North strike clinches points for in-form Sligo
ATHLONE TOWN 0 SLIGO ROVERS 2
SLIGO extended their unbeaten league run to eight games last night by seeing off strugglers Athlone.
Daniel Ledwith and Danny North buried their strikes in the midlands to keep Ian Baraclough's side nestled nicely behind the leaders.
Despite having most of the possession, the visitors were somewhat fortunate to lead at the break. Twice in the opening half 'keeper Gary Rogers was required to foil attempts by Philip Gorman from point-blank range while the veteran striker had a genuine claim for a penalty rebuffed.
When Graham Rusk's 25th-minute knockdown allowed Gorman to slip past Kalen Spillane, the forward was bundled over but no whistle came from referee Rob Rogers. It would prove a pivotal moment as the Bit O'Red surged ahead six minutes later.
John Russell's right-wing cross was measured perfectly for the onrushing Ledwith to guide his header inside the near post.
There were always more gears for Sligo to slip into and Spillane was inches from extending their lead on 73 minutes.
Fatigue was setting in and Athlone were slow to react 11 minutes from time as Eric Odhiambo picked out North in the box and the Englishman shot through a clutch of players from 16 yards to settle it.
ATHLONE TOWN – Skinner; Quigley, Prendergast, A Byrne, S Byrne; Marks, Dillon, O'Brien (Hughes 46), Clancy (Sweeney 63); Rusk, Gorman (S Brennan 55).
SLIGO ROVERS – Rogers; Conneely, Spillane, Henderson, Gaynor; Cawley, O'Conor; Russell (Maguire 82), Greene (Odhiambo 70), Ledwith; North.
Ref – R Rogers (Dublin).