Murray sees red as Bohs see off Rovers
Sligo Rovers 0 Bohemian 2
Sligo Rovers slumped to their fifth league defeat of the season on Saturday night as Bohemian moved into second place in the table thanks to their 2-0 win over the Bit O'Red.
Ronan Murray's first-half dismissal disrupted what was otherwise a good half from the Bit O'Red, with James Finnerty and Dinny Corcoran netting to record yet another victory for Keith Long's high-flying Bohs.
Earlier on Saturday the Bit O'Red were sitting second bottom in the table, as UCD leapfrogged them on Friday night thanks to their victory over Waterford, just goal difference separating the pair.
Sligo native Kevin Devaney offered up the first chance of the night but his long range strike hit the side-netting, although some of the Bohs faithful thought it had gone in.
Neither goalkeeper was particularly busy in the opening stages, but Rovers certainly looked to have improved on their previous outings, playing some good football early on.
The best chance of the opening half fell to Ronan Coughlan. A cross from the right from Daryl Fordyce fell perfectly for the former Cork man who could not hit the target before eventually sending it wide.
The two sides were well matched early on, despite being at opposite ends of the table, that was until the hosts were reduced to ten.
As referee Derek Tomney was about to award a free out to Bohs after what he felt was a Murray dive, the former Dundalk playmaker threw the ball in frustration at the referee, forcing Derek Tomney to brandish a straight red card on 43 minutes.
Rovers knew they would be up against it after the re-start with only ten men, and it didn't get any easier for Liam Buckley's side as the visitors took the lead.
Keith Buckley's ball from the right was guided into the back of the net thanks to an overhead kick from James Finnerty, giving Mitchell Beeney no chance in goal - although it took a touch off Finnerty's head first.
Former Rovers striker Corcoran almost extended his side's lead just six minutes later, but an excellent save from Beeney cleared the danger.
The Bit O'Red then changed things up and went with three at the back in order to try and find that equaliser, and that change almost paid off immediately when substitute Dante Leverock nodded wide from Regan Donelon's corner, just millimetres wide of the target.
Any chance Sligo had was pretty much wiped out on 76 minutes when the Gypsies made it 2-0 as Corcoran tucked it past Beeney from close range.
But, there was hope for the hosts yet as the visitors were soon also down to ten men.
As Romeo Parkes burst forward he was wiped out by Rob Cornwall, with Tomney sending him for an early shower, reducing Bohs to 10.
With a free-kick in a nice position just outside the box, Sligo probably would have fancied their chances of halving the deficit, but the free hit the wall.
Devaney almost made it 3-0 against his hometown club as his spectacular effort smacked the crossbar, with the Calry man sending the follow-up well over the post.
Parkes should have pulled one back for his side, when he got on the end of Kris Twardek's cross, but he could not keep his effort on target.
Rovers take on Dundalk on Waterford this weekend, and will certainly be looking to turn around their poor run of form which has seen them lose their last three league games.
Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Johnny Dunleavy (Kris Twardek, 77), John Mahon, Kyle Callan McFadden, Regan Donelon (Lewis Banks, 77); Jack Keaney, David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce (Dante Leverock, 55), Ronan Murray; Romeo Parkes, Ronan Coughlan.
Subs: Luke McNicholas, Sam Warde, Liam Kerrigan, Niall Morahan.
Bohemian: James Tobin; Derek Pender, Robert Cornwall, James Finnerty, Darragh Leahy; Conor Livingstone,Daniel Grant (Ryan Graydon, 83), Keith Buckley, Kevin Devaney (Ali Reghba, 88); Keith Ward (Aaron Barry, 80), Dinny Corcoran.
Subs: Sean Bohan, Aaron Barry, Danny Mandrolu, Robbie McCourt, Sam Byrne, Ali Reghba.
Referee: Derek Tomney