Rovers win to stay second

Goals in either half from Walter Figueira and Jordan Gibson saw Sligo Rovers beat Longford Town 2-0 and stay in second spot in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table.

Figueira’s effort from distance along with Gibson’s second half penalty was enough for Rovers

Dundalk’s win over Shamrock Rovers also means Sligo move to within two points of the Hoops at the summit.

Rovers emerged victorious in the last meeting of these two sides earlier this year, Garry Buckley’s goal early in the second half sealing a narrow win for Sligo on the road.

Both sides produced efforts from distance early on in a scrappy opening half. Rob Manley blasted over the Sligo crossbar before stand-in midfielder Lewis Banks shot straight at Town goalkeeper Micheal Kelly five minutes later.

Daire Doyle’s charges went close to taking the lead on 12 minutes. Dylan Grimes’ effort from six yards looped over Ed McGinty’s crossbar after Grimes had met Aaron Robinson’s pull back from the end line.

On the look-out for win number seven of the season, Figueira led the way for Rovers when he struck for his second of the season on 17 minutes.

Longford net-minder Kelly got a palm to the former Derry attacker’s shot from 20 yards, but what seemed like a wicked spin had Kelly caught out as he could only push the ball into the corner of his own net.

Kelly did well to deny Sligo a two-goal lead at the break when he pulled of an impressive reaction save to keep out Ryan De Vries, after the New Zealander had dodged his way past two Longford challenges.

Liam Buckley’s side rode their luck again on ’35 as they allowed Aaron Dobbs to roam free at a Grimes corner. The accuracy of Dobbs’ header didn’t match the well-timed leap as his effort flashed past the target.

The visitors were somewhat unfortunate to concede a penalty just shy of the hour, when the ball bounced on to the hand of full-back Paddy Kirk following a Rovers corner.

Gibson tucking the ball past Kelly from the resulting spot kick for his fifth goal of the season.

Kelly was equal to Figueira’s effort from the angle on 67 minutes as Sligo looked to kill off any sign of a Longford revival.

McGinty easily held on to Town skipper Aodh Dervin’s set piece off the in-step 11 minutes from time. Sligo held on to go within two points of leaders Shamrock Rovers.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan (Shane Blaney 77), John Mahon, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Niall Morahan, Lewis Banks; Jordan Gibson, Ryan De Vries (Romeo Parkes 63), Walter Figueira; Johnny Kenny (Regan Donelon 80).

Longford Town: Michael Kelly; Shane Elworthy (Karl Chambers 57), Joe Manley, Aaron O’Driscoll, Paddy Kirk; Callum Thompson (Conor Davis 74), Aodh Dervin, Rob Manley (Sam Verdon 74), Aaron Robinson (Aaron Bolger 65), Dylan Grimes; Aaron Dobbs.

Referee: Ben Connolly.