Rovers claim vital league win over Longford
Sligo Rovers 3
Longford Town 2
Three first half goals from David Cawley, Keith Ward and Dinny Corcoran were enough to see the Bit O'Red claim their third SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win of the season as they saw off a strong second half performance from Longford Town to win 3-2 at the Showgrounds.
Rovers took the lead through captain Cawley on 21. Corcoran did well to hold up play in the middle before finding Raffaele Cretaro out wide. The Tubbercurry man then set up Cawley who placed the ball beyond Town goalkeeper Paul Skinner for his second goal against the midlanders this year.
Longford had barely settled when a clinical Rovers doubled their lead two minutes later. Ward dragged the ball past the challenge of Mark Rossiter before scooping it over the head of Skinner from a tight angle for his first goal for the club.
Rovers were well in control at this stage and did well to deal with anything Tony Cousins' side could through at them in the first 45.
Ten minutes of the first period remained when Corcoran scored what turned out to be the winner. During a pacey counter attack, Man of the Match Gary Armstrong played a beautifully weighted through ball into the path of Corcoran who knocked the ball past Skinner for his ninth goal of the season. Rovers racing into a dominative 3-0 lead.
Ward and Corcoran both went close before the break but Skinner did just enough to push away the former's wicked effort from 40 yards and Corcoran was unlucky to strike the post following another speedy Rovers attack.
Longford started the second half with much more purpose and found a way back into the game on 62 when Mark Salmon was tripped inside the Rovers area by Ward. Ryan Coulter could do little about the Longford captain's well struck spot kick which made it 3-1.
Rovers' back four held resolute until the 77th minute when Longford pulled back a second. Cretaro was harshly adjudged to have upended Longford sub Ben Aymen Mohamed at the edge of the Sligo area and Dean Kelly rose highest to meet the resulting free to leave Town's deficit at just one.
But Joseph Ndo and Gavin Dykes' side held firm and saw off late chances for Gary Shaw and Kevin O'Connor to claim a vital three points.
Rovers' next outing is at Dalymount Park this Friday, July 17. Kick off against Bohemians is 8.05pm.
Sligo Rovers: Ryan Coulter; Raffaele Cretaro, Gavin Peers, Alan Keane, Regan Donelon; Sander Puri, David Cawley, Gary Boylan, Gary Armstrong (for Liam Flatley 84), Keith Ward (for Kevin Devaney 69); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Jake Dykes, Ross Taheny, Ryan McManus.
Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Pat Sullivan, Mark Rossiter (for Jamie Mulhall 89), Rhys Gorman, Conor Powell; Mark Salmon, Kevin O'Connor, Stephen Rice, Jack Doherty (for Ayman Ben Mohamed 63); Gary Shaw, David O'Sullivan (for Dean Kelly HT).
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, William Tyrell, Kaleem Simon, Martin Deady.
Referee: Neil Doyle
Sponsors' Man of the Match: Gary Armstrong. (Ireland West Airport, Knock).