Report: Dundalk 2-1 Rovers

Sligo Rovers travelled to Oriel Park on Friday Night in The SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

The two teams were seperated by just a point leading into the game with Rovers in fourth and Dundalk in fifth position in the league table. The two sides were evenly matched in our last meeting on March 5th at The Showgrounds when the game finished scoreless.

Before the game, The Bit O’ Red team held a Pride flag in memory of Michael Snee and Aidan Moffitt who lost their lives earlier this week in Sligo.

Rovers started brightly and had some chances through Aidan Keena and Max Mata early on. Mata got onto a loose ball in the area but his close range shot was blocked by Andy Boyle. Moments later Keena got onto a Will Fitzgerald flicked header but couldn’t manage to keep his lobbed effort on target.

Dundalk went close through Daniel Kelly soon after and they took the lead on 35 minutes when Patrick Hoban scored from close range following Stephen Bradley’s cross which Ed McGinty couldn’t gather.

The hosts had their tales up and made it 2-0 on the stroke of half time. Kelly was played in behind and cooly slotted under McGinty to double his sides lead.

Liam Buckley made two half time changes with Greg Bolger and Aidan Keena replaced by David Cawley and Niall Morahan in midfield.

Rovers tried their best to get back into the game and had some half chances throughout the second half.

Mata was lively in attack with substitute Cawley getting forward at every opportunity. Will Fitzgerald rounded goalkeeper Nathan Shepperd to score but he was flagged offside in the build up.

The hosts had some chances too with Darragh Leahy’s header testing McGinty and captain Hoban also testing the Rovers ‘keeper.

Mark Byrne was introduced for Karl O’ Sullivan on the right for the final fifteen minutes. Byrne and Lewis Banks combined on the right as Rovers’ kept pushing for a way back into the game.

Paddy Kirk’s long throw in four minutes from time found Mata in the box and his looping header found the net to give Rovers hope for the closing stages.

Chances fell to Kirk who shot over from the edge of the area and the impressive Mata who’s header went wide from Byrne’s cross in the 92nd minute and soon after referee Neil Doyle brought the game to a close.

Rovers travel to Finn Harps on Monday at 6pm.