Report: Rovers 2-1 Celtic B

Sligo Rovers welcomed Celtic B to The Showgrounds on Tuesday night in front of around 1,700 supporters.

Manager John Russell used the game to blood some youth with ten changes made from the side that took on Derry City in the League four days previously, with only Frank Liivak keeping his place from that night.

David Cawley captained Rovers alongside Lukas Browning in midfield. Rovers had seven Academy players starting with Conor Reynolds from our Under 17 side and Under 19 players Niall Holohan, Gareth McElroy, Daniel Kelly, Daire McCarthy and Conor Campbell joining young goalkeeper Conor Walsh in the starting eleven.

Russell also gave a start to a Trialist player.

The game started brightly for Rovers with chances for Trialist and Frank Liivak who shot straight at the goalkeeper.

It wasn’t long until the Estonian gave Rovers the lead however as Reynolds lofted through ball found him inside the box and he fired high into the net for the opening goal.

Celtic tried to break forward to get back into the game, however chances were few and far between and it was the Bit O’ Red who doubled their lead on 24 minutes as Trialist finished to the net after Daniel Kelly’s shot was deflected into his path.

It was 2-0 at half-time and the visitors got back into the game five minutes into the second half through attacker Jude Bonner.

Russell brought on a host of subs for the second period with Richard Brush replacing Conor Walsh, Bridel Bosakani and Shane Rooney replacing Conor Campbell and Liivak and later on, David Cawley, Daniel Kelly, Conor Reynolds and Trialist replaced by youngsters Daire Patton, Patrick Montgomery, Kyle McDonagh and Ultan O’ Grady.

Rovers had plenty of chances in the second half, most notably through Montgomery who was first played down the side by Patton but his shot went wide before finding time and space in the box, only to be denied by a fine stop from the Celtic goalkeeper.

Richard Brush was also kept busy in the Rovers’ goal as the Celts looked for an equaliser but the veteran ‘keeper was taken off for the last few minutes to allow Under 17 player Kyle Gabbidon on for his first senior appearance.

With that, the game ended soon after and Rovers secured the friendly win.

Next up is a home game against Cork City at The Showgrounds this Saturday night at 7.45pm in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.