Tuesday 24 April 2018

Adams buoyed by Sligo spirit as Dundalk trip yields big point

Dundalk 2 Sligo Rovers 2

Alan Keane celebrates scoring Sligo’s second goal against Dundalk
Alan Keane celebrates scoring Sligo’s second goal against Dundalk
Dundalk's Chris Shields in action against Sligo Rovers' David Cawley
Dundalk players celebrate after Ronan Finn, hidden, scored their side's second goal
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Micky Adams is still trying to figure out the quirks of the League of Ireland disciplinary system but he is learning that his Sligo Rovers group have the resilience to get out of relegation trouble.

He was thrilled with his team's application as they came from behind twice in a draw in Dundalk on Saturday that prevented the defending champions from going ten clear at the top of the table.

Stephen Kenny's side retain a strong eight-point advantage with six games remaining, while Sligo are just two off the bottom in an increasingly congested relegation battle.

Kenny is sure they will stay up and Adams thinks that back-to-back draws against the Louth men and third-placed Shamrock Rovers is evidence they are heading in the right direction.

"To get points off those teams is pleasing for us," he said. "But our battles will be the matches against the teams around us."

The only disappointment for Adams is that a touchline ban will remove the vocal presence of his assistant Alan Rogers for three matches.

Rogers was sent from the dug-out in the clash of the two Rovers and expressed his dissatisfaction on social media, claiming that he was sent off for responding to a barb from the Hoops bench.

It's understood that the Liverpudlian replied by making a comment about the physical appearance of a member of the Hoops management team and he was duly ordered off.

In a further angry post on Twitter, Rogers alleged that his touchline behaviour was tame compared to verbals from the Derry staff in their league encounter at the Showgrounds.

Adams didn't wish to discuss the specifics but his bemusement was clear.

"I don't know whether the officials are looking at our bench closely because we're the two new guys in the league or whether that's the way they officiate anyway," he smiled. "Alan was getting stick off their bench last week and he responded and maybe that's the lesson we've all got to learn, a harsh lesson. We're getting used to it."

Adams enjoyed a civil chat with Kenny on Saturday, 14 years after a friendly between their Longford and Brighton sides ended acrimoniously. They will meet again in Oriel Park next Friday in an FAI Cup quarter final.

"Dundalk are a good side but I thought once we settled down we matched them," said Adams. "We've shown we can't be written off."


Ronan Finn put the hosts ahead with a firm 16th-minute strike but Sligo chipped away and squared after the break when a centre from newcomer Jennison Myrie-Williams caused panic, with the sheepish Dinny Corcoran claiming the credit after a messy scramble involving Brian Gartland.

Finn restored Dundalk's advantage with a 30-yard screamer that will feature in the end-of-season montages.

However, a long-range shot from Sligo right-back Alan Keane slipped through the fingers of the below-par Gary Rogers. Dundalk applied pressure in search of a winner, with Richard Brush denying Richie Towell, but they couldn't pick the lock.

"We know we should have won the game," said Kenny, "But we haven't lost any ground and that's important."

Dundalk - Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey; Shields, Towell; Meenan, Finn, Horgan (O'Donnell 66; Mountney 86); Kilduff (McMillan 80)

Sligo Rovers - Brush, Keane, Peers, Clancy, Donelon; Cawley, Boylan; Nielsen (Cretaro 69), Hughes (Elding 69), Myrie-Williams; Corcoran (Keating 75)

Ref - P Tuite (Dublin)

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