Report: Dundalk 3-3 Rovers

Sligo Rovers travelled to Casey’s Field in Dundalk on Friday night in our second-last away game of the 2022 League season to play Dundalk in front of just over 2,000 supporters.

Rovers were without a number of players due to injury with Garry Buckley, Mark Byrne, Luke McNicholas and David Cawley all out for the remainder of the season and Shane Blaney and Niall Morahan injured also.

Lewis Banks came into the back four in place of Blaney to partner Nando Pijnaker at centre back. Kailin Barlow was handed his first league start by manager John Russell in place of Niall Morahan.

Both sides looked to keep possession early on and little or no chances were created until Rovers forced a corner and Adam McDonnell’s cross was headed onto the Dundalk post by Kailin Barlow but Frank Liivak followed up and blasted the rebound into the top corner to give Rovers the lead.

The lead lasted around fifteen minutes as Dundalk midfielder Alfie Lewis equalised with a fine effort from twenty yards, his left footed shot finding the top corner of Richard Brush’s net.

The sides remained level at half-time at 1-1.

Nine minutes into the second-half and the hosts took the lead. Bruno Hauge ran down the right wing and his cross went all the way to the back post for youngster Ryan O’ Kane to take a touch, steady himself and fire home.

John Russell brought on Max Mata in attack in place of Kailin Barlow after an hour and Rovers looked to push forward to find a leveller.

Aidan Keena dropped a little deeper with Mata the lone striker and it was Keena who found space on the left before dribbling into the area past two Dundalk defenders and firing an unstoppable shot into the far left corner to level matters again on 76 minutes.

Rovers regained the lead just six minutes later. Max Mata got on the end of Frank Liivak’s through ball and the New Zealander steadied himself and rolled it into the corner past goalkeeper Shepperd, much to the delight of the travelling Bit O’ Red supporters.

Karl O’ Sullivan and Seamas Keogh were introduced in the final few minutes in place of Robbie Burton and Liivak as John Russell looked to bring on some fresh legs.

There seemed to be little danger of a home equaliser until the 92nd minute. Andy Boyle sent a long ball forward and striker John Martin won the flick on and it fell to Keith Ward who side-footed it home past Brush to give his side a share of the spoils.

Next up we host Derry City on Monday at The Showgrounds at 7.45pm.

Photo: Sportsfile