Report: Rovers Women 0-2 Galway United

Despite producing a determined performance, the concession of a goal in each half saw Sligo Rovers lose out to Connacht rivals Galway Utd in the Women’s Premier Division at the Showgrounds on Saturday evening, writes Conall Collier.

The result leaves the Bit O’Red still searching for a first home point of the season while Galway got back to winning ways after three successive defeats.

Sligo Rovers manager Steve Feeney made some changes from last week’s draw with Treaty as Lauren Boles, Kate Nugent and Leah Kelly replaced Sarah Kiernan, Orna O’Dowd and Ciara Henry.

Galway made a number of changes from the previous week also with Isabella Beletic, Roisin Jacob, Siobhan Doolan and Aoife Thompson all starting

In what was a competitive encounter, Galway hit the front in the 12th minute when Therese Kinnevey got a vital touch as the teams engaged in a bout of pinball in the six-yard box. Her effort deflected off a home defender into the net.

It was a fortuitous goal, but the hosts couldn’t really complain too much as they contributed in a major way as they failed to clear a corner.

Galway substitute Rola Olusola, who replaced Gemma McGuinness, created the next chance in the 31st minute when her run into the penalty area produced a low cross, but there was no one to finish.

Then, a minute later Jenna Slattery’s effort from distance was well saved by Bonnie McKiernan.

The Bit O’Red didn’t offer too much by way of response until the closing stages of the half with Emma Doherty and Casey Howe exerting pressure on the Galway rearguard without any reward.

At the other end it took a superb recovery tackle from Leah Kelly to deny the visitors a second goal in first-half added time.

Sligo Rovers resumed smartly in the second-half and Casey Howe was denied in the 48th minute when Galway goalkeeper Jessica Berlin averted the danger in a race for possession.

Howe required attention before returning to the action briefly, but she was replaced in the 68th minute.

Galway countered and Lindsey McKee tried to lob Bonnie McKiernan, but the ‘keeper saved.

Sligo Rovers continued to surge forward and Emma Doherty’s effort in the 56th minute was saved before Alice Lillie created a good chance.

Somewhat against the run of play Galway capitalised on a defensive lapse by the Bit O’Red in the 63rd minute with Jenna Slattery finishing to the net for a 2-0 advantage.

The hosts battled tenaciously for the remainder, but were unable to make a breakthrough while Galway had a couple of late chances as they ended that three-game losing streak with a deserved victory.

Sligo Rovers – Bonnie McKiernan; Alice Lillie, Keela Scanlon, Leah Kelly, Katie Nugent, Emma Hansberry, Lauren Boles, Kerri Loughrey, Casey Howe, Jodie Loughrey, Emma Doherty.

Subs – Aoife Brennan for K Loughrey 62 mins, Ciara Henry for Howe 68m, Seren Ward for Lillie, Jessica Casey for J Loughrey and Katie Melly for Hansberry all 78m.

Galway Utd – Jessica Berlin; Isabella Beletic, Jamie Erickson, Jenna Slattery, Kate Thompson, Lindsey McKey, Gemma McGuinness, Therese Kinnevey, Roisin Jacob, Aoife Thompson, Siobhan Doolan.

Subs – Rola Olusola for McGuinness 24 mins, Abbie Callanan for Doolan 80m, Emma Duffy for Thompson 86m

Referee – Declan Toland.