Sligo Rovers still searching for first points of campaign following defeat to Treaty Utd
Sligo Rovers went 1-0 up before half-time, but Treaty came from behind to bring all three points home
Sligo Rovers are still searching for their first points of the season after four games, losing to Treaty United at The Showgrounds on Saturday afternoon.
Emma Doherty scored her first of the season to give Rovers the lead before half-time, but a second half come back from Treaty earned Alban Hysa’s side their first win of the campaign.
Both Rovers and Treaty came into this game looking for their first points of the season, with Treaty conceding 15 in their opening three games, and yet to score a goal.
Rovers’ early form wasn’t much better, although they had scored twice and conceded fewer (9).
But, the Limerick side were beaten 8-0 the previous week by Athlone Town, a result that would have given Rovers some confidence heading into Saturday’s game.
Rovers needed points, and needed a boost in form heading into Saturday’s tie at home.
Treaty did not win a game at all last season, and picked up two points – both of those coming in draws against Sligo Rovers.
A disappointing performance against Peamount the previous weekend saw Rovers lose 4-0, in what was an off-colour performance.
Manager Steve Feeney wanted a response from his side at home again on Saturday, but despite the statistics, Treaty were the better team on the day and could well have had this one wrapped up by half-time.
Hysa’s squad looks very different to the one managed by former Rovers manager Don O’Riordan, with six Canadians signed for the season.
Five of those; Anne-Marie Ulliac, Ciara McCormack, Cooper Lee Lane, Kiara Kilbey and Hailey Walsh all started on Saturday, while Jacqueline Altrogge was on the bench.
Sligo Rovers were without both Jodie Loughrey and Alice Lillie, both of whom were on international duty with the Republic of Ireland Under 17s.
Keri Loughrey and Helen Monaghan came into the starting 11 in place of the duo.
Treaty didn't look like a team who hadn’t scored yet this season, and with the chances they missed in the first half, the Limerick side must have been thinking that the scoreless run was going to continue.
Claire Winter dragged a couple of efforts wide of Amy Mahon’s post, and had a penalty shout when she felt she was fouled by Keela Scanlon in the box.
Winter, who has previously played in Spain and the US, then had the ball in the back of the net, only for the offside flag to be raised.
The hosts had a lot of defending to do in the first half, but made the most of their chances.
Emma Doherty, with a superb finish after good work from Casey Howe, put Rovers ahead on 43 minutes, against the run of play.
Steve Feeney admitted afterwards that he would have been relieved to go in at 0-0 at the break, such was the dominance of Treaty in those opening stages.
Rovers had a precious lead to hang onto for the second-half, but just after the hour mark, Treaty were deservedly back on level terms.
Orna O’Dowd paused as Cara Griffin came towards her, and Griffin had the confidence to get past her.
Griffin, who scored at The Showgrounds last year, charged down on goal before dinking the shot over the head of Amy Mahon.
It was nothing more than the visitors deserved, and seconds later they almost had a second.
Keela Scanlon cleared Grace McInerney’s cross into the path of Winter, and the effort smacked off the crossbar.
Rovers were hanging on desperately for a point, but they ended up with nothing as substitute Hannah Saidi poked home from a corner in the 82nd minute, a first win for Treaty since June 2021.
Rovers have a break for the next couple of weeks, with a bye for mid-week fixtures before the international break begins.
Feeney’s side are away to DLR Waves on April 15th.