Report: UCD 2-1 Rovers

Sligo Rovers suffered defeat in Dublin on Friday night after a second-half comeback from UCD ensured they took all three points at The UCD Bowl.

Rovers went into the game having to make two changes to the side that drew with Shelbourne in our previous game with Frank Liivak and Greg Bolger both replaced by David Cawley and Stefan Radosavljevic.

The game started with Rovers on top in the early stages. Long spells of possession saw half chances for Max Mata and Stefan Radosavljevic and some good play down the right hand side from Johan Brannefalk.

Rovers took the lead on 23 minutes. Brannefalk’s corner was headed down by John Mahon into the path of David Cawley who’s effort went in off former Rovers’ man Jack Keaney and into the net.

It could have been 2-0 on 39 minutes when Mata was played through by Cawley but the New Zealander’s strike was saved by Kian Moore in the UCD goal.

The second half was much the same as the first. Both sides looked to keep possession but neither goalkeeper were worked in truth and Rovers seemed to be in control.

Greg Bolger and Frank Liivak came on for Cawley and Radosavljevic and the game’s major turning point happened on 73 minutes.

A long ball from UCD ran through toward goalkeeper Luke McNicholas on the edge of his penalty area. McNicholas looked to clear the ball down field but it was charged down by substitute Samuel Clarke and the ball rebounded into the net to bring the Students level.

Kailin Barlow was introduced for Niall Morahan and immediately he found Mata with a good cross but his header went just over the crossbar.

This would come back to haunt Rovers as a minute later, UCD were in front. Alex Nolan’s free kick was brilliantly headed to the net by Jake Doyle on 86 minutes and what looked to be a game in control was all of a sudden turned and UCD hung on for the win, despite a late Mata header which saw a magnificent save from Moore in added time.

Next up for Rovers is a home game with Bohemians on Friday night at The Showgrounds at 7.45pm.