Saturday 18 August 2018

Double blow for Sligo as boss fumes over red card

Sligo Rovers 0 St Patrick's Athletic 0

Graham Cummins of Cork City celebrates after team-mate Jimmy Keohane scored their side's first goal. Photo: Sportsfile
Graham Cummins of Cork City celebrates after team-mate Jimmy Keohane scored their side's first goal. Photo: Sportsfile

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Sligo Rovers could be dealt a double blow ahead of next weekend's long journey south to face high-flying Waterford.

Key midfielders David Cawley and Rhys McCabe are both set to be ruled out, following Saturday's scoreless draw with St Patrick's Athletic at the Showgrounds.

Gearóid Morrissey of Cork City in action against Gary Boylan of Sligo Rovers. Photo: Sportsfile
Gearóid Morrissey of Cork City in action against Gary Boylan of Sligo Rovers. Photo: Sportsfile

McCabe suffered swelling in a knee and had to be replaced before half-time, while David Cawley was shown a straight red card in injury time and faces an automatic suspension.

Boss Gerard Lyttle was not pleased with the decision of stand-in referee Damien McGrath - who took over from the injured John McLoughlin in the opening half - to send Cawley off.

He said: "I've watched it a few times and even my initial thought when I seen it was that it was never a red card. I'd love to know what he has sent him off for.

"The fourth official said that his two feet had left the ground, but I didn't see two feet leave the ground. There are two fouls on David Cawley leading up to the melee, and when the melee happens, it's actually (a St Pat's) man that starts it."

Jack Keaney of Sligo Rovers in action against Barry McNamee of Cork City. Photo: Sportsfile
Jack Keaney of Sligo Rovers in action against Barry McNamee of Cork City. Photo: Sportsfile

Options

With Waterford successfully appealing the length of suspensions to their midfielders Bastien Héry and Stanley Aborah recently, Lyttle said they will consider all their options.

"We will have another look at it and I'll speak with the club about it," he said.

Saturday's game saw Rovers keep a clean sheet in the league for the first time this season, and Lyttle was pleased with his side's efforts.

"I think we owed our fans a decent performance at the Showgrounds and I thought we were the better team. We played on the front foot for the full 90, we were the only team that looked like we were going to score.

"We're disappointed not to get the three points. But we have got a good performance, and our first clean sheet of the season, so we have something we can build on."

St Pat's Liam Buckley was not impressed with the condition of the pitch in Sligo.

"We're happy taking a point, but as a spectacle that was just a poor game," he said.

"The pitch was absolutely awful. Trying to play a pass on it was just ridiculous. It's bald in patches and the ball was bouncing all over the place. When you try to pass it, it's popping up.

"It didn't suit our style, and it didn't suit Sligo either, but they managed it a bit better. Overall it was a disappointing game."

SLIGO ROVERS - Beeney, Boylan, Mahon, McClean, Waters, McCabe (McAleer 42), Pinceli (Wixted 80), Cawley, Keaney, Cretaro (Roy 90), Morgan.

ST PAT'S ATH - Murphy, Madden, Toner, Desmond, Bermingham, R Brennan, Lennon, Markey (Byrne ht), Doona (K Brennan 84), Clarke, Fagan (Keegan 54).

REF - J McLoughlin (D McGrath 10).

Irish Independent

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