Cretaro puts Sligo in driving seat
Sligo Rovers 3
The two Johns, Dillon and Russell, helped Sligo Rovers take the first-leg advantage in their quarter-final against Portadown last night.
Substitute Rafael Cretaro also got his first goal since returning to Sligo as the Airtricity League side showed too much industry for their understrength guests.
Rovers made four changes from their weekend defeat of Drogheda, with centre-back Derek Foran and FAI Cup final hero Ciaran Kelly making their first appearances of the season.
Portadown rested a number of players ahead of Saturday's Co-Operative Insurance Cup final, making seven changes to the team beaten by Lisburn Distillery last weekend.
The opening goal arrived towards the end of the first quarter, with Iarfhlaith Davoren's cross from the left picking out Matthew Blinkhorn in front of goal.
The striker's header was saved by David Miskelly, but the ball broke out to Dillon, who knocked in his third goal in two games.
Portadown did manage to put the ball in the Sligo net on 28 minutes, but Richard Leckey was adjudged to have fouled Gavin Peers before netting.
Miskelly made an excellent save to deny Aaron Greene on 33 minutes, and 60 seconds later, Doyle fired over from inside the area after being teed up by Alan Keane.
Portadown improved after the restart, and had calls for a penalty turned down when Keith O'Hara's shot struck Peers.
Sean Mackle also saw a shot saved by Kelly, before the home side claimed their second goal on a sharp counter-attack.
Greene skipped past two challenges before pulling the ball back for Russell to tap home from close range.
Russell turned provider for the third on the stroke of full-time, as sub Cretaro fired low to the corner from inside the area.
Sligo -- Kelly, Keane, Peers, Foran, Davoren, Dillon (Cretaro 63), Russell, Ryan, Greene, Doyle, Blinkhorn (Ventre 85).
Portadown -- Miskelly, Craig, Gartland, Ramsey, Teggart, Boyle, Mackle (Baker 81), Mouncey (McCabe 69), O'Hara, Haire, Lecky.
Ref --T Connolly.