Sport League of Ireland

Saturday 17 February 2018

Robertson sings Raf's praises

Sligo Rovers 1 St Patrick's Ath 0

Raffaele Cretaro (stock photo) of Sligo Rovers. Photo: Sportsfile
Raffaele Cretaro (stock photo) of Sligo Rovers. Photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Sligo Rovers manager Dave Robertson has hailed the return of 'Raf', after his side heaped more misery on St Pat's.

Raffaele Cretaro, who missed the scoreless draw with Bray Wanderers last time out through suspension, grabbed the winner at the Showgrounds as Rovers pulled level on points with the Saints.

"I said after the Bray game that I thought we missed Raf," said Robertson. "And lo and behold he goes and gets the winning goal. For me, that is no surprise because he works so hard. It was a much-needed three points for us."

Cretaro raced on to Liam Martin's pass to slide the ball past former teammate Brendan Clarke just five minutes into the second half, claiming his fourth goal of the season in the process.

Robertson said his side needed a half-time pick-me-up after the visitors had shaded the opening period.

"There was a lot of panic I felt, so we just tried to calm everything down at half-time.

"We were far too direct in the first half. I felt if we could get better control of the ball and passed it about, we would control the game more.

"It was just a case of the players staying calm, even if everyone around you is losing their head.

"When the lads done that, we made much better decisions with the ball and in dealing with their threat in wide areas."

The defeat was St Pat's fourth in a row in the league and their ninth in total in a disappointing campaign.

The weekend's results leave them in a four-way tie for fifth spot, along with Rovers, Galway United and Finn Harps, but with both the Bit O' Red and Galway having played a game less.

David Cawley and Christy Fagan both had efforts on target saved by Michael Schlingermann in the Rovers goal, though the closest they came to scoring on the night was an audacious effort from Keith Treacy from well inside his own half that had Schlingermann back-pedalling frantically to tip over the bar.

SLIGO ROVERS - Schlingermann; Adebayo-Rowling, Boylan, Peers, Donelon; Kearns (Russell 58), Roddan, Keohane; Sadlier, Roberts, Cretaro.

ST PAT'S - Clarke; Barker, Hoare, D Dennehy, Desmond (Corcoran 84); Byrne, Cawley (Markey 75), Treacy, Verdon, McGrath (Timlin 79); Fagan.

REF - N Doyle.

Irish Independent

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