Sligo move up to second after win over Longford Town

Midlanders are now 18 games without a win and four points adrift at foot of the table

Jordan Gibson scored a penalty as Sligo Rovers edged Longford Town. File photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

Jordan Gibson scored a penalty as Sligo Rovers edged Longford Town. File photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho

 

Longford Town 0 Sligo Rovers 1

A Jordan Gibson penalty gave an injury-hit Sligo Rovers a laboured, if deserved, victory against bottom side Longford Town at Bishopsgate.

The win moves Liam Buckley’s side up to second place in the table, behind Shamrock Rovers on goal difference, ahead of their Europa Conference League trip to Iceland this week.

A toe injury deprived Sligo of their in-from teenage striker Johnny Kenny and ever-present central defender John Mahon wasn’t in the matchday squad. An unnamed player sat out the game because they were a close contact of a Covid-19 case outside of the club.

Desperate for a lift, Longford were close to a dream start three minutes in when Aaron Dobbs took a quick throw to shoot into the side netting. And though Gibson and Romeo Parkes soon posed problems at the other end, it was Longford who carved out another good chance on 19 minutes.

The hard running Dobbs again posed the threat, getting on the end of Dylan Grimes’ in-swinging cross to shave a post with a header.

It mattered not as three minutes later Sligo were deservedly ahead from their next attack, Parkes was clumsily upended by Aaron O’Driscoll to win a penalty. Gibson calmly sent Steacy the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season.

The injuries mounted for Sligo as goalkeeper Ed McGinty limped off 10 minutes before half-time.

A mistake by Longford left-back Paddy Kirk should have seen Sligo double their lead on 61 minutes. With a free run on goal, Parkes blasted his shot off the underside of the crossbar with Ryan De Vries’ follow-up bringing the save of the game from Steacy.

Longford worked hard to remain in the game, Dobbs again stretching the visitors’ on 66 minutes to pull the ball back for Aaron Robinson whose drive was deflected out for a corner.

It proved to no avail as the midlanders are now 18 games without a win and remain four points adrift at the foot of the table.

Longford Town: Steacy; Elworthy (Davis, 79), J. Manley, O’Driscoll, Kirk; Zambra (O’Brien, h-t), Robinson (R. Manley, 76); McNally (Chambers, h-t), Dervin, Grimes; Dobbs (McCabe, 87).

Sligo Rovers: McGinty (McNicholas, 35); Banks, Buckley, Blaney, Horgan; Bolger, Morahan; Byrne (Cawley, 73), Gibson (Figuiera, 90), De Vries; Parkes.

Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).

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