Two games into the Women’s Premier Division campaign and Sligo Rovers have encouraging performances in defeat in the credit account, but points are the sole target as the Bit O’Red settle into a second campaign in the top tier, writes Conall Collier.
The bottom line is quite simple – there will be no easy games this season regardless of the opposition
Sligo Rovers will go into Saturday’s home encounter against Peamount United with aspirations of success and if the team can produce its best form then those expectations could be realised.
During last week’s reversal at Ferrycarrig Park, the Bit O’Red pushed hosts Wexford all the way for 90 minutes.
There was an early goal-of-the-season contender from Sarah Kiernan’s equaliser and the same player was denied a second soon after when Wexford ‘keeper Maeve Williams produced a spectacular finger-tip save.
That was a turning point and by the stage Steve Feeney’s side had adapted to the loss, through injury, of new signing Casey Howe.
Wexford made the most of that reprieve and regained the lead in the 70th minute when Rianna Jarrett powered a header to the net and with 14 minutes remaining former Athlone striker Emily Corbet claimed her first goal of the season for the hosts.
This weekend it’s Peamount Utd, the team that was the first opposition Sligo Rovers faced in last season’s inaugural campaign.
The Dublin side will arrive at the Showgrounds with full points from two outings.
An opening day 3-1 win against Athlone Town and an impressive 1-0 last weekend against DLR Waves will have manager James O’Callaghan in a positive mood despite the loss of some key players from last season.
Peamount finished third in the WNL in 2022 and began this season without Aine O’Gorman and Stephanie Roche, that duo featured in the opening day encounter at the Showgrounds where O’Gorman hit a 92nd minute winner.
Becky Watkins scored in the 85th minute against DLR Waves as Peamount made it two wins from two last weekend
On day one Kate Mooney, Erin McLaughlin and a late Kate Duggan penalty gave the Dublin side the points in Athlone.
Another tight contest is on the cards and Peamount certainly won’t underestimate the challenge that Sligo Rovers will pose.
However, Peamount will be aiming to sustain early season momentum and will expect to keep a winning run intact.
They won’t find it easy and will be anticipating a stern test from the hosts who will certainly be overdue a slight tilting of the scales in what will be a finely-balanced encounter.
TEAMS THE LAST DAY
Sligo Rovers – Amy Mahon; Alice Lillie, Amy Roddy, Keela Scanlon, Sarah Kiernan, Emma Hansberry, Lauren Boles, Katie Melly, Aoife Brennan, Casey Howe, Leah Kelly. Subs – Jodie Loughrey for Howe, Keri Loughrey for Melly, Aife Haran for Brennan and Helen Monaghan for Kiernan.
Peamount – Niamh Reid Burke; Lauryn O’Callaghan, Jetta Berrill, Chloe Moloney, Becky Watkins, Sadhbh Doyle, Carla McManus, Erin McLaughlin, Tara O’Hanlon, Karen Duggan, Kate Mooney. Subs – Dora Gorman for McManus, Ellen Dolan for McLaughlin, Avril Brierly for Mooney.