Wednesday 19 December 2018

Sligo make their point to maintain Premier Division status

Drogheda 0 Sligo 0

John Russell, left, and Benny Ighenion of Sligo Rovers celebrate
John Russell, left, and Benny Ighenion of Sligo Rovers celebrate

Sligo Rovers secured their Premier Division status with an entertaining scoreless draw against Drogheda enough to keep Gerard Lyttle’s side outside the bottom three.

Relegation rivals Galway lost to Dundalk so Sligo were safe nonetheless but Rovers fans can breathe easy knowing they will be one of 10 Premier Division sides in the country next year.

Sligo boss Lyttle said his side had been preparing all week for “a cup final” but he had to work without the suspended Craig Roddan and Regan Donelan. Tobi Adebayo-Rowling and former Drogheda stopper Micheál Schlingermann also missed out.

United’s season petered out long before relegation was confirmed but after picking up a first win in 22 against Finn Harps, the league’s bottom side came into the game a little more confident of denting Sligo’s hopes.

In an even opening period, both sides were restricted to half-chances as they attempted to open the deadlock.

Kevin Farragher was fortunate not to touch Rhys McCabe’s cross into his own net while John Russell shot wide.

Chris Mulhall had the home side’s best early chance, turning and hitting a volley towards goal. Shaun Patton was behind it.

Rovers’s 13-point haul from their last six games meant that a point against Pete Mahon’s team was needed.

Jamie McDonagh’s drive almost set them on the way to all three but while Stephen McGuinness was beaten, the post was not.

The visitors finished the first half stronger with Vinny Faherty and Russell going close but not testing the goalkeeper.

They lost second-choice goalkeeper Shaun Patton to injury in the second half. He was replaced by Ed McGinty but the youngster was rarely troubled.

Ryan McEvoy shot over shortly after his introduction and Mark Doyle fired wide.

Man of the match McGuinness superbly denied sub Benny Igiehon late on.

DROGHEDA – McGuinness; Elworthy, Mulcahy, Farragher, Dunne; Wixted (Byrne, 58), McEvoy, S Brennan (Hollywood, 90+3), Doyle; Mulhall, Meaney (Russell, 83).

SLIGO – Patton (McGinty, 65); Sharkey Callan-McFadden, Leahy, Boylan; Russell, Keaney, McCabe; McDonagh (Cretaro, 70), Faherty, Moorehouse (Igiehon, 84).

REF – P McLaughlin.

Online Editors

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