Report: UCD 1-1 Rovers

Sligo Rovers travelled to UCD on Friday night in The SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

The sides last met in The Showgrounds in April and played out a 2-2 draw with Rovers’ goals coming from a Max Mata brace.

The Bit O’ Red came into the game following Monday’s last-minute win over Derry City while the students were defeated 2-0 by Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

Interim boss John Russell made no changes to the team from Monday but David Cawley and Robbie McCourt returned to the bench in place of Peter Maguire and Kailin Barlow.

The first half was a quiet affair with little or no chances created by either side.

Liam Kerrigan did find himself with a half chance as a long ball found the winger going towards the Rovers penalty area but goalkeeper Ed McGinty rushed out and cleared the danger.

Aidan Keena was proving problematic for the UCD defence and he worked his way into the area from the left hand side and had a shot blocked down by Sam Todd.

It remained scoreless at half-time.

Rovers’ started the second half with a higher pace to their play and this led to the opening goal nine minutes into the half. Keena again caused problems for the defence as he turned brilliantly in the area and worked a shot on his left foot. Goalkeeper Kian Moore parried the ball into the air and Karl O’ Sullivan was on hand to nod home from close range to give Rovers the lead.

On the hour, referee David Dunne had to be replaced after he got struck in the head by Jack Keaney’s pass and was knocked to the ground. Fourth official Derek Tomney came on in his place for the last half hour or so.

Moments later, Rovers almost doubled their lead. Will Fitzgerald found Adam McDonnell down the left and he squared it towards substitute Lewis Banks, on for Colm Horgan, but the English man couldn’t reach the dangerous cross.

Banks had a shot on target soon after, cutting in from the left and getting a strike away but it was too close to Moore.

Then, on 69 minutes, UCD equalised against the run of play. Rovers were on the attack but UCD cleared and broke up field. Liam Kerrigan’s cross was cleared by Garry Buckley but only as far as Evan Caffrey on the edge of the area. He composed himself and picked our team-mate Dylan Duffy in the box who glanced home from six yards.

Rovers reacted to this and almost regained the lead straight away. Keena found McDonnell on the edge of the area and he turned and fired a shot toward goal but Moore brilliantly tipped over.

The hosts grew into the game from here and broke forward at every opportunity. Half chances fell their way through Duffy again but Rovers cleared.

Aidan Keena came closest for Rovers after this with another effort on goal but again Moore was equal to it.

John Russell brought on Seamas Keogh and Cillian Heaney for the closing stages and ten minutes of added time wasn’t enough for either side to grab a winner.

(Photo: James Fallon )