Rovers play first pre-season fixture

Sligo Rovers were beaten 5-3 by Galway FC in the first pre-season match of the year as 22 players featured in the build-up to the start of the Airtricity League next month. 
 
The match had been due to be played at Eamonn Deacy Park but an unplayable pitch forced a change of venue to an Astro pitch at Fahy's Field, home of Mervue United.
 
Danny North, Paul O'Conor and Joseph Ndo were on target for Rovers, while former Bit o' Red players Ryan Connolly and Marty Owens scored for the home side, along with a brace from Vinny Faherty and a stunning strike by Ryan Manning.
 
Manager Ian Baraclough started new signings Kalen Spillane, Danny Ledwith and Eric Odhiambo, while Under-19 players and Gary Boylan and Cian Brennan were also in the side.
 
The Bit o' Red had the perfect opening as Danny North latched onto a through ball by Kieran Djilali with seven minutes on the clock and the striker finished well past the Galway goalkeeper Gleeson.
 
The lead lasted just a minute as Vinny Faherty scored from the rebound from a Ryan Manning effort saved by goalkeeper Richard Brush.
 
Jeff Henderson prevented Galway from taking the lead minutes afterwards as he headed off the line from Faherty's shot with Brush stranded. 
 
The Rovers stopper then made a great save from Ryan Connolly's shot from distance on 25 minutes. 
 
However, Galway moved 3-1 ahead six minutes later as Keegan crossed to Faherty to slot home.
 
Baraclough's side almost got a goal back as Boylan crossed for North in the area but his volley was blocked by Horgan at close range.
 
Three minutes from half-time Galway moved 4-1 ahead thanks to a wonderstrike from Ryan Manning. 
 
The young midfielder, who signed for the Tribesmen earlier this week, shot from 30 yards and the ball rifled off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
 
David Cawley almost got a goal back for Rovers a minute before the break as he powerfully ran forward but the Mayo midfielder pulled a shot just wide of the goal.
 
It was 4-1 at half-time with Galway having the edge over Rovers in the first half of this early pre-season game. 
 
The Rovers boss made 10 changes at half-time with only Kieran Djilali surviving from the first-half team.
 
Adam Murphy, Jake Dykes and Jordan Loftus were in the side from the Under-19s, while new signing Paul O'Conor also featured. 
 
Galway went 5-1 ahead in the 51st minute as another former Rovers man, Marty Owens, converted past Murphy. 
 
Rovers got one back as O'Conor marked his first appearance with a goal.
 
A long ball by Dykes was missed by the goalkeeper and the former Drogheda midfielder tapped home to make it 5-2.
 
Ross Gaynor's well-hit free-kick was saved by the Galway goalkeeper on 64 minutes as the Bit o' Red looked to lessen the deficit further. 
 
Raffaele Cretaro played Gaynor in on 77 minutes, he shot with his right foot but Hanley in goal made a good save to push it wide. 
 
The resulting corner dropped low to Dykes but the low attempt was blocked away. 
 
Joseph Ndo then scored Rovers' third goal of the night as he found the net directly from a corner from the left wing on 79 minutes.
 
There was almost a fourth as young left-back Donnellan rattled the crossbar with two minutes to go with a terrific shot from 20 yards.
 
It was the last meaningful action of an entertaining game a 5-3 win defeat and a useful workout for Baraclough's side with five weeks to the first league game. 
 
Sligo Rovers first half team: Richard Brush, Gary Boylan, Jeff Henderson, Kalen Spillane, Danny Ledwith, David Cawley, Seamus Conneely, Kieran Djilali, Eric Odhiambo, Cian Brennan, Danny North
 
Sligo Rovers second half team: Adam Murphy, Alan Keane, Evan McMilllan, Jake Dykes, Ross Gaynor, Joseph Ndo, Paul O'Conor, Jordan Loftus, Kieran Djilali (Regan Donnellan 62), Aaron Greene, Raffaele Cretaro.
 

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