Samir Belhout's early strike for UCD sinks Sligo Rovers
UCD brought Sligo Rovers back down to earth with a bang at Belfield and eased their relegation worries in the process with their first win in eight league games.
This was Sligo's first defeat under new manager John Coleman, and after their 4-0 win over Lithuanian side FK Banga in the Europa League last Thursday night, they would have expected more.
They now sit a massive 17 points off top spot.
Samir Belhout got the only goal of the game after just 75 seconds, smashing the ball into the roof of the net via the crossbar after Robbie Benson's defence-splitting pass.
Benson produced a contender for miss of the season in the 57th minute. He blocked down Jeff Henderson's clearance and rounded goalkeeper Gary Rogers only to fire his shot off an upright with an open goal at his mercy.
Sligo dominated for long spells but couldn't turn all of their possession into goals – thanks mainly to Conor O'Donnell.
The UCD goalkeeper tipped former team-mate Danny Ledwith's free-kick around for a corner and then denied substitute Sean Maguire with an excellent one-on-one save in the closing stages.
UCD – O'Donnell; Matthews, Douglas, Kavanagh, Langtry (Coyne, 46); Molloy, Creevy, Crowe, Belhout (Mulhall, 62); Benson; Cannon (Burke, 72).
Sligo Rovers – Rogers; Keane, Peers, Henderson, Gaynor; Cretaro (Ledwith, 5), Cawley, Conneely, Djilali; Keating, Obhiambo (Maguire, 65).
REF– P Sutton.