Rovers coast into Setanta Cup semi-finals
Sligo Rovers reached the semi-finals of the Setanta Sports Cup with another victory over Glentoran in The Oval tonight, 3-0 in the 90 minutes, and 8-0 on aggregate.
Lee Lynch gave Rovers the lead with a stunning strike in the ninth minute, with Raffaele Cretaro doubling the lead also in the first half with a confident finish.
The game lacked urgency in the second half and it was a comfortable path into the last four for the Bit o’ Red, as Liam Martin rounded off the scoring with five minutes left.
Kieran Djilali made a debut for Rovers with Ryan Connolly starting in an unfamiliar role at left-back.
Jeff Henderson made a first appearance of the season while Cretaro reverted to an out and out striker.
The Bit o’ Red made another flying start and Cretaro missed a golden chance in the fourth minute.
Lynch played the striker in on goal, he rounded Aaron Hogg but the Tubbercurry man missed the open goal.
Rovers took the lead shortly afterwards.
Lynch scored for the third appearance running with a fantastic strike from 30 yards that gave Hogg no chance.
John McGuigan and Martin Murray tested Rogers as the half approached the midway point but Rovers were coasting with now a six goal aggregate lead.
It was increased in the 26th minute when Djilali slipped a clever ball to Cretaro and on this occasion he made no mistake to see the ball past Hogg.
The Bit o' Red were in total control as the match continued to half-time at 2-0.
Shane McGinty was introduced for a Rovers debut for the second half with Seamus Conneely making way. With the game over as a contest there was little in a way of goalmouth action in the second half. Jimmy Callaher’s in swinging free-kick with tipped over by Gary Rogers just after the hour mark.
Rogers was alert again on 67 minutes as Martin Murray’s driving run requires a fine save by the visiting goalkeeper.
A shot by substitute Liam Martin was blocked into the path of Lynch on 77 minutes but the in-form midfielder lifted his shot over the crossbar.
Martin got the goal he wanted with five minutes left.
The youngster, the top scorer in pre-season, shot powerfully past Hogg from outside the box to beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
It was another good night for Ian Baraclough’s team as they made it three clean sheets in succession to begin the season with, the first time that has happened since 1993/1994.
Rovers are back in action this Saturday in The Showgrounds as Airtricity Premier Division football returns to Sligo for the first time this year.
Bray Wanderers are the visitors, kick-off is 7:45pm.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers, Alan Keane (Marty Owens 68), Jeff Henderson, Evan McMillan, Ryan Connolly, Pascal Millien, Lee Lynch, David Cawley, Seamus Conneely (Shane McGinty), Kieran Djilali, Raffaele Cretaro (Liam Martin 60).
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Jake Dykes, Hughie McFadden, Anthony Elding.