Report: Shelbourne 0-2 Rovers

Sligo Rovers made it a successful away journey to Tolka Park on Friday night as goals from Estonian winger Frank Liivak and Mullingar born Striker Aidan Keena securing a 2-0 win in front of around 1,500 fans in Drumcondra.

Rovers were on the front foot from the first minute as Max Mata broke forward only to be taken down on the edge of the area by defender Gavin Molloy, who picked up an early booking for his troubles. Adam McDonnell’s free kick floated over Brendan Clarke’s crossbar.

The hosts replied with chances of their own soon after. Shane Farrell testing Luke McNicholas from close range before skewing an effort wide moments later.

The games first big incident came on 23 minutes when Frank Liivak broke free on the right before to beat defender Aaron O’ Driscoll and fired past Clarke in the Shelbourne goal. Rovers had weathered a bit of a storm up until then and the goal was a welcome reward for some good counter attacking play.

It was nearly 2-0 when Aidan Keena had a free kick from 25 yards go inches wide of the post after Mata was again fouled on the edge of the box.

Shelbourne had half chances through Sean Boyd before half time but Rovers lead at the break.

Colm Horgan was introduced for Nando Pijnaker at half time.

John Russell’s side started the second half on top and Mata was played through on goal at an angle by the brilliant Liivak. Mata’s chipped effort was touched wide of goal by Clarke and Shels cleared.

Mata was replaced by Will Fitzgerald after an hour and Rovers continued to push forward as Keena took up a more central striking role.

This would pay off just four minutes later as Keena latched onto Shane Griffin’s wayward pass in the Shels’ backline and raced through towards goal. The striker kept his composure and smashed the ball past Clarke to double Rovers’ lead.

Kailin Barlow came on in Rovers’ final change on 77 minutes for the hard working Liivak and Rovers managed to see the game out comfortably in the closing stages to earn an important three points.

Next up is a trip to take on Derry City on Tuesday night at 7.45pm.