Rovers win in Waterford thanks to Parkes and Gibson

Romeo Parkes and Jordan Gibson smashed home two wonder-goals as Sligo Rovers came from behind to beat Waterford at the RSC.

Cian Kavanagh had nodded Waterford into an early lead when he turned home a Jamie Mascoll corner with six minutes gone.

But a powerful volley from Parkes had Rovers level before the break, while man of the match Gibson continued his impressive start to life at the Showgrounds with a spectacular winner on early in the second period.

Having tasted defeat on the opening night in Drogheda, the hosts were looking for their first points of the season and took hold of this game early on.

Johnny Kenny registered an effort for Rovers in the opening moments, but the tie’s opener was to arrive at the opposite end on six minutes.

Kavanagh made the most of questionable marking in the Sligo box as he powered Mascoll’s corner past Ed McGinty with an authoritative header.

The visitors, who impressed last week against Dundalk, took their time to adjust to their surroundings.

They were almost level from nothing on ten minutes when teen Kenny struck the post having connected with Greg Bolger’s cross, after stellar work from Gibson and Colm Horgan down the right side.

McGinty made up for sloppy play from full back Robbie McCourt on 19 minutes when he pulled off a magnificent double save. The young Scot first denied Shane Griffin, before keeping out Kavanagh’s close range shot.

Sligo roared their way back into the game with a wonderful equaliser from Parkes.

The Jamaican meeting Gibson’s cross with a well timed full volley which soared past a stunned Brian Murphy in the Blues nets for Parkes’ second goal in as many games.

Indeed Rovers could and should have been ahead little more than 90 seconds later.

Parkes taking a punt forward from Garry Buckley into his stride, but he lacked the sharpness he exhibited just moments previous as he fired straight at Murphy from five yards.

Liam Buckley’s men finished last season with one of the poorer away records. They did their chances of coming away from the south east with something at least, when Gibson struck for the lead eight minutes into the second half.

The ex-Rangers youth cutting inside with a well crafted step-over before placing the ball into Murphy’s top corner from the angle.

Rovers threatened again on 68 when a neat exchange between Parkes and Kenny saw the former feed the in-form Gibson. The winger’s effort from the right fizzing across the face of the Blues goal this time.  

The alert McGinty had to rescue his team again four minutes later when he pounced to claim Buckley’s undercooked back-pass with substitute Daryl Murphy in close proximity. While Murphy was just short of fellow sub Eric Molloy’s cross to the back post moments later as Waterford began to assert themselves once more.

But despite the addition of extra fire power late on, Waterford were unable to turn Sligo a second time.

Waterford: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power, Kyle Ferguson, Cameron Evans, Jamie Mascoll; Adam O’Reilly, Oscar Brennan, Shane Griffin (Eric Molloy 67), Prince Mutswunguma (Daryl Murphy 63); James Waite, Cian Kavanagh (John Martin 80).

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Niall Morahan, Greg Bolger: Jordan Gibson, Walter Figueira (David Cawley 67), Romeo Parkes; Johnny Kenny (Ryan De Vries 72).

Referee: Paul McLaughlin.