Sunday 22 April 2018

Sligo still in with a shout – Ian Baraclough

Bohemians 0 Sligo Rovers 2

Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough.
Sligo Rovers manager Ian Baraclough.

Garry Doyle

If 2012 will always be remembered in Sligo as their coming-of-age moment, then 2013 will be known as their year of living dangerously.

Despite starting the season on fire – winning their first eight league games – they have since stuttered and faltered, claiming victories in just seven of their subsequent 19 league matches.

With no margin for error left, Saturday night had the potential to be a decisive one in determining their season.

Had they lost, their reign as champions was over. Instead they won – unconvincingly.

Better again, from their perspective, St Pat's, the leaders, drew.

With a five-point gap left to bridge over the run-in, hope is not yet lost.

"While we have the experience of getting over the line, and have dealt with the pressure really well in times past, this year, we're chasing," said manager Ian Baraclough.

"The amount of experience we have in the group, the amount of league title winners we have, should stand us in good stead. But it all comes to nothing if the teams above us don't drop points.

"They have games that are very winnable and I will be amazed if they do slip up. We are in with a shout – but that's all."

They can shout a little louder after Saturday's win. Outplayed for chunks of the game, the essential difference between the teams was the fact that Sligo converted their