Rovers beaten by Drogheda
Gavin Dykes' reign as Sligo Rovers interim manager got off to a losing start as the Bit o'Red were beaten 2-0 by a well drilled Drogheda United at the Showgrounds.
Declan O'Brien handed United the lead on 34 minutes before Stephen Maher made the most of poor defending from the home side as he netted the Louth side's second on 57.
Gavan Holohan almost sent United into an early lead with nine minutes played, during a relatively quiet but even opening period to the game. His initial shot from the edge of the area was pushed away by Sligo goalkeeper Gary Rogers. Possession fell to Holohan but his second attempt breezed narrowly over the Meath man's crossbar.
Rogers has been one of Rovers' stand out performers this season and he had to be alert once more on 28 when Evan McMillan almost turned the ball into his own net from a Holohan corner. The quick thinking net minder diving low to his left to parry the ball away before blocking down Mick Daly's effort from the rebound.
His opposite number Michael Schlingermann was called into action on 33 as he did well to smother Danny North's effort from the angle after the striker was sent through by Raffaele Cretaro.
Drogheda captured the lead from the next phase of play. The lively Holohan broke into the Rovers area before he squared for the prowling O'Brien who looped the ball over the diving body of Rogers to put the Louth side into the driving seat.
North could only send his shot straight at the grateful Schlingermann after Eamon Zayed teed up the Englishman with six minutes of the first half remaining.
Rovers were fortunate to survive a goal mouth scramble on 40. Holohan's corner caused havoc inside the home side's penalty area after Gary Boylan failed to clear his lines. The ball eventually ricocheted towards O'Brien who failed to make any telling contact with an open goal gaping.
Rogers produced another magnificent save nine minutes after the restart. Gavin Brennan rose highest and did well to turn Holohan's corner goal ward only for Rogers to tip the ball over his crossbar.
He could do little about Drogs' second on 57. McMillan was unable to control Seamus Conneely's back pass before Stephen Maher stole the ball off the toe of the former Bohs centre half. Maher was left clean through on goal and neatly slotted home from 10 yards.
The 1,247 spectators present witnessed a relatively poor second half in terms of the standard of play. Former Sligo keeper Schlingermann did well to keep out Paul O'Conor's low effort with seven minutes remaining. Mick Daly then cleared Gavin Peers' toe poke toward goal off the line from the resulting corner.
Rovers' Danny Ledwith went close with a vicious strike which fizzed past the far post on 84. While substitute Ruairi Keating was unfortunate to see his clipped shot soar over the Drogs crossbar shortly after.
O'Brien almost notched his second of the game three minutes into added time, but he couldn't find the necessary aim on his chipped attempt as it rolled wide of Rogers' far post.
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Gary Boylan, Gavin Peers, Evan McMillan, Iarfhlaith Davoren (Paul O'Conor 64); Raffaele Cretaro, David Cawley, Seamus Conneely, Danny Ledwith; Eamon Zayed (for Gary Armstrong 64), Danny North (for Ruairi Keating 90).
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Ross Taheny, Liam Flately, Ryan McManus.
Drogheda United: Michael Schlingermann; Mick Daly, Alan McNally, Ciaran McGuigan, Shane Grimes; Gavin Brennan, Stephen Maher (Carl Walshe 80), Peter McGlynn (for Adam Wixted 67), Gavan Holohan, Daire Doyle; Declan O'Brien.
Subs not used: Dylan Connolly, Ciaran O'Connor, Roy Kearns, Paul Andrews, Gareth Brady.
Referee: Rob Rogers.