Sligo Rovers under-19 team made it through to the second round of the Enda McGuill Cup with a 3-1 victory over Salthill Devon at the Showgrounds.
All of the Bit o’Red youngsters goals came in the first half from Gary Anderson, Mark Hannon and Liam Flatley. An early goal for Salthill got them back in the game in the second half but the comeback never materialised.
The Galway club made the brighter start having the first effort of the afternoon from Antoine Olaoi but it rose over the bar. Shortly after Mark Hannon had Rovers first shot from outside the box but he also couldn’t keep it down to hit the target.
Liam Flatley was the key man in the win and he had his first significant involvement on 14 minutes when Ryan McManus released him on the right edge of the box. He cut back inside past his man but skewed his shot away to the left of the goals.
It was Flatley again who sparked the game into life on the 29th minute creating the opening goal. He received the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the box. He turned quickly, moved around his marker and slipped the ball over to the left for Gary Anderson to fire in a great first time effort.
Six minutes after Rovers came close to a second when Regan Donelon smashed the ball low across the face of goal but Martin Walsh in the six yard box just couldn’t get a touch on it to divert into the net.
Four minutes before the break the second goal arrived from Hannon. Flatley was again provider putting in a nice cross from the right wing to pick out Hannon arriving into the box and he puts the ball home with a well-placed shot in at the near post.
Flatley got his name on the scoresheet then in first half stoppage time. A long ball forward was headed on by Walsh for Flatley and he looped the ball into the net over the keeper’s head leaving him with no chance. The half-time whistle came just after with Rovers having a three goal advantage.
Five minutes into the second period Ben Brennan struck for Salthill with a decent shot from inside the Rovers penalty area and made it 3-1.
But they failed to build on that and the next save of any significance was 20 minutes later when Chambers came of his line to close the angle on Brennan’s shot and made a good save with his feet.
Flatley nearly got another on 81 minutes when a throw-in got to him the corner of the box, he allowed the ball roll for him to have a shot but he got underneath it and didn’t make the keeper work.
There was a couple of opportunities for Rovers to add another goal in injury time with Anderson and Hannon having attempts going just wide.
The 3-1 win puts Ciaran Kelly’s side into the next round of the Enda McGuill Cup. They will be back in league action next weekend playing St. Pat’s in the Showgrounds next Saturday.
Team: Chambers (Burke 90), Harrigan (O’Donoghue 82), Connolly (Doherty 61), Taheny, Donelon, McManus (Doyle 82), Kennoy (Kilcawley 66), Walsh, Hannon, Anderson, Flatley.