Report: Rovers 3-0 Cork City

Sligo Rovers got an important win over Cork City on Saturday night at The Showgrounds in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division.

The game was an important one for both sides and the inclement weather didn’t effect the quality on the pitch as both sides looked to create chances early on.

Rovers started the better of the sides in the opening twenty minutes, with Kailin Barlow’s effort on two minutes testing Jimmy Corcoran after good build up play by Will Fitzgerald and Niall Morahan to set him up on his return to the side following suspension.

There was a half-chance for Max Mata after Barlow’s cross but the New Zealander’s header didn’t get the power it needed and it was gathered by Corcoran.

It was Cork’s turn next and striker Tunde Owalabi went close after picking up possession on the left and working an effort on goal but it went just wide.

Soon after though, Rovers took the lead. Johan Brannefalk’s throw-in found Barlow on the right who did well to work a cross into the box and Mata was there to power a header home.

The Bit O’ Red went close again before the half as efforts from John Mahon and Stefan Radosavljevic went close to doubling the lead but the sides went in at the break with Rovers leading.

The second half was all Rovers.

Radosavljevic, who was tormenting the visiting defence all night went close on 52 minutes but his effort was saved by Corcoran and behind for a corner.

The resulting set-piece gave Rovers a second goal as Brannefalk’s delivery was too good to handle and it flew into the top corner, much to the delight of The Showgrounds crowd.

John Russell brought on Lukas Browning and Frank Liivak for Barlow and Greg Bolger for the last twenty minutes and it didn’t take long for Rovers to grab a third goal to seal the points.

Goalkeeper Corcoran looked to gather the ball with comfort in the area but somehow it fell to Radosavljevic who had the simple task of dragging the ball back to set himself up for a tap-in to get his third goal of the season and his second home goal in succession.

Pedro Martelo was brought on for the final ten minutes in place of the tireless Mata up front and he showed glimpses of why Rovers Manager John Russell signed the Portuguese striker this week, almost capping a good debut with a goal late on.

A debut was given to youngster Conor Reynolds for the closing stages, who replaced Brannefalk. The Westport teenage impressed in Tuesday’s Friendly win over Celtic B at The Showgrounds and John Russell awarded him with minutes this evening.

Next up for Rovers is a trip to take on Drogheda United on Friday night in the FAI Cup First Round.

We wish to thank all supporters who came out this evening to support the team in such testing weather conditions.