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Sligo profit from Banks’ strike

Sligo Rovers 1, Longford Town 0

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Sligo Rovers' Lewis Banks. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' Lewis Banks. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Sligo Rovers' Lewis Banks. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Lewis Banks’ injury-time winner dragged Sligo Rovers across the line as the Bit O’Red claimed a huge three points in the race for Europe football.

Banks volleyed past Longford goalkeeper Mick Kelly in the 91st minute to finally see off Longford.

The win sees Rovers move seven points ahead of fourth placed Derry City. Looking to fasten their grip on third spot, Rovers manufactured the best of the first-half opportunities after an unsure start.

Johnny Kenny’s goalward flick was deflected away by a Longford defender on 16 minutes, while Town goalkeeper Mick Kelly comfortably saved Ryan De Vries’ side-footed effort five minutes later. It remained all Sligo for the opening half.

Another Kenny flick teed up Andre Wright whose crisp effort from 15 yards flew narrowly past Kelly’s post.

Longford reminded Rovers of their presence twice before the break. Sligo net-minder Ed McGinty shuffling his feet in time to keep out a speculative Dervan drive, before Shamrock Rovers loanee Dean Williams could only strike McGinty’s side netting on the counter.

Dervan attempted another audacious effort from distance, but Sligo slowly got going again after the restart. An anxious Sligo support had to wait until the very death for, maybe, an undeserved winner when Banks blasted past Kelly after Melvyn Lorenzen’s initial cross was parried out to the former Stoke City man.

Sligo Rovers – E McGinty; L Banks, Mahon (Morahan 66), Buckley, McCourt; McDonnell, Figueira (Byrne 66), Bolger; De Vries (Lorenzen 78); Kenny, Wright (Keogh 66).

Longford Town – Kelly; Elworthy, McDonnell, O’Driscoll, Kirk; Robinson, Dervin; Davis (McNally 87), Grimes (Manley 81); O’Brien (Nugent 69); Williams.

Ref – B Connolly. 

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