Showgrounds stalemate between Rovers and Bohs
by David Goulden at the Showgrounds.
Sligo Rovers' search for a first home league win of the season continues after they drew a blank against a well disciplined Bohemians side at the Showgrounds. Both teams came within inches of breaking the stalemate during the tie but neither could find that elusive sucker punch. Rovers' Steven Beattie hit the crossbar with a curling effort mid-way through the opening period, while Dean Kelly's header dropped on to Richard Brush's crossbar just before half-time.
Both teams made three changes each from their previous outings with Heary bringing Sander Puri, Keith Ward and Beattie back into the starting eleven. While Keith Long welcomed Dave Mulcahy, James O'Brien and Adam Evans back into the team.
Rovers were going in search of their first league victory in the Showgrounds of 2015 and went close early on with Beattie heading wide from a Puri corner on seven, while Morten Nielsen tested Dean Delany with a low shot moments later.
Bohemians' Evans was presented with the first clear cut opportunity of the game with ten minutes played. Puri did well to evade the challenge of three Bohs players but David Cawley failed to control the Estonian international's short pass as he lost his footing. Bohs' O'Brien assumed possession before playing a well weighted through ball into the path of Evans, but Sligo goalkeeper Brush did enough to get a touch on the young midfielder's strike while one-on-one to avert the danger.
Beattie went close against his former employers once more on twenty. Nielsen did well to block an attempted clearance from a Bohs defender before the ball fell to Beattie whose curling drive struck the crossbar. Nielsen showed impressive strength to shrug off Anto Murphy shortly after but the imposing Dane dragged his shot narrowly wide.
Brush was called to the front line once more as he pulled off a decent save to deny a well-hit Adam Evans volley from the edge of the Sligo box, ten minutes before the break.
It was then the Dublin side's turn to find the woodwork. Kelly latching on to the end of Lorcan Fitzgerald's free from deep but the former Shamrock Rovers man was unfortunate to see his header drop on to the top of the Rovers crossbar on 44.
Beattie headed wide while under close scrutiny from Fitzgerald on 55 while Nielsen missed the target with a speculative effort five minutes later. Brush blocked down Kelly's side-footed effort as the striker ghosted between two Sligo defenders. The net minder doing well to stop the busy striker's shot low down on 64.
Puri's mazy dribble around three Bohs defenders resulted in his scuffed shot from ten yards rolling the wrong side of Delany's post with just under 15 minutes left to play.
Both sides made changes in attack but the closest the game came to an opener was a Beattie chance from the angle which sailed in front of Delany's goalmouth before drifting harmlessly wide late on as both defences stood strong.
Sligo Rovers: Richard Brush; Alan Keane, Gary Boylan, Stephen Folan, Jake Dykes; Steven Beattie, Keith Ward (for Gary Armstrong 79), John Russell, David Cawley, Sander Puri; Morten Nielsen.
Subs not used: Ryan Coutler, Raffaele Cretaro, Liam Flatley, Ryan McManus, Dinny Corcoran.
Bohemian FC: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Anto Murphy, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Patrick Kavanagh, Dave Mulcahy, Roberto Lopes, James O'Brien, Adam Evans (for Kealan Dillon 90+1); Dean Kelly (for Mark Griffin 85).
Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Jason Byrne, Stephen Best, Karl Moore, Keith Buckley.
Referee: Rob Rogers.