Rovers extend good run against UCD

Sligo Rovers secured their top flight status for next season as they overcame UCD at the Bowl.

A calamitous Conor Kearns own goal along with Romeo Parkes’ eleventh league goal of the season also means the Students will be effectively relegated, should they lose to Finn Harps in two weeks time.

Rovers played 70 minutes of this game with ten men, after Ronan Murray was sent off for a foul on Harry McEvoy.

That single point from safety, Sligo shaded the initial exchanges.

Kearns had to sweep the ball from Danny Kane’s feet after Lewis Banks nodded Regan Donelon’s corner towards the full back.

This was the only real opening early on.

Maciej Tarnogrodzki’s side rallied on the quarter hour. Richie O’Farrell and Mark Dignam combining before the latter fired narrowly past Ed McGinty’s post.

The Rovers goalkeeper was called into play again on 18 minutes.

McGinty’s two handed save denying Yoyo Mahdy’s low drive towards the far corner after Paul Doyle picked out the striker with a crafty through ball.

Liam Buckley’s team were reduced to ten two minutes later.

Murray left a late foot on McEvoy at the edge of the UCD box. And although there was a hint of an accident about the challenge, there was little protest from Murray when referee Neil Doyle issued him his second red of the season.

The numerical disadvantage played no part in the direction of this game, for the remainder of the half at least. Although there was more than a hint of fortune when Rovers had their opener on 33.

Kearns totally mis-judged the flight of David Cawley’s corner when the ball bounced off the outside of closed fist and into his own net.

Sligo had their second on the stroke of half time.

Fordyce led the break from the edge of his own area before laying play into the path of Parkes.

There was little panic or fuss from the Jamaican, who strolled his way past the last UCD defender before finishing deftly past Kearns.

McGinty was called into play eight minutes into the second period as the home side sought to fight their way back into contention.

Jason McClelland testing the Scot with a laced effort from 15 yards, before Kearns had to be alert at the opposite end to keep out substitute Niall Watson from the angle.

Dara Keane and Kris Twardek had chances at either end as Rovers held out for their fifth win over the Dubliners this term.

Kearns then pulled off a super double save from both Parkes and Cawley with six to go.

The first from Parkes was low down at his post, before the UCD number one leapt to push Cawley’s rocket from 20 yards over his crossbar.

UCD: Conor Kearns; Dan Tobin, Liam Scales, Harry McEvoy, Evan Farell; Paul Doyle, Dara Keane; Jason McClelland, Mark Dignam (Sam Byrne 57); Richie O’Farrell; Yoyo Mahdy.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Kyle McFadden, John Mahon, Danny Kane (Niall Watson HT); Kris Twardek, David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce, Regan Donelon (Niall Morahan 69); Ronan Murray, Romeo Parkes. 

Referee: Neil Doyle.