Rovers 4-1 Livingston Colts – Report

Sligo Rovers recovered from a nightmare start to beat Livingston Colts and progress to the third round of the Scottish Challenge Cup.

The Bit O’Red had fallen behind to a wonderful Matthew Knox opener inside the first 90 seconds. But a Mikey Drennan hat-trick and a goal from David Cawley sealed the win for Rovers.

Sligo were pegged back within the opening two minutes of this one. Knox making the most of the space afforded to him as he rifled a stinging effort beyond Mitchell Beeney, giving the Rovers number one little hope.

Jolted, Ger Lyttle’s charges settled and went about testing the Colts’ resolve.

Jordan Pettigrew’s two handed block denying Cawley, while the Livi shot stopper had to go full stretch to push away Regan Donelon’s strike from 20 yards out.

Rovers had well settled at this stage and pulled one back on 14.

Carlo Pignatiello’s touch let him down as he attempted to gain control of Lee Lynch’s searching ball from deep, allowing Drennan to volley past Pettigrew.

The home side continued to dominate. Pettigrew batting away Drennan’s headed effort from point blank. While both Cawley and Adam Wixted were denied by the rookie goalkeeper before the break.

The League of Ireland side found themselves in the lead seven minutes into the second half.

Kris Twardek’s cross from the right evaded Lee Lynch’s stretch, but not Drennan’s. The former Shamrock Rovers man on hand once again to finish at the back stick.

Cawley made it three on the hour. Wixted threading the ball through to the Ballina man who calmly lifted the ball over the oncoming Pettigrew.

While Drennan had his hat-trick four minutes from time with a neat finish past Pettigrew from the angle.

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Jack Keaney, John Mahon, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon; David Cawley, Rhys McCabe (Lewis Morrison 69); Kris Twardek (Niall Morahan 84), Lee Lynch, Adam Wixted (Liam Kerrigan 76); Mikey Drennan.

Livingston Colts: Jordan Pettigrew; Carlo Pignatiello, Levi Kinchant, Hamish Thomson, Cameron Clark; Adam Watson (Sean McManus 81), Cameron Blues, Reece Rintoul (Jason Gregory 66), Craig Henderson (Alberto Vezza 66); Matthew Knox, Jack Hamilton.

Referee: Lee Tavinder. (Northern Ireland).