Match Report: v Dundalk

Sligo Rovers 1 – 1 Dundalk

Dundalk’s Jamie Gullan dispatched a second half spot-kick as Sligo Rovers were held by the Lilywhites at the Showgrounds.

A really impressive first half showing from the Bit O’Red, Fabrice Hartmann’s stunning opener the highlight, was followed by a second half in which either side could have won the game.

The hosts started with the same team which was beaten by Shamrock Rovers in Dublin seven nights previous, while winger Sam Durrant replaced Robbie Mahon who picked up an injury in Dundalk’s last outing against Bohs on Monday. 

Rovers were well on top in the opening period and went close through Reece Hutchinson who pulled a good save from Dundalk net minder George Shelvey before Hartmann hit a wonderful opener. 

The tricky German winger finding space between two Dundalk defenders before hammering a stunning left footed effort which tore through the air and beyond Shelvey’s reach from all of 25 yards. 

Former Dundalk midfielder Connor Malley had to take a Gullen header off his own line on the half hour. Malley was then allowed travel with the ball just outside his former employers’ area three minutes from the break. The midfielder’s effort from the corner of the box, fizzing past Shelvey’s far post. 

The Louth side were back in the tie on 49 minutes when Gullan coolly dispatching the spot-kick. 

Rovers reacted with Hartmann going close twice in quick succession. The German almost caught Shelvey out at his front post from a set-piece out wide, while the same player’s shot hit team mate Wilson Waweru before rolling past Shelvey’s 90 seconds later. 

The league’s basement side had the ball in the Rovers net soon after but Gullan was adjudged offside from a Robbie Benson through ball as this game really opened up. 

Ed McGinty pulled off a superb save from the incoming Gullan as the game wore on. 

While both Malley and Dundalk sub Ryan O’Kane had chances to nab the points late on, but both camps had to settle for a share of the points.

Rovers are back in action on Monday nightas Galway United visit the Showgrounds for the first Connacht derby of the season, kick-off 7.45pm. 

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; JR Wilson, Charlie Wiggett, Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson; Niall Morahan, Connor Malley, Ellis Chapman (Kailin Barlow 70); Fabrice Hartmann (Rein Smit 70), Will Fitzgerald (Stefan Radosavljevic 80); Max Mata (Wilson Waweru HT).

Dundalk: George Shelvey; Archie Davies, Mayowa Animasahun (Zak Johnson 25), Andy Boyle, Zak Bradshaw; Scott High, Paul Doyle (Dara Keane HT); Samuel Durrant (Ryan O’Kane 68), Daryl Horgan; Robbie Benson; Jamie Gullan (Eoin Kenny 79). 

Referee: Paul Norton.

Attendance: 2,287.