Peers honoured as Rovers draw with Portsmouth
Gavin Peers celebrated ten years at Sligo Rovers as he dispatched a 70th minute penalty during a 3-3 draw with Portsmouth, which was played as part of Gavin's testimonial to mark his eleventh consecutive season at the Bit O'Red.
Paul Cook's side raced into a three goal lead at the break courtesy of a goal from Gary Roberts and a Conor Chaplin brace. The first half featured a Gavin Peers' Select which included figures from Rovers' recent past including 2005 First Division winning captain Michael McNamara, 2010 and 2011 FAI Cup Final hero Ciaran Kelly and Rovers legend Joseph Ndo.
Gavin also had Republic of Ireland captain and former Rovers full back Seamus Coleman to call on as assistant manager on the day.
Dave Robertson's first team played the second half as Rovers bravely fought back to level the game. Peers slotting home a penalty mid-way through the second period followed up by two well taken goals from Kieran Sadlier. The game also gave those in attendance a chance to see for the first time, new signing Daniel Kearns who signed a deal with the club on Tuesday last.
Gary Roberts and Conor Chaplin combined for Pompey's opener on nine minutes, the former finishing past Kelly. While Roberts turned provider eight minutes later when he squared for Chaplin to tap into an empty net.
Two became three five minutes from the break as Chaplin was sent through one-on-one with Kelly before tucking the ball past the Mayo man and into the Rovers net.
The interval saw ten changes to the Rovers side as Robertson's first team regulars went about eating into the League Two side's lead.
Both Sadlier and Phil Roberts went close before Roberts was dragged down inside the Pompey box with 20 to go. Peers expertly finding the corner of the net with goalkeeper Grimes given little chance to shorten the deficit to two.
Raffaele Cretaro played a big hand in making it 3-2 as he touched the ball around the on coming Grimes before squaring for Sadlier to knock home.
Rovers completed the comeback on 88 when Mikey Place's initial effort was pushed away by Grimes, only for Sadlier to pop up at the right time for a deserved equaliser.
First half team: Ciaran Kelly, Alan Keane, Keith Foy, Liam Burns, Gavin Peers, Kieran Djilali, Danny Ventre, Conor O'Grady, Joey Ndo, John Dillon, Anthony Elding.
First half subs: Jason McCartney, Paul McTiernan, Michael McNamara, Darren Mansaram, Matthew Judge, Sean Flannery,
Second half team: Micheál Schlingermann, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Gavin Peers, Gary Boylan, Jimmy Keohane, Daniel Kearns, Craig Roddan, John Russell, Kieran Sadlier, Raff Cretaro, Phil Roberts.
Second half subs: Chris Lyons, Mikey Place.
Portsmouth: Crowe, Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup, May, Doyle, Tollitt, Roberts, Lalkovic, Chaplin.
Referee: Alan Kelly.