Rovers beaten by Bohs

Sligo Rovers 0 – 3 Bohemians

Goals from James Clarke, Aboubacar Keita and Dayle Rooney saw Bohemians beat Sligo Rovers by three goals to nil at the Showgrounds. 

Rovers made one change from the stalemate in Galway a week previous. Rein Smit handed his second start for the Bit O’Red following the departure of Max Mata whose loan spell has ended. 

The Dubliners hit the lead two minutes in when Clarke nodded past Ed McGinty from a Dayle Rooney cross after two minutes. 

A determined Rovers were undeterred by this setback, however. 

Both Smit and Stefan Radosavljevic went close for the home side as Rovers bossed the game for a period. 

Bohs then took a hold of this game when Keita noded Rooney’s corner past McGinty before the break. 

Rovers introduced both Kailin Barlow and Wilson Waweru in the second half as John Russell’s charges chased for a goal that would bring them back into the tie. 

The visitor settled the tie mid-way through the second period. Rooney’s impressive drive from outside the area settled the points. 

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; JR Wilson, Ollie Denham (Kailin Barlow HT), Charlie Wiggett, Reece Hutchinson; Niall Morahan, Connor Malley; Stefan Radosavljevic (Daire Patton 87), Ellis Chapman, Fabrice Hartmann (Wilson Waweru HT); Rein Smit. 

Bohemians: Kacper Chorazka; Luke Matheson, Aboubacar Keita, Jevon Mills, Paddy Kirk; James McManus, James Clarke (Daniel Grant 79), Adam McDonnell; James Akintunde (Filip Piszczek 75), Declan McDaid (Dylan Connolly 62), Dayle Rooney (Martin Miller 66). 

Referee: Gavin Colfer. 

Attendance: 2,087.

Team News: v Bohemians

Sligo Rovers will look to overtake Bohemians in the Premier Division table when the Bit O’Red host the Gypsies at the Showgrounds on Friday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

Rovers, in eighth, sit two points off Alan Reynolds’ side who occupy sixth. John Russell’s charges are in good spirits following Sligo’s win over St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds and a draw in Galway, keeping clean sheets in both games.

In team news, Rovers will again be without John Mahon (achilles) and Nando Pijnaker (ribs). While Will Fitzgerald (foot) and Simon Power (groin) will also miss out again this weekend.

Max Mata has returned to Shrewsbury Town following the end of his loan spell.   

Rovers played out an entertaining score draw against Bohs on the opening night of the season at Dalymount Park. Reece Hutchinson and Fabrice Hartmann the scorers for the visitors on the night. 

Looking ahead to Friday’s tie, Russell has praised his team’s resolve despite the number of injuries the squad has had to deal with recently. 

He said: “I was delighted with the player’s reaction over the last few games. Particularly considering all the players unavailable to us. 

“We’ve now kept back to back clean sheets and we’ve shown a real improvement in our general play. I do feel there is a lot more to come from us this year which is exciting.”

Russell acknowledged the large red army who followed the team to Galway last Friday and he’s hoping for a big attendance at the Showgrounds this Friday. 

“The support we had last Friday in Galway was just immense. Our fans didn’t stop singing all night and the players feed off that. With Bohs coming to the Showgrounds this weekend we will need them right behind us again. 

“I am sure the supporters can see the fight and desire in this group of players and we will need to show that again to get a result on Friday.”

Article: Home thoughts from abroad for Rovers global supporters

By Jim Gray

When Robert Browning wrote his exquisite romantic poem, Home Thoughts from Abroad, yearning for the everyday delights of his homeland, he certainly couldn’t have had football in mind. Yet, his sentiments ring true for exiled supporters of Sligo Rovers, a football club whose global attraction bridges oceans and continents, providing a genuine link not only with its diaspora but with many others encountering the magic of the club for the first time.

Rovers’ army of international supporters continues to grow. For a club based on the periphery of Europe, once regarded as a distant soccer outpost even in its own country, the club’s global appeal is truly remarkable. Some of these ardent followers are Sligo natives whose life paths have taken them to every corner of the world; others are people with no connection to Sligo, or indeed Ireland, who have discovered and been entranced by the irresistible lure of the bit’o’red.

