Impressive Sligo send out a strong message
Sligo R 4 Drogheda U 1:DROGHEDA UTD are still only four points off the top of the table but their unexpected heavy defeat to table-toppers Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday night raises questions about the Boynesiders’ ability to finish the season in style.
Sligo Rovers were flying on the night but, apart from a brief spell in the second half when they pulled a goal back, the visitors played well below their best.
“Sligo were the better team on the night and all good things come to an end,” said Mick Cooke after his side’s six-match winning run was brought to an abrupt halt.
Sligo manager Ian Baraclough said there was “a great football atmosphere with good performances all over the pitch”.
“The intensity is growing in each game but nothing has been won to night and nobody’s celebrating. Drogheda are a very, very tough team to break down but we remained calm and did our job and will keep doing the best we can and see where it gets us” he added.
There were a couple of stand -out moments in the first half – the first came after 27minutes when Sligo goalkeeper Gary Rogers kept a shot by Eric Foley out at the end of a great Drogheda move.
Five minutes later Drogheda goalkeeper Gabriel Sava dived smartly to his left to keep a Ross Gaynor rocket out.
The visitors were chasing the game from early on as Mark Quigley put Sligo ahead in the tenth minute but the alarm bells really started ringing for Cooke’s side when Seamus Conneely scored his first goal for Sligo to double their advantage four minutes before half-time.
Ryan Brennan missed a good chance for Drogheda on 17 minutes ballooning his shot narrowly over the bar.
Romauld Boco put Sligo 3-0 ahead after 59 minutes before another top-class save by Sava denied Gaynor. Substitute Peter Hynes pulled a goal back for the visitors following neat play by another substitute Sean Brennan after 75 minutes.
But the home side scored their fourth in the 80th minute after acres of space opened up in front of Joseph Ndo who finished well.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Keane, McGuinness, Peers, Conneely, Ndo,Cawley, Gaynor, Boco, Millien, Quigley. Subs: Connolly for Conneely (56 mins), Cretaro for Millien (64 mins), Lynch for Cawley (83 mins)
DROGHEDA UTD: Sava; Brady, Hand, McNally, Crowley, McMahon, Byrne, R Brennan, G Brennan, Foley, O Brien. Subs: Hynes for Brady (half-time), S Brennan for R Brennan (ht), Sullivan for Foley (64 mins).
Referee A Kelly (Cork).