Sligo are not good enough, says Cassidy

 

A bit of a rarity this - a poor six goal game - but Sligo Rovers were simply too weak to make an entertaining contest of a game which, given their opponents' recent form, they should have been eyeing up as a potential win.

Bizarrely they actually had enough chances to get something out of it but even a point would have been far more than they deserved, a view underlined when both managers afterwards tipped them for the drop.

Sligo's boss, Tommy Cassidy, was clearly still angered and frustrated with what he'd had to watch some 25 minutes after the final whistle when he talked to the press.

He was, he said "embarrassed by what went on there and I'm sick of being embarrassed. We're not good enough to stay up and if people think that I'm throwing in the towel they're wrong, I'm just telling them the truth because there's an awful lot of things that have to be put right at this club before we're ever going to start moving forward again."

Certainly radical surgery is needed on a team that never came close to coping defensively with a Shamrock Rovers side that had scored in only one of its last seven outings. The first half was strewn with chances for the home side to score and really to only lead 2-1 at the break was a pretty poor reflection on their efforts in front of the target.

Centre half Terry Palmer eventually made the breakthrough. Marc Kenny, whose set pieces persistently caused havoc around the Sligo box, floated in a free from the right and Palmer got above Wesley Charles.

When Graham Lawlor made it 2-0 after 32 minutes it seemed that the floodgates might open but barely had play been restarted when Conor O'Grady slipped the ball through a rather static back four and the 21-year-old beat Robbie Horgan from just inside the area.

It was the first chance that Sligo had had and was followed shortly afterwards by a close range shot by Charles which went fractionally the wrong side of the bar but the balance off play never really shifted and in the final minute of the first period Derek Tracey scored when a misunderstanding between Tommy Byrne and Nicky Broujos allowed him in.

Kenny and Palmer who teamed up to score three minutes after the break with the midfielder's corner from the left went flying past the far post to the defender who struck it right footed first time.

It wasn't the greatest of strikes but then Broujos and his boys weren't having the greatest of days.

The fourth came Lawlor's way courtesy of Billy Woods whose one-sided battle with Ian Rossiter on the home side's left flank yielded a steady supply of quality crosses but strangely only the one goal.

Sligo then should have had a penalty while O'Grady and Donagh Oates both forced Horgan into making fine saves but even he was caught off guard by Sligo's second, an injury time lob by Sean Flannery that caught the goalkeeper off his line from some 35 or 40 out.

SHAMROCK ROVERS: Horgan; Brazil, Purdy, Palmer, Dunne; Kenny, Tracey, Colwell, Woods; Lawlor, Francis. Subs: Britton for Purdy (53 mins), Byrne for Francis (68 mins), Robinson for Kenny (82 mins).

SLIGO ROVERS: Broujos; Rossiter, Byrne, McLynn, Charles, Birks; O'Grady, Gilroy, Lynch; Flannery, Shannon. Subs: Oates for Shannon (60 mins), Kennedy for Rossiter (70 mins).

Referee: J O'Neill (Waterford).