In this article, we feature two of these devoted long-distance supporters – one a native of the town now living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and another from Alabama, USA, who first discovered the club through a FIFA video game and has since crossed the Atlantic on a number of occasions to sate his appetite for the joy of following Rovers.

Argentina-based Eamonn Maye, is a proud member of Rovers international family. He was born and raised in Sligo, literally in the shadow of the Showgrounds.

“My father’s house stood just across the tracks behind the railway end stand. I could see the games from my bedroom, but thankfully didn’t need to as he would take me, along with my brothers, to the games,” Eamonn recalls.

Those early experiences shaped his love of the club, a life-long attachment which has defied both disappointment and distance.

“Right from the start Rovers gave me a sense of community”, he enthuses. “We would meet our cousins and friends on the terrace and spend most of the

game running around playing, with little idea of what was happening on the pitch! This sense of community would only grow over the years, as I made friends through Rovers, found jobs through Rovers, and found accommodation through Rovers. There is almost no aspect of my life that hasn’t been impacted by the club.”

Becoming a dedicated supporter in his own right as he grew older, Eamonn travelled to away games all over the country as well as a couple of European adventures, before leaving Sligo for foreign shores in 2014. He spent several years travelling and living in various countries before settling in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2019.

“My relationship with Rovers is one which has endured the long distance, though at first it was difficult to follow closely from abroad. Time zones did not always allow for following games live, and very little was televised. Mostly I was listening to games on Ocean FM, and getting some more detail afterwards from family or friends who had attended,” he says.

Oddly enough, Eamonn believes the best thing that happened to LOI fans abroad was the Covid pandemic. It brought with it the opportunity to watch every game live, which thankfully has stayed around afterwards.

He gives a special shout-out to the guys from BORST: “Their podcast really brought back that connection to the club that was almost lost over a few years away and is still eagerly anticipated each week. It’s a huge boost for the international fan”.

In Argentina, he reports, the question ‘which is your team’ gets asked at least a couple of times a day: “I always tell them that here, I am a neutral, happy to go along to watch any game but I don’t need another team, I already have Sligo Rovers.”

Generously, Eamonn says to any Rovers fan considering visiting Buenos Aires not to hesitate to get in touch with him.

“I’m always happy to meet up to talk Rovers, give some advice on Argentina or help out with securing tickets to games here,” he confirms.

While Eamonn’s love of the club could be described as an ‘accident of birth’, the case of an American devotee illustrates Rovers’ uncanny knack of getting under the skin even of those who had previously never heard of Sligo.

Forty-two years old, Sean Rourke from the U.S Southeastern state of Alabama, discovered Rovers about nine years ago through playing a FIFA video game.

“From there, I looked into the club and started following and got hooked,” he explains. “Owen Heary was manager at the time when I started supporting. I have been to the Showgrounds four times and have only seen one goal scored other than the penalty shootout against Bala Town but I’ve loved every minute of it. I’m looking forward to getting over again in September for the Dundalk game.”

For long-distance supporters, following the club’s fortunes has become much easier in recent years, as Sean explains.

“When I first started, I was only able to follow the games on the team website or twitter or through the Rovers Hour on Ocean fm. Since then, it has become easier and better. We have the Borst podcast, we can watch the matches on Loi TV, or listen to the full match commentaries on Ocean fm.”, he says.

Sean immediately fell in love with the town on his first visit.

“Even though I had never been there before, it felt like home. The people are great, I have made friends with the Borst guys and socialise with them when I’m over. We have become friends, not just people who support the same team. Also, I have had many interactions with the office staff and everyone has been amazing. I love that the club is owned and run by the supporters. It sets Rovers apart from every other team and makes for more passionate fans,” he insists.

His first trip was in 2018. Since then, he has been over in 2019 for the start of the season and caught two games at the Showgrounds, and the last time he visited was for the Bala Town game.

“I’ve been to two battles of the Rovers, as well as St. Pats, and Bala, and I’ll be over for Dundalk in September this season. I make the trip mainly to see the Rovers play, and work in seeing other parts of Ireland around the fixture.

“I have Irish ancestry but don’t have any family connections that I know about. I would like to think that the O’Rourke Castle remains on Lough Gill were

related to me, being we have the same last name, and maybe that’s why the Sligo area feels so much like home.”

Not surprisingly, Sean agrees that some people might find it strange that he’s so passionate about a football club on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean that few, if any, of his peers have even heard of.

“My family are supportive, although they’re not really into sport. Most people at home wouldn’t be into soccer anyway, much less League of Ireland, so I guess I’m thought of as a bit odd. But I love it and am so delighted to have found this unique club”, he declares.

*We will feature more members of Rovers’ amazing global supporter family in forthcoming editions of the E-programme. Next stops on our world tour are Abu Dhabi and Salt Lake City, Utah.

Lotto – Joanne Lands Big Rovers Jackpot

Joanne Kelly from Kingswood Cross, Dublin was the lucky winner recently in Rovers weekly lotto draw, winning the jackpot of €8,800. Though Joanne is a Dubliner, her family have strong Rovers connections. Her Dad Hugo is a loyal supporter, for many years he travelled to Sligo for games with his great friend Jack Carney. Joanne is one of an increasing number of people who enter the Rovers lotto on-line. ‘It’s a quick and easy way of supporting the club, and every draw gives you a chance of winning a jackpot or a Match 3 Voucher.’

Rovers on-line lottery has become very popular in recent years. Particularly during Covid, when lotto agents were restricted, the online lottery became an attractive alternative. It has developed to an extent that in the region of 30% of tickets in each draw are purchased online. This is reflected in the geographical spread of subscribers, with people participating from countries such as Australia, America, and England. The St Patrick’s Day draw earned a €200 voucher from a Canadian punter.

Doing the lottery online could not be easier. There is the option of subscribing to an individual draw, or for convenience people can enter their chosen numbers for a full year to ensure they never miss a draw, simply log on to the link on Rovers’ website and chose from a number of options.

The Sligo Rovers lottery is acknowledged to be one the most generous of the lotteries in terms of payouts. Since January 2023, it has paid out over €42,000 in jackpots and Match 3 Vouchers, prize money unrivalled by any other similar lottery. The largest jackpot in recent times was €18,800 won by the Kennoy family in August 2023.

Rovers Chairman Tommy Higgins congratulated Joanne on Kelly on her recent success. ‘This latest jackpot win shows that our lottery is the most enduring and successful of the local lotteries. We have people playing every week from across the world, they find it a great way to support their home club. With the ongoing support of our regular punters, it can continue to be a hugely valuable fundraiser for Sligo Rovers.

3rd May 2024

Another clean sheet earns valuable point in Galway

Sligo Rovers kept their second clean sheet in a row and their seventh of the season as the Bit O’Red came away from Eamonn Deacy Park with a hard fought point, after an evenly matched game with Galway United. 

Both sides had chances in this one, with Ed McGinty’s wonderful late save from a Wassim Aouachria shot the highlight of what was a good evening for the Rovers number one. 

Wilson Waweru almost won the game for the visitors in the dying moments with a late, late chance. 

Rovers started the brighter in Galway in warm conditions. Stefan Radosavljevic worked a decent save from former Rovers shot-stopper Bredan Clarke, after fine work from Max Mata, on his last appearance for the club before his loan spell ended. 

The hosts gradually settled into this one and had chances courtesy of Killian Brouder and Patrick Hickey, but Sligo were in no humour to concede to their Connacht rivals.

John Caulfield’s side hit the woodwork in the second half. David Hurley’s header looped over McGinty and on to the top of the crossbar, while Stephen Walsh volleyed over on the rebound.

The influential Connor Malley headed narrowly over from a Radosavljevic corner, before Mata had what looked like genuine calls for a spot-kick dismissed when Brouder seemed to have obstructed Mata inside the area. 

John Russell’s charges ended this game well on top but there was a late opportunity for Galway to steal the points. McGinty however got across in time to push away Aouachria’s blasted effort with both hands as time ran out.

Indeed, the aforementioned Waweru almost took the spoils in injury time. Against his local club, Waweru was crowded out as Clarke and friends just did enough to put the striker off his shot, the ball instead dribbling past the far post much to Clarke’s relief. 

Rovers’ next game is a Premier Division clash with Bohemians, this Friday, May 17th at the Showgrounds. Kick-off 7.45pm. 

Galway United: Brendan Clarke; Jeannot Esua, Robert Slevin, Killian Brouder, Al Amin Kazeem (Wassim Aouachria 86); David Hurley, Conor McCormack; Aodh Dervin (Leon Gaxha 57), Patrick Hickey (Maurice Nugent 57), Ed McCarthy (Conor O’Keeffe 78); Stephen Walsh (Francely Lomboto 78)

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; JR Wilson, Oliver Denham, Charlie Wiggett, Reece Hutchinson; Fabrice Hartmann (Rein Smit 73), Connor Malley, Niall Morahan, Stefan Radosavlevic (Owen Elding 60); Ellis Chapman; Max Mata (Wilson Waweru 63)

Referee: Damien McGrath

2024 Summer Camps Launched

Sligo Rovers are delighted to announce that the 2024 Summer Camps are now available to book.

The Camps, which will run for eight weeks in July and August, will take place in The Showgrounds from 10.30am-3pm daily.

Each participant will receive an official club training top along with a club certificate.

The cost is €85 for one child, €150 for two and €200 for three kids from the one family.

The Camps will run from Monday July 1st until Friday August 23rd.

To book the camp, click here.

Team News: Away v Galway United

John Russell will take his Sligo Rovers side to Eamon Deacy Park to face his home town club for the first time, as the Bit O’Red travel south to take on Galway United, kick-off 7.45pm.

This Premier Division clash will be Rovers’ first top flight tussle in Galway since 2017, following the Tribesmen’s promotion from the First Division last year.

Rovers will again be without John Mahon and Nando Pijanker who continue their rehab on respective achilles and rib injuries. While wide men Will Fitzgerald (foot) and Simon Power (groin) are also set to miss this latest Connacht derby.

There is good news for Russell who welcomes JR Wilson back from suspension after he missed Rovers’ superb May Bank Holiday Monday win over St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds. 

Speaking ahead of Rovers’ first visit to Galway in all competitions since a narrow one goal win down there in the EA Sports Cup in 2018, Russell says his side are in buoyant humour following that defeat of the Saints.

“The players have rested well and it’s another quick turnaround to Galway. We know how big of a game this is for both clubs and sets of supporters and I’d imagine we’ll have a good crowd heading down there. It’s a massive game”, he said. 

“Galway have surprised a few since they were promoted. They’re on a great run of form at the moment so we need to maximise our performance levels to get a result down there.

“This league is so competitive and anyone can beat anyone on their day. We’ve seen that so many times since the start of the season with teams at the bottom picking up results against those towards the top.

“The win over Pat’s was important of course. But it is vital now that we go to Galway and continue to build momentum.” 

Article: Rovers are still the reigning All-Ireland football champions

By Leo Gray

This Friday, May 10th, marks the 10th anniversary of Sligo Rovers historic victory over Dundalk in the final of the Setanta Cup.

The triumph meant that Rovers claimed all the top honours in domestic soccer – the League Cup, FAI Cup (3 times), the League of Ireland Championship and the Setanta Cup – in a spectacular 4 year golden era – the quickest haul of the major trophies by any club in the country.

The record-breaking achievement was completed by the Setanta Cup success. A rain-sodden surface at Tallaght Stadium threatened to spoil the occasion as a spectacle but heroic Rovers made light of the demanding conditions and a stubborn challenge from a resolute Dundalk team to chisel out a hard-earned 1-0 victory, courtesy of a well-taken Paul O’Connor goal.

It was the ninth and final time that the cross-border tournament took place, meaning that the Bit O’Red can claim to be reigning All-Ireland soccer champions ten years on from their famous win.

Rovers demonstrated their intent right from the start of the competition, registering an emphatic 9-1 aggregate victory over Crusaders in the quarter-finals.

The first leg took place at Seaview on February 24th and it turned out to be a spectacular occasion for new recruit, Eric Odhiambo, who marked his competitive debut with an impressive hat-trick. Aaron Greene also got in on the scoring act as the Bit O’ Red cruised to a surprisingly easy 4-1 victory.

The result meant the second leg at the Showgrounds on March 10th was no more than a routine engagement for Rovers. The Irish League side, obviously demoralised from the first fixture, offered little by way of resistance and, as expected, it was all one-way traffic as Rovers romped to a comprehensive 5-0 win. Danny North helped himself to a brace while Evan McMillan, Ross Gaynor and Liam Flatley also go on the scoresheet.

St. Patrick’s Athletic were expected to provide a more searching test in the semi-final, especially as the draw dictated they would have the second leg at home.

Indeed, the first game at the Showgrounds on March 25th was a closely fought encounter. Danny North, playing against his former club, gave Rovers the lead and the Dublin side might well have settled on taking just a one goal deficit back to Inchicore for the return game. However, North struck again just before the end to give the Bit O’Red a two goal cushion.

Still, it looked as if everything was still to play for when battle resumed in Richmond Park on April 14th.

Pat’s were entitled to believe they could turn things around on their own patch but Rovers were having none of it. Producing a ruthless display of sharp attacking football and incisive finishing,

they completely overwhelmed the home side, storming to a stunning 5-1 victory, bringing the aggregate score to a comprehensive 7-1 outcome. Scorers on the night in Inchicore were Raff Cretaro (2), Joseph Ndo, John Russell, and an own goal by Foran.

Dundalk, meanwhile, came through the other side of the draw and so the scene was set for what promised to be a fascinating showdown in the decider at Tallaght Stadium on May 10th.

The formbook suggested Rovers would go into the contest as hot favourites. They had claimed an impressive haul of silverware in the preceding years while Dundalk were more accustomed to desperate relegation battles.

However, Stephen Kenny, was slowly putting a highly talented and motivated squad together at the County Louth outfit and they fancied their chances of upsetting the odds.

Few could have anticipated it then but the opposing managers in the final, Kenny and Ian Baraclough, would go on to manage the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the years that followed.

An unseasonal cloudburst which transformed the usually immaculate playing surface at Tallaght into a treacherous quagmire threatened to produce more farce than fanfare but it is to the credit of both sides that they fashioned a competitive, entertaining final.

Rovers went into battle without a number of key players, among them Gavin Peers, Alan Keane and Raff Cretaro while midfield talisman, while captain for the day, Joseph Ndo was forced to limp out of the action after 34 minutes.

On a day which demanded courage, grit and skill in equal measure, the Bit O’Red rose to the challenge magnificently, engineering a first half lead and then defending with commendable vigilance and composure after the break.

The energy-sapping conditions clearly took a heavy toll on weary limbs but, to a man, Rovers stepped up to the plate, expending every ounce of energy in pursuit of the big prize.

After clocking up a staggering sixteen goals on their way to the decider, Baraclough’s men required only one to snatch the spoils on this occasion.

And it came slightly against the run of play in the 14th minute. Greene’s pace took him clear down the right flank and his low, inviting cross was swept to the net by industrious midfielder, Paul O’Connor.

Only a few months earlier, O’Connor had been on the scoresheet for Drogheda against Rovers in the 2013 FAI Cup final but this was his turn to earn an indelible place in Sligo soccer folklore as big match hero and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

As Dundalk stepped up the pace in search of an equaliser, Pat Hoban twice came close to putting the sides on level terms and Richie Towell was out of luck with a powerful long range effort. And Rovers had another close shave just before the end when David McMillan’s clever lob demanded a first-class save from Gary Rogers.

Given the heroics of Rovers defensive resistance on the day, it was hardly surprising that the man-of-the-match award went to Jeff Henderson who was immense in the centre of the back four.

He said: “It’s a great honour to be chosen as the man of the match but the most important thing is that we won the Setanta Cup to add to our haul of trophies. We were under pressure at times but we kept our composure and kept them at bay. I’ve won the League, the FAI Cup and the Setanta Cup with Rovers. I could never have imagined that things would work out so well when I

joined the club. It’s incredible. Rovers are a top club and deserve to be up there challenging for all the top honours.”

By winning the Setanta Cup, Rovers carved out a unique record in Irish domestic soccer, becoming the quickest club in the country to win all the major trophies. They won the first division championship in 2005, the FAI Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2013, the League Cup in 2010, the Premier League Championship in 2012, and the Setanta Cup in 2014. No other club has ever won all those trophies in a nine year span.

No wonder manager Baraclough was elated after the club’s latest triumph.

“The Setanta Cup was the missing link in our roll of honour and we were determined to put that right”, he beamed. “It’s a significant win for the club and it’s all down to a brilliant group of players. We probably didn’t play as well as we can but that happens in Cup finals. The lads were terrific in their commitment and spirit. It was all about getting over the line.”

When skipper Ndo went off injured, North took over the captain’s armband and so had the privilege of lifting the coveted trophy after the game.

“I never thought I’d be the one to lift the Setanta Cup for Rovers but I was honoured to do so,” he enthused. “We talked about the two injured captains, Alan Keane and Gavin Peers, lifting the trophy but they didn’t seem too fussed about it so I was thrilled to get the opportunity. But, of course, it’s all about the team and the lads were brilliant. If you don’t want to win medals, you shouldn’t be playing football. With the Setanta Cup in the bag, we’ve collected the lot and it just shows what a brilliant club Sligo Rovers is”

The history-making team lined out as follows in the final: Rogers, Conneely, Henderson, McMillan, Gaynor, Russell, Ndo, Cawley, O’Connor, Greene, North. Sub: Ledwidth. Subs not used: Brush, Spillane, Maguire, Odhiambo, Dykes, Djilali. Other members of the squad were Keane, Peers, Cretaro, Brennan, Loftus, Donelon, Boylan, Murphy, Taheny, Casey, Flatley.

Dundalk lined out as follows: Cherrie, Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Shields, Horgan, Mountney, Hoban, Massey, Towell, Meenan. Subs: Byrne, Higgins, D McMillan

Chapman strike earns Rovers the points

Sligo Rovers 1 – 0 St Patrick’s Athletic

Ellis Chapman’s 23rd minute strike gave Sligo Rovers a much needed shot in the arm as they saw off St Patrick’s Athletic at the Showgrounds.

Chapman’s strike from range, handed the Bt O’Red their first win in seven and moved the Connacht men to within a single point of their opponents in the league table.

Without a host of first team players courtesy of injuries and suspension, Sligo boss John Russell handed 18-year-old Conor Reynolds a first senior start in place of the suspended JR Wilson, while Fabrice Hartmann returned to the first eleven for the first time in three games.

The starting Saints, looking for a fourth win on the spin over their opponents, included Kieran Freeman, Jamie Lennon and Jake Mulraney each of whom missed Friday’s win over Drogheda.
Rovers led this game at the interval and although they impressed at times, it was the Dubliners who fashioned the majority of the play in front of goal.

John Daly’s charges should have been ahead on nine minutes when Chris Forrester and Brandon Kavanagh combined to find former Sligo youth Ruairi Keating. The striker, unmarked, fluffed his lines from a goal-scoring position as he somehow blazed over from ten yards out.

Conor Keeley’s header from a Kavanagh free landed on the roof of the Rovers net on the quarter hour as Pat’s issued another warning shot, Mulraney in particular causing concern down their left flank.

Chapman then fired the home side in front on 23 minutes when the midfielder struck for his fourth goal of the year. The former Cheltenham man steadying himself before lashing past Danny Rogers from 25 yards, somewhat against the flow of proceedings.

Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty had to bat away an effort from the angle from Keating early in the second period, as Russell’s side looked to map a way to their first win over Pat’s since last year’s May Bank Holiday.

McGinty was in the thick of things again on 61 minutes when he executed a magnificent reaction save to deny Forrester’s stab at goal from a swerving Kavanagh set piece.

The home support thought they had a penalty on 71 when substitute Rein Smit went to ground following a challenge by Pat’s net minder Rogers. Referee David Dunne translated the situation differently however, awarding a free out and booking the Dutch striker for simulation.  

Connor Malley’s drive from 30 yards whistled over the Dubliners’ crossbar with twelve to go as Rovers, now the better side, sought to kill the game.
There was a late push from the visitors, who looked unconvincing going forward although Rovers did have to rely on a heroic late block from skipper Niall Morahan on Pat’s sub Mason Melia.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Conor Reynolds (Kailin Barlow 68), Charlie Wiggett, Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson; Niall Morahan, Ellis Chapman, Connor Malley; Fabrice Hartmann (Owen Elding 57), Stefan Radosavljevic (Wilson Waweru 84); Max Mata (Rein Smit 68).

St Patrick’s Athletic: Danny Rogers; Kieran Freeman, Conor Keeley, Luke Turner, Anto Breslin; Jamie Lennon; Chris Forrester, Brandon Kavanagh (Romal Palmer 68); Jake Mulraney (Kian Leavy 73), Alex Nolan (Mason Melia 68), Ruairi Keating.  

Referee: David Dunne

Attendance: 2,548.

Match Report: vs Wexford FC

WOMEN’S PREMIER DIVISION
MATCH REPORT by CONALL COLLIER
WEXFORD 4, SLIGO ROVERS 1

Sligo Rovers conceded three second-half goals after getting back to parity as they lost to hosts Wexford in the Women’s Premier Division on Saturday night.

It was a harsh outcome for the battling Bit O’Red who lost the influential Jodie Loughrey on 66 minutes after a challenge from Wexford goalkeeper Jayne
Merren forced her out of the action and also denied what looked like a good
goal-scoring chance.

Manager Tommy Hewitt made a number of changes from the previous outing against Cork City seven days earlier with Alice Lillie, Sarah Kiernan and Amy Roddy in the starting 11 in place of Eimear Lafferty, Emma Hansberry and Paula McGrory.

Wexford hit the front after 16 minutes of a well-contested first-half when Ciara Rossiter created an opening and Ellen Molloy raced through the Bit O’Red rearguard and finished confidently to the net.

Close to the half-hour mark Wexford had a gilt-edged chance of a second goal, but Kylie Murphy headed over the bar and soon after Sligo Rovers were unlucky not to level when persistence from Jodie Loughrey was rewarded.

She got into a good position in the Wexford penalty area and gave Muireann Devaney a glimpse of goal, but the danger was averted at the expense of a corner.

Cara King replaced Alice Lillie for Sligo Rovers at the interval and the Bit O’Red got back on level terms within a minute of the resumption when Kelly Crompton powered home a header.

However, parity lasted less than three minutes after some hesitant defending gave Wexford an opportunity and Ciara Rossiter capitalised to make it 2-1.

Sligo Rovers reacted positively and Keri Loughrey’s shot was saved by Jayne
Merren who also got down to save another Crompton header in the 63rd minute.

From the resultant clearance Wexford added a third goal when Rossiter once more finished well.

The Bit O’Red countered again, but Jodie Loughrey’s momentum was halted as Merren surged out of her penalty area and was deemed to have committed a yellow-card challenge,

Loughrey limped out of the action and the Wexford custodian was perhaps fortunate to avoid a red card?

Katie Melly replaced the unfortunate Loughrey, but despite the best efforts of the players for the remainder they couldn’t make any impact and conceded a fourth when Rossiter completed her hat-trick near the end.

Wexford – Jayne Merren; Abby Tuthill, Orlaith Conlon, Della Doherty, Kylie Murphy, Ellen Molloy, Ceola Bergin, Ciara Rossiter, Meabh Russell, Aoibheann Clancy, Aine Walsh. 

Subs – Leah McGrath for Walsh 74 mins, Teegan Lynch for Clancy, Freya De Mange for Bergin and Mia Lenihan for Rossiter all 85m, Millie Daly for Conlon 90m.

Sligo Rovers – Amber Hardy,Alice Lillie, Sarah Kiernan, Kelsey Munroe, Keeva Flynn, Kelly Crompton, Muireann Devaney, Zoe McGlynn, Amy Roddy, Keri Loughrey, Jodie Loughrey. 

Subs – Cara King for Lillie half-time, Katie Melly for J Loughrey 66 mins, Eimear Lafferty for Roddy 80m, Kate Nugent for K Loughrey, Leah Kelly for Crompton and Ciara Henry for McGlynn all 83m.