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Cook brings in Powell to boost Sligo title assault

SLIGO ROVERS manager Paul Cook has strengthened his squad's title credentials by signing former Bohemians and Colchester defender Conor Powell.

The 2009 PFAI Young Player of the Year was introduced to the Showgrounds crowd during Saturday's victory over Drogheda United, which enabled the Bit O'Red jump to the top of the table.

Powell left Bohs to sign for English League One club Colchester United in January, but that move didn't work out for the former Irish U-21 international, who was released after Colchester were relegated.

"Conor is a fantastic addition. He's a great player and he'll give us a lot of balance on the left side," enthused Cook.

"Iarfhlaith Davoren has been terrific for us for a couple of years and Aaron Greene has done well, but we are short a natural left-footer. With a lot of games in different competitions to come, it is great to have Conor with us."

Powell will strengthen an already strong Rovers back line, which achieved their seventh successive clean sheet in the league on Saturday, although they required a couple of excellent second-half saves from goalkeeper Brendan Clarke to keep out the attack-minded visiting side.

Drogheda's best chance came immediately after Rovers had opened the scoring through Matthew Blinkhorn's close-range flick on the hour mark. Dinny Corcoran won possession and fed Gavin Brennan, but Clarke came out to narrow the angle and deny the striker.

Peter McMahon set up a great chance for Corcoran soon afterwards but he directed his header straight at Clarke.

Top-scorer Eoin Doyle sealed the three points for the Bit O'Red by scrambling the ball to the net from close range after the Drogheda defence failed to deal with a Joseph Ndo corner.

SLIGO ROVERS -- Clarke, Keane, Peers, McGuinness, Greene, Cretaro (Dillon 65), Ndo, Ryan, Kirby (Russell 70), Doyle, Blinkhorn (Davoren 77).

DROGHEDA UNITED -- Trimble, C O'Brien (Gaul 56), McNally, Rogers, Hand, M O'Brien (Freeman 85), Gannon, Quigley, McMahon, Corcoran, Brennan (Thompson 74).

REF -- P Tuite (Dublin)


Irish Independent