Monday 22 January 2018

Sligo return to top despite late leveller from Quigley

Dundalk 1 Sligo Rovers 1

HUMBLED in Europe on Thursday night, Sligo Rovers returned to the top of the domestic pile after a draw with Dundalk in an action-packed game at Oriel Park yesterday.

Raffaele Cretaro's 88th minute strike looked to have given Paul Cook's 10 men a vital three points, only for Mark Quigley to earn a point with a 92nd minute penalty.

After a quiet opening, the game opened up on the half hour, with Dundalk's Marc Griffin close with two quick chances.

Sligo looked dangerous from set-pieces, with Joseph Ndo testing Peter Cherrie with a 30-yard free-kick.

The Scot then produced a fine block to deny Iarfhlaith Davoren in the 38th minute after the winger thumped a loose ball towards goal.

The home side should have taken a lead following a swift counter attack seconds later. Quigley found himself one-on-one with Brendan Clarke, but his shot went the wrong side of the post.

Dundalk wasted another great chance to go ahead two minutes into the second-half -- Daniel Kearns went past Danny Ventre, but Griffin couldn't get his feet adjusted to tap home.

Ventre was given his marching orders six minutes later, picking up a second yellow for going down theatrically, leaving Sligo to see out 37 minutes with 10 men.

This was the sixth red card Tom Connolly has produced in five fixtures between the sides over the past two seasons.

Dundalk threw on Jason Byrne and he had the ball in the net, lashing home after Clarke had kept out a Greg Bolger header, only to see it ruled out for offside.

Then, Cretaro's goal, coupled with a tremendous save from Clarke to deny Daniel Kearns in the 89th minute, looked to have given Sligo the win, but Quigley had the final say.

DUNDALK -- Cherrie; Madden, Bennett, McHugh, Gaynor; Ward (Breen 70), Bolger, Maher, Kearns; Griffin (Byrne 60), Quigley.

SLIGO ROVERS -- Clarke; Ventre, Peers, Foran, Powell (Greene 59); Dillon (Blinkhorn 76), Ryan, Ndo, Davoren (Cretaro 79); Russell, Doyle.

REF -- T Connolly (Dublin)

Irish Independent

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