Rovers make it back-to-back wins

Sligo Rovers struck early in both halves as they claimed their second win on the spin with victory over Shelbourne at the Showgrounds.

The 50 supporters in attendance had barely reacquainted themselves with their surroundings following an extended period without football on Church Hill, when Jesse Devers headed Liam Buckley’s men into the lead.

While captain David Cawley secured Sligo’s second win of the season when he struck on 51 minutes.

Gary Deegan replied for Shels deep in injury time, but the points were to stay in Sligo as the home side held on.

Without a win at the Showground since September 2019, Sligo started this tie in ideal fashion, hitting the lead after just 30 seconds.

Ronan Coughlan linked up with Ryan De Vries down the left before the New Zealander found Devers from the end line. The Ballina native nodded De Vries’ cross past Shels goalkeeper Colin McCabe from six yards for his first goal for the club.

Sligo’s early pressure almost told again on six and nine minutes respectively. Again, Devers kept the opposition defence busy. His first effort flashing across the face of goal, while McCabe had to scramble to keep the winger’s shot from squeezing between him and his front post three minutes later.

Looking for their second win from the north west this week, Ian Morris’ charges spurned a great opportunity to find themselves level on eleven minutes. Target man Ciaran Kilduff latched on to Dale Rooney’s ball from the left, but was unable to stab the ball home from close range having muscled off the attention of the last Rovers defender.

Sligo remained on the front foot for the remainder of the half. Devers twice going close, while Coughlan’s header sailed narrowly over the Dubliners’ crossbar at the stroke of half-time.

Goal scorer Devers (left) and Alex O’Hanlon battle for possession

The second period was less than one minute old when the visitors spurned another glorious opportunity to level proceedings. Jaze Kabia blazing over whilst right in the face of Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty.

Kabia’s misfortune was compounded five minutes later when Rovers pounced again.

Coughlan redirected Regan Donelon’s corner into the path of skipper Cawley who rifled past McCabe for his first of the year.

The game became somewhat scrappy as the second half wore on. De Vries wasn’t too far away with a powerful drive from the angle after the wide man robbed Daniel Byrne at the corner flag eleven minutes from time.

Shels had their reply in the fourth of the six added minutes. Deegan lacing the ball past McGinty who couldn’t get a strong enough wrist to the midfielder’s viciously struck volley.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Darragh Noone, Kyle McFadden, Danny Kane, Regan Donelon; Niall Morahan, David Cawley, Will Seymore (John Russell 59); Jesse Devers, Ryan De Vries (Alex Cooper 85); Ronan Coughlan.

Shelbourne: Colin McCabe; Aidan Friel (Oscar Brennan 80), Daniel Byrne, Luke Byrne (Daniel O’Reilly 60), Alex O’Hanlon; Gary Deegan, Sean Quinn (Alex Cetiner 80); Dale Rooney, Ryan Brennan (Georgie Poynton 53), Jaze Kabia (Aaron Dobbs 53); Ciaran Kilduff.

Referee: Rob Hennessy.