Sligo Rovers got their pre-season campaign off to a flyer with a 4-0 win over Mayo League side Wesport United at United Park.
Gary Boylan, Daniel Kearns, Raffaele Cretaro and Mark Hannon were amongst the goals as the Bit O'Red got 2017 off to a winning start against a tough Westport outfit. The game also saw a first appearance for new loanee Matt Stevens who joins from Peterborough United.
Dave Robertson's side were unlucky not to move into an early lead when Mikey Place and Kieran Sadlier combined with two minutes played. Place extremely unlucky to see his lob fall the wrong side of Gary Cunningham's post.
The Westport captain was on hand to deny Stevens and the impressive Paul Doyle on four and 15 minutes respectively. While Stevens did well to shrug off his marker seven minutes later as he moved into the path of a through ball from Kyle Callan-McFadden. Cunningham however got his body in the way of the effort.
Doyle went close from distance on 26 before Sadlier saw his placed curler clip the butt of the post. The winger shooting straight at Cunningham minutes later.
Rovers deservedly moved into the lead on 37. United failed to clear a Sadlier corner before John Mahon's goal bound effort was obstructed by a well placed defender. The ball eventually falling to Boylan who drove his shot to the corner of the net from 15 yards.
Rovers made nine changes at the break with Doyle and Regan Donelon the only survivors from the opening 45.
Two of those changes were involved in Rovers' second two minutes into the half. Raffaele Cretaro and Daniel Kearns exchanging passes before Kearns was brought down by the Westport keeper inside the area.
The winger made no mistake from 12 yards, firing home to Cunningham's right.
The game also saw a first outing in a Rovers shirt for Shaun Patton. The net minder pulling off an outstanding save to keep out Dave Hoban's wicked volley. The former Derry man repeated the trick five minutes later to push away Peter Corcoran's shot.
The Premier Division side made it three on 74. Kearns and Cretaro linking up once more as the Tubbercurry native expertly slotted the ball between Cunningham and his near post.
Hannon rounded off the scoring with Rovers' fourth just two minutes later.
Sligo Rovers wish to thank Westport United for their hospitality and wish them the best of luck for the upcoming season.
Rovers first half: Micheál Schlingermann, Trialist, John Mahon, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Regan Donelon, John Russell, Gary Boylan, Paul Doyle, Kieran Sadlier, Mikey Place, Matthew Stevens.
Rovers second half: Shaun Patton, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Trialist, Mick Leahy, Paul Doyle (Morley 79), Trialist, Liam Martin, Mark Hannon (Walsh 79), Daniel Kearns, Raffaele Cretaro, Gary Boylan (O'Brien 79).
Westport United: Gary Cunningham, Eoin Conway, Mark McDonagh, Colm Keane, Joe Lawless, Pat Moran, Peter Corcoran, Darren Brown, Dave Hoban, Jack Murphy, James O'Donnell.