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Buckley: We still need to be smarter on the ball

Sligo Rovers 2 Shelbourne 1

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Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan in action with Alex Cetiner of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan in action with Alex Cetiner of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan in action with Alex Cetiner of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

Rock bottom with no points when the shutdown was called, the only way was up for Liam Buckley's Sligo Rovers.

Nonetheless, there has been an impressive confidence about how they have taken maximum points from their two games since the resumption of action.

A defeat of Derry away was followed on Saturday by a first home win at the Showgrounds in almost a year, as Jesse Devers and David Cawley got the goals in a 2-1 success against Shelbourne.

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Sligo Rovers' David Cawley celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' David Cawley celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile

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Sligo Rovers' David Cawley celebrates. Photo: Sportsfile

 

Gary Deegan's consolation for Shels deep in injury-time took some gloss off the scoreline, but it was another deserved win for the Bit O' Red, who still have the likes of Garry Buckley, Lewis Banks, John Mahon, and new signings Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Sigitas Olberkis to come into their squad.

Manager Buckley says they can still improve: "I'm delighted with the result, and the three points are hugely important obviously, but I just want us playing better.

"We need to keep better possession of the ball. I can't fault the work rate or effort, especially on a warm evening, but we just need to be a little bit cleverer on the ball.

"I felt we played better last week against Derry. But that said, it is important in terms of the league table that we pick up our fair share of points from the teams around us."

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Sligo Rovers' Jesse Devers of Sligo Rovers battles for the ball with Shelbourne's Alex O'Hanlon. Photo: Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' Jesse Devers of Sligo Rovers battles for the ball with Shelbourne's Alex O'Hanlon. Photo: Sportsfile

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Sligo Rovers' Jesse Devers of Sligo Rovers battles for the ball with Shelbourne's Alex O'Hanlon. Photo: Sportsfile

 

Rovers raced out of the traps and had the ball in the Shels net inside the opening 60 seconds. Ronan Coughlan and Ryan de Vries combined on the left, before Devers headed home from close range.

The second arrived early in the second half with another close-range finish, as captain Cawley fired home in a crowded goalmouth after Shels failed to deal with a corner.

Coughlan and De Vries had further chances on the counter-attack as Shelbourne pushed forward in search of a response in the closing stages.

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Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan with Georgie Poynton of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan with Georgie Poynton of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Sligo Rovers' Regan Donelan with Georgie Poynton of Shelbourne. Photo: Sportsfile

 

When that response eventually came, it was too late to turn the tie, though Deegan's strike from the edge of the box was well-taken.

SLIGO ROVERS - McGinty, Noone, Callan-McFadden, Kane, Donelon, Devers, Morahan, Cawley, Seymore (Russell 56), De Vries (Cooper 82), Coughlan.

SHELBOURNE - McCabe, Friel (O Brennan 80), D Byrne, L Byrne (O'Reilly 59), O'Hanlon, Kabia (Dobbs 54), Deegan, Quinn (Cetiner 80), Rooney, Brennan (Poynton 54), Kilduff.

REF - R Hennessy.

Irish Independent