Match Report v Drogheda United

Sligo Rovers 3 – 1 Drogheda United

A Max Mata double, followed up by a sensational finish late on from substitute Wilson Waweru saw Sligo Rovers leap into third spot in the Premier Division table with a win over Drogheda United at the Showgrounds.

Mata hit a quick-fire double within the space of five minutes as the Bit O’Red led by two at half-time. Andrew Quinn pulled one back for Drogs just shy of the hour, but Rovers never surrendered their lead and hit an insurance goal on 86 minutes courtesy of a wonderful improvised finish from Waweru four minutes from time.

Under the cosh early on, Ed McGinty again proved why he is the league’s top goalkeeper as the former Irish underage international reacted to keep out both Quinn and Frantz Pierrot in the opening exchanges.

Sligo had a shout for a penalty on the quarter hour when Andrew Wogan clumsily chopped down Mata inside his area. Referee Eoghan O’Shea deliberating before deciding against awarding the spot-kick.

Mata had the Bit O’Red in the lead on 21 minutes when he slid in at the front post to meet Ellis Chapman’s cross for his third goal of the year. While the New Zealander netted in similar fashion five minutes later, converting JR Wilson’s ball cross after impressive work in the build-up between Simon Power and Conor Malley. 

Kevin Doherty’s side pushed for a goal for the remainder of the half but their luck was out. McGinty reacting in time to deny former Rovers man Jack Keaney, while Warren Davis struck the foot of the post two minutes from the break. 
Rovers were just inches from a third early in the second half when their other Kiwi, Nando Pijnaker, nodded Fabrice Hartmann’s cross across Wogan’s goal.

United did half the deficit shortly before the hour. Steve Bawa’s initial header came back off the Sligo crossbar before Quinn followed up to bundle the ball across the line.

The wonderful McGinty again kept his side in the lead when he somehow clawed away Pierrot’s close range header from an Aaron McNally cross fifteen minutes from the end.

Substitute Waweru settled the tie four minutes from the end when he pulled off a clever, improvised finish. The former Galway striker cheekily back-heeling his shot beyond Wogan for his first goal for the club following build up play from both Power and debutant Rein Smit.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; JR Wilson (Charlie Wiggett 76), Nando Pijnaker, Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson; Niall Morahan; Connor Malley (Rein Smit 78), Ellis Chapman (Kailin Barlow 65); Simon Power, Fabrice Hartmann (Will Fitzgerald 64); Max Mata (Wilson Waweru 76).

Drogheda United: Andrew Wogan; Andrew Quinn, Jack Keaney, Evan Weir, Conor Kane; Oisin Gallagher (Ryan Brennan 62), Gary Deegan; Warren Davis (Aaron McNally 74), Steve Bawa (Kailin Cailloce 63); Darragh Markey; Frantz Pierrot.

Referee: Eoghan O’Shea.

Attendance: 2.243.