Sligo Rovers
Longford Town

Saturday, 23 April, 2016
3 - 0
SSE Airtricity League
Jordan Richards 8
Raffaele Cretaro 32
Tristan Nocak-Hoffman (OG) 41


Sligo Rovers picked up their first win of the season as they beat Longford Town 3-0 at the Showgrounds. 

The Bit O'Red netted as many goals in the first half as they have in their opening eight league games.

Jordan Richards put the home side on their way as early as the eighth minute while Raffaele Cretaro doubled the lead with an effort from distance on 32. Tristan Noack-Hoffman was left redfaced late in the opening half as he turned Liam Martin's cross into his own net. 

The result sees Rovers leapfrog the Midlanders into ninth.

The opener came as midfielder Jordan Richards pounced. His wonderful curling effort with the inside of his left boot proving too much for Paul Skinner as the ball swerved around the Longford goalkeeper's outstretched arm and into the far corner. It was the Notts County loanee's maiden goal for The Bit O'Red. 

Both Martin and Gary Boylan passed up chances to double Rovers' lead on 13 as the home side continued their positive start. Martin was left with just Skinner to beat as he ran on to Russell's inviting cross from the right.

The Town netminder however stood strong to acrobatically tip the ball over his crossbar. While Boylan could only find the side netting from close range from the resulting corner. 

Dave Robertson's side did make it two on just past the half hour. Weighing up his options from the angle and with another 25 yards to goal, the lively Cretaro unleashed a low drive which sped past the dumbfounded Skinner for the attacker's first goal of the season.    

Longford continued to struggle with Sligo's pacey attacks and number three arrived with four minutes of the first half to go. The unfortunate Tristan Noack-Hoffman turning Martin's squared ball into his own net as the 17-year-old attempted to clear the danger in front of his own goal. 



However it was not until the 63rd minute of this tie that Longford first threatened the home goal. Kevin O'Connor's in-swinging corner evaded several Rovers defenders before the ball squeezed its way to the back post where Mark Hughes was twice denied by smart stops from Sligo number one Micheál Schlingermann.

Martin again missed the target from close range on 69 as Sligo weathered a mini-Longford revival. While Gannon's free-kick at the edge of the Rovers box crossed the line of the defensive wall but not the arms of Schlingermann four minutes later. 

Rovers’ substitutes Jaanai Gordon and Kieran Sadlier linked up well on 87 as the former's deft touch sent the latter through on goal. Skinner was on hand to pounce however as he cleared the danger with a firm stop with his feet.     

Skinner denied Sligo again two minutes later as came to close down Gordon in a one-on-one situation. 

Sligo Rovers: Micheál Schlingermann; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Michael Leahy (Tim Clancy 64), Gary Boylan, Regan Donelon; Craig Roddan, Jimmy Keohane, Jordan Richards, John Russell, Liam Martin (Jaanai Gordon 81); Raffaele Cretaro (Kieran Sadlier 64). 

Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Jamie Mulhall, Noel Haverty, Pat Flynn, Tristan Noack-Hoffman; Peter McGlynn (Philip Gannon 46), Kevin O'Connor, John McKeown (Josh O'Hanlon 46), Mark Hughes, Don Cowan (Lee Duffy 75); David O'Sullivan.