Saturday 25 March 2017

Cook praises players’ perfect timing as Sligo stretch winning streak to four

SLIGO ROVERS 4
UCD 0

FREE-SCORING Sligo Rovers moved up to third place in the Airtricity League Premier Division with a comprehensive victory over UCD at the Showgrounds.

The Bit 0’Red have now scored 43 goals in their 26 league games, a figure matched only by First Division leaders Derry City.

They also have the top scorer across both divisions in Padraig Amond, who helped himself to his 17th of the season with his side’s second on Saturday.

It was Rovers’ fourth league win on the bounce and boss Paul Cook believes that everything is going in his side’s favour at the moment.

“A lot of things are going our way. We’re scoring at the right time and, at the minute, things are going for us and when they are, I think you have got to push it as far as you can,” Cook said. “But I must pay a big compliment to my players, they have been terrific.”

Sligo’s first goal was certainly terrific. Captain Conor O’Grady broke forward to meet Romuald Boco’s 42nd-minute cross with a brilliant volley that rattled the net.

The second arrived through Amond just two minutes later, when the striker exchanged passes with Gary McCabe before firing past Gerard Barron.

DEFLECTED

The third arrived in the 76th minute when substitute Matthew Blinkhorn saw his shot deflected past Barron, before Derek Foran wrapped up the scoring with a headed fourth in the closing stages.

Rovers are still involved in all three domestic competitions, with an EA Sports Cup semi-final against Shamrock Rovers to come tomorrow evening.

But Cook is refusing to get carried away. “We don’t set ourselves targets,” he said. “We want to put out a competitive team that entertains people and plays good football and, at the end of the season, wherever we end up will be where we deserve to be.”

UCD stay in seventh position in the table, and boss Martin Russell says his side need to learn from Saturday’s defeat. “The two goals just before halftime were a big blow but Sligo were worthy winners and we have to learn a lesson from it,” he said.

“The players are committed to improving their game so that’s what we are going to try to do between now and the end of the season.”

SLIGO – Gibson, Keane, Lauchlan, Foran, Davoren, McCabe, O’Grady, Boco, Dillon (Doyle 77), Ndo (Ventre 70), Amond (Blinkhorn 70).

UCD – Barron, P O’Connor, McMillan, Boyle, Nangle (Leahy 73), Wilson (Moore 64), Roche (Rusk 73), Creevy, Ward, Mulhall, Kilduff.

REF – D McKeon (Meath).

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