Brennan helps Shamrock Rovers maintain their unbeaten start to league campaign
Only goal of the game gives Hoops the three points against battling Sligo
Ryan Brennan of Shamrock Rovers celebrates after scoring the winner against Sligo Rovers in the Premier Division match at Tallaght Stadium. Photo: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Shamrock Rovers 1 Sligo Rovers 0
Having taken just one point from their two home games against Sligo last season, Trevor Croly and his men will see this victory as further evidence of their improvement.
The margin of victory was narrow with just Ryan Brennan’s first-half tap-in separating the sides at the end and Sligo certainly had their chances to take something away with them. Still, there was plenty to admire about the home side as they maintained their unbeaten star to the league campaign.
The visitors raised question afterwards about a goal that came from a swift break by the Hoops after Danny North had reckoned he was due a penalty for a challenge by Jason McGuinness but it was a game where the refereeing decisions, like the goalmouth scrambles, seemed to even themselves out.
The home side had their own claim turned down when Ciarán Kilduff was flagged offside before being brought down by Gary Rogers but the call looked a poor one and Sligo were lucky to still have something to chase.
They’d started poorly with Croly’s men quicker to almost everything and far more effective at retaining the ball as they tried to push forward. Sligo, though, found their own stride for spells and should really have equalised when Aaron Greene presented Danny North with what looked a straightforward header after 39 minutes.
Barry Murphy did well with a trailing foot prior to crashing badly into the post and after Sean Maguire and David Cawley had done enough to earn their side another crack at goal Eric Odhiambo somehow fired over from 10 metres.
It was good stuff and got more exciting as the night went on with Sligo desperately chasing things but their hosts, generally the better side, repeatedly threatening to catch them at the other end. After 75 minutes Sligo had another couple of clear-cut chances with the first blocked on the line by one of their own before Odhiambo’s effort was blocked.
Still, Kilduff, so impressive through most the game, missed a great chance in the dying minutes after skipping past goalkeeper Rogers and having the goal at his mercy.
“I thought we were excellent going forward with some really good performances and yet Barry Murphy probably deserved Man of the Match for the four or five saves he made,” said Hoops boss Trevor Croly.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Murphy; Maadden, Kenna, McGuinness, Byrne; Brennan, Robinson; McCabe, Finn, O’Connor (Sheppard, 83 mins); Kilduff.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Keane, McMillan, Henderson, Greene; Djilali, Conneely, Cawley (Russell, 75 mins), Odhiambo (O’Connor, 81 mins) ; North, Maguire (Ndo, 57 mins).
Referee: Leo Doyle (Dublin)