side who almost opened the lead on two minutes when Gary Dempsey's vicious drive from 20 years crashed against Gary Rogers' crossbar. Kevin O'Connor then went close only seconds later with a curling effort which narrowly avoided the target.

The reigning league champions had their first sight at goal on nine minutes. Some good trickery on the ball from Joseph Ndo found Kieran Djilali whose through ball found Lynch, but Bray net minder Darren Quigley did enough to smother the Limerick man's low shot.

Sligo had to rely on a Seamus Conneely block to divert Kieran Waters' effort on 13 minutes before they took the lead on 17 minutes. David Cawley then set up Raffaele Cretaro who, from distance, unleashed an unstoppable drive which looped over the desperate Quigley and into the net. The goal was the Tubbercurry man's 50th league goal for Rovers making him the joint-third top league scorer in the club's history.

Bray looked dangerous on the counter throughout and threatened on 29 minutes. Dean Zambra and Gary Dempsey combined to find Waters whose drive was punched away by Rogers. John Mulroy failed to hit the target with his header from the rebound.

Cretaro almost had his second ten minutes before the break. Djilali's smart pass found the former Bohs man inside the Bray danger zone, but Cretaro's curling effort spun past Quigley's far post.

Bray threatened once again on 38 minutes when Evan McMillan got in front of a Jason Byrne effort from close range.

Rogers was almost at fault for a Wanderers equaliser on the sound of referee Tom Connolly's half-time whistle. The Meath man struggled to hold David Webster's 25 yard free-kick at the first attempt after his effort deflected off the Sligo wall. The ball rolling outside his post despite the best efforts of Rogers to keep it in his grasp. .

The champions doubled their lead on 49 minutes. Djilali making the most of a defensive lapse in the Bray rearguard to race through and coolly slot the ball past Quigley.

Rogers pulled off a smart save from a Bray head two minutes later, before, on the counter attack, Djilali found Ndo whose shot glanced across the face of the seasider's goal.

Bray threatened the champions' rearguard again and really should have halved Sligo's lead 10 minutes into the second period. Kevin O'Connor's low cross to the back post slipped under the foot of Conneely to Mulroy who could only smash the ball against the butt of the Rovers post.

Dempsey's fierce drive fizzed past Rogers post on 69 minutes as Wanderers sent out further warning signs. McMillan deflected the ball into the path of Byrne with ten minutes to go, but the tiring centre forward could only find the gloves of the grateful Rogers.

Both Waters and Byrne saw their late efforts saved comfortably by Rogers before Rovers substitute Liam Martin saw his 86th strike dealt with by Quigley.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Seamus Conneely, Jeff Henderson, Evan McMillan, Alan Keane; Kieran Djilali, Joseph Ndo, David Cawley, Lee Lynch (Aaron Greene 69), Raffaele Cretaro; Anthony Elding (for Liam Martin 81).

Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; David Webster, Stephen Quigley, Eoin Hyland, Niall Cooney; Dean Zambra, John Mulroy (for Daire Doyle 69), Kevin O'Connor, Gary Dempsey (for Kevin Knight 88), Kieran Marty Waters; Jason Byrne (for Kevin O'Leary 84).

Referee: Tom Connolly