Report: Rovers 0-1 Shelbourne – Men’s

Sligo Rovers lost 1-0 to Shelbourne at The Showgrounds on Saturday night in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

Manager John Russell made four changes to the side that were narrowly beaten by the same scoreline two weeks ago against Dundalk with Kailin Barlow, Fabrice Hartmann and Reece Hutchinson coming into the team in place of Lukas Browning and the ill Johan Brannefalk and David Cawley.

Karl O’ Sullivan missed out with a minor calf issue and Richard Brush was back among the subs having missed the previous three games through suspension.

Rovers started well and could have been in front inside the opening minute with Frank Liivak crossing for Pedro Martelo who directed a shot just wide.

Moments later, Shelbourne goalkeeper Conor Kearns clearance landed at Kailin Barlow’s feet but the midfielder couldn’t direct his effort on goal.

Shelbourne grew into the game following the opening spell and had their first chance as Jack Moylan’s shot was parried away by Conor Walsh and Evan Caffrey put the rebound wide.

They were in again soon after but Walsh did well to deny them with a one-on-one however on 39 minutes they did take the lead.

Midfielder Mark Coyle picked up possession around thirty yards from goal and shot toward goal. Walsh looked to have it under control however the ball squeezed in between his legs and into the net.

There were no more chances in the first-half with Shels keeping their lead at half-time.

Garry Buckley was introduced at half-time for Barlow as Rovers went with three at the back in a change of shape. This saw a better balance to the side and Stefan Radosavljevic almost equalised early in the half with a curling effort, saved by Kearns.

Fabrice Hartmann had a couple of efforts from the right hand side both saved by Kearns during the second period as Rovers pushed forward in search of an equaliser.

Robbie Burton was brought on for the last 25 minutes in place of Greg Bolger and the former Welsh underage International looked to get on the ball as frequently as possible to help Rovers break forward.

Frank Liivak had claims for a penalty waived away by the referee around 15 minutes from time and five minutes later, Shelbourne broke forward and Moylan was taken down in the area by Niall Morahan and the referee pointed to the spot.

Moylan scored the penalty however referee MacGraith whistled as an attacking player had ran into the box too soon and the spot kick had to be retaken. This time, Walsh saved Moylan’s effort and Rovers survived.

For the final ten minutes or so it was all Rovers with plenty of possession however no major chances of note other than John Mahon’s effort from a corner which was well saved by Kearns and a Robbie Burton volley flew wide.

The game ended and Rovers now go to Cork on Friday to take on Cork City at Turners Cross.