Sligo Rovers produced a professional performance to see off Cobh Wanderers and advance to the quarter-finals of this year’s Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup.
Three goals in the first half from Dinny Corcoran, Raff Cretaro and David Cawley all but secured the win and were added to by another for Corcoran in St. Colman’s Park.
Three changes were made to the team as Gavin Peers returned from a ban along with strikers Rob Lehane and Dinny Corcoran for Tim Clancy, Jason Hughes and Morten Nielsen.
Lehane almost made an early impact as he got the ball in the Cobh box and almost took it around keeper Michael Devine but the defender recovered to push the ball away.
Raff Cretaro was lively on the right win and he cut back a cross on 14 minutes which found Cawley looking for goal, again Devine saved this time getting down well to his right.
The opening goal came after 26 minutes. Dinny Corcoran made it 10 for him this season as Cretaro found him on the edge of the penalty box and he produced an accurate shot to the corner of the home team’s net.
Both Cawley and Cretaro then went close to getting the second a few minutes afterwards with Cawley striking the ball powerfully at goal which was saved before Cretaro seen the same fate go to his follow up as Cobh continued to hang on bravely.
Lehane was the creator of the goal that put Rovers two ahead on 32 minutes. He spread the play to Cretaro coming in from the right and he placed a delicate chip over Devine into the opposite corner of the goals.
It was quickly three as Cawley got a deserved goal eight minutes before half time. There was a nice move started on the left by an enterprising Puri run and pass into Lehane. The player on loan from Cork City found Cawley in space and he sent the ball straight to the top corner for his third goal this season.
John Russell was close to getting himself a goal with a good volley from 20 yards that dipped but still ended over the crossbar.
The break brought two changes with Jason Hughes and Keith Ward coming into midfield for John Russell and Raff Cretaro as the Bit o’Red largely coasted through the second 45.
Another sub up front Anthony Elding headed Cawley’s chip back across goal but not on target.
Cawley then made a good run forward on 70 minutes and was fed by Gary Boylan, his shot looked goalbound but just went the wrong side of the post.
The final goal came as the game entered the last 10 minutes with Corcroan again scoring with a similar goal to his first, this time shooting low after an impressive quick turn after his first touch.
Rovers’ top scorer almost got his first hat-trick of the season as he rose to head Keane’s cross but he couldn’t direct the ball away from the keeper.
Elding continued to search for a goal and Boylan picked him out in a little space at the far post but his header went into the turf and wide. He had the ball in the net in stoppage time but an offside flag ruled it out.
A third win on the bounce means a quarter-final with Dundalk is next for Rovers in the FAI Cup.
Sligo Rovers: Brush, Boylan, Peers, Keane, Donelon, Cretaro (Ward 45), Cawley, Russell (Hughes 45), Puri (Elding 54), Lehane, Corcoran.