Monday 20 January 2020

Madden sinks Sligo to keep Hoops European dream alive

Shamrock Rovers 1 Sligo Rovers 0

Sligo Rover's Seamus Conneely in action against Stephen McPhail, Shamrock Rovers. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
Sligo Rover's Seamus Conneely in action against Stephen McPhail, Shamrock Rovers. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
Seamus Conneely, Sligo Rovers beats Shamrock's Robert Bayly to the ball. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
Shamrock Rovers manager Pat Fenlon. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE
Sean Maguire, Sligo Rovers, in action against Jason McGuinness, left, and Robert Bayly, Shamrock Rovers. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers, Tallaght Stadium, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture credit: Dáire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

Shamrock Rovers kept up their push for European football next season as they eased past the challenge of Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium last night.

The game very much had an-end-of-season feel to it from the outset but to the home side's credit, they were always the ones who looked like forcing the issue.

Simon Madden has been one of the Hoops' shining lights this season and it was perhaps fitting that one of his bombarding runs down the right flank was finally rewarded with a first league goal of the year.

Kieran Marty Waters and Karl Sheppard both tested Gary Rogers before the full-back broke the deadlock.

Waters skipped by a couple of challenges and unleashed a shot that Rogers spilled into the path of the grateful Madden, who had the easiest of tasks to tap the ball into an empty net to give the hosts a half-time lead.

Pat Fenlon's side continued to dominate after the break but things may have panned out a lot differently had Sean Maguire kept his composure in front of goal. But instead, the West Ham loanee dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.

Waters almost capped a fine individual display but his volley flew over the bar.

Shane Robinson had a chance to seal the points late on but he fired a volley straight at Rogers.

Shamrock Rovers - Murphy; Madden, Kenna (c), McGuinness, Byrne; McPhail, Cregg (Finn 79), Bayly, Waters (Kilduff 62); O'Connor (Robinson 79); Shepard.

Sligo Rovers - Rogers; Conneely, Peers (c), Spillane, Davoren; North (Keating 77), Cawley, O'Conor, Russell (Cretaro 77), Maguire; McMillan.

REF - T Connolly (Dublin)

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