Thursday 23 November 2017

Cooke: Defeat won't affect cup final


Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke believes that his team's defeat at the Showgrounds will have no bearing on the Ford FAI Cup final between the two sides.

An Anthony Elding brace and Evan McMillan's header secured victory for the Bit O'Red, with Gavin Brennan netting a late consolation from the penalty spot for the visitors.

Cooke (right) made a number of changes to his regular line-up for the game and refused to read too much into the result.

He said: "I don't think that will have any bearing on the game in two weeks. The main thing for us was to avoid picking up any suspensions or injuries.

"It was a very open game. Over the last two years, games between us have always been very tense, but that game was so open, it was unreal.

"We have one more game before the final, against Bohemians, and I will make changes again for that."

Elding did his claims for a place in Sligo's final line-up no harm with a brace, though he had to wrestle the ball off Alan Keane to claim his second from the penalty spot on 65 minutes, having opened the scoring on 38 minutes with an excellent finish from outside the area.

McMillan, who won the penalty that enabled Elding to net his 18th goal of the season, wrapped up the win with a close-range header from Ross Gaynor's corner.

Manager Ian Baraclough was pleased with the striker's attitude, declaring: "Anthony has worked hard when he has been out of the team.

"He has been frustrated at times, but he has not let it get to him and he has done the right things when asked of him.

"He took his first goal really well, dispatched the penalty very well, and overall I was very pleased with his display."

Baraclough was disappointed to see his side's long run without conceding at home come to an end.

"That's the first goal we have conceded at home since back in July and that is some record. The whole team takes credit for that. We have been very solid at home all season."

SLIGO ROVERS – Rogers; Keane (Cawley 87), E McMillan, Peers, Gaynor, Conneely; Ventre (D McMillan 61), Lynch, Martin; Millien, Elding (North 80).

DROGHEDA UNITED – Sava; Holohan, McNally, Grimes, Hand; Rusk (Brady 71), Daly, Foley (O'Conor 71), G Brennan; R Brennan (O'Brien 71), Hynes.

REF – D Tomney

Irish Independent

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