Eric Odhiambo scores hat-trick on Sligo debut
Declan Caddell grabbs consolation goal
Sligo’s Eric Odhiambo celebates scoring the third goal against Crusaders last night.
Crusaders 1 Sligo Rovers 4
Sligo Rovers’ win over Crusaders last night marked the perfect start to their season, and featured a hat-trick for competitive debutant Eric Odhiambo.
Away from home and on a 3G surface, Rovers dominated play against a side who up until recently, were Irish League title contenders.
Paul O’Conor’s 17th-minute shot was dramatically cleared by Nathan Hanley off the line, before Odhiambo got onto his left-foot and looped it over French goalkeeper Yohann Lacroix. Lone striker David Cawley was set up O’Conor six minutes before the break. He neatly shipped it over Lacroix, who was off his line, as Aaron Greene lurked behind to tap it in.
Rovers’ third, complete with attractive passing between Cawley and Odhiambo for the build-up, came after a super right-footed strike from Odhiambo. He then completed his treble after Greene’s corner was headed into his path by Jeff Henderson, for him to slot home.
Declan Caddell grabbed a consolation goal on 72 minutes, although only Andy Smith really stood out for the home side.
Smith, who has previously played for clubs in Belgium, England and Scotland, created two good chances in the first half. Ducking past two defenders his drive was first saved by Rogers, then the goalkeeper closed him down at a tight angle on the far side.
CRUSADERS: Lacroix, King, Magowan, Robinson, Hanley, Clarke, Caddell, Snoddy, E McAllister (Dempster, 88), D McAllister (Owens, 71), Smith (Dillon, 88). Subs not used: Leeman, McMaster, O’Neill, Dillon, O’Hanlon.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Conneely, Gaynor, Henderson, Spillane, Greene, Russell (Maguire, 62), O’Connor, Oohiambo (Ledwith, 71), Cretaro, Cawley. Subs not used: Brush, Keane, McMillan, Dykes, Ndo.
Referee: R Crangle (Belfast).