Odhiambo bags hat-trick in Rovers win
Sligo Rovers made a blistering start to their competitive season with a 4-1 win over Crusaders at Seaview in the Setanta Sports Cup.
Eric Odhiambo bagged a hat-trick on debut for the Bit o' Red. Aaron Greene was also on target while Declan Caddell scored a consolation for the home side.
Odhiambo became the first player to hit a treble on his debut since Falcon Rose against Derry in 1997.
Manager Ian Baraclough handed first starts to Odhiambo, Paul O'Conor and Kalen Spillane.
Raffaele Cretaro had the opening shot from distance on eight minutes which was beaten away by the goalkeeper Yohann Lacroix.
A minute later a free-kick was swung in by Gaynor from deep on the right to find Odhiambo in space but he put it wide at the near post with his left foot.
The opening goal did arrive on 15 minutes as O'Conor played it back to Odhiambo on the edge of the box and he superbly lobbed it in over the keeper.
A mistake from the goalkeeper led to the second as he pushed a shot into the path of O'Conor who flicked on a header that Greene tapped in from two yards.
It was 3-0 on the stroke of half-time as a lovely move saw John Russell play it into Odhiambo, he laid it off to David Cawley who crossed it back to the striker to put in his second.
Ian Baraclough's side were playing some wonderful football and it continued in the second-half. Odhiambo scored his hat-trick goal on 62 minutes.
Greene's corner was headed at goal by Henderson and when the rebound came out, Odhiambo was there first to turn it home.
Caddell got Crusaders on the scoresheet with a deflected effort against the run of play on 71.
Danny Ledwith and Sean Maguire were introduced in the final quarter and the West Ham loanee came close to scoring as his superb run and control ended in frustation by a fine save from the Crusaders goalkeeper.
Rovers continued to threaten but were content with a 4-1 win. Next up is the President's Cup match with St Patrick's Athletic in Richmond Park on Sunday.
Crusaders: Lacroix; King, Magowan, Robinson, Hanley; Clarke, Caddell, Snoddy: D. McAllister (71 Owens), E. McAllister (88 Dempter) , Smith (88 Dillon). Subs: O'Neill, Leeman, McMaster, O'Hanlon.
Sligo Rovers: Rogers; Conneely, Gaynor, Henderson, Spillane; Greene, Russell (63 Maguire), O'Conor; Odhiambo (71 Ledwith) Cretaro, Cawley. Subs: Brush, Keane, McMillan, Dykes, N'do.