Sligo Rovers under-17s played for the first time last night in the new national league against St. Patrick’s Athletic.
The Dublin side won 3-1 at Richmond Park with John Mahon scoring the team’s first goal.
There was a tough start for the side and they went behind after seven minutes. A corner could only be cleared to the edge of the penalty box where Neill Byrne was waiting and the striker hit home with an impressive shot.
Just before that Rovers had their first chance with Jordan Muldoon putting a lob just over after running onto a good through ball from full-back Paul McDermott.
And shortly after the goal they came close again when Jack Hever went on a good run before shooting just wide at the near post.
McDermott had do defend well when mid-way through the half Pat’s got an indirect free kick about 10 yards from goal but he got his head to Fowler’s attempt to give a corner and the game stayed one goal in favour of the hosts until the break.
A free-kick to Rovers just before the hour led to a levelling goal. Hever took the shot from 25 yards with a deflection of the Saints wall sending the ball to the path of Mahon and from a good position he finished well.
Pat’s upped their game ager and keeper Lorcan Callaghan had to pull of the first of several good saves to keep out Mark Kelly.
A few minutes later Pat’s had a penalty and their captain Conor Fowler stepped up to send Callaghan the wrong way and restore the lead.
The third goal came quickly after with just two more minutes played a deliver from William McAdams was finished well by Cian McMullan.
Callaghan had to be in good form to keep Pat’s out with one fine save from point blank range denying Evan Casey.
The Bit o’Red almost pulled one back with sub Liam Kerrigan hitting a nice shot that the home keeper did well to push away at full stretch. But the full-time score was 3-1.
The first home game for the team is this Saturday at 2pm in The Showgrounds when Mervue United will visit.
Sligo Rovers: Callaghan, Baba, McDermott (Benson 71), Smith, Mahon, Burke (McGrath 52), Feeney (c), Fowley (Kerrigan 52), Higgins (Somers 71), Hever, Muldoon (McGarry 25).
Subs not used: Gaughan, McNicholas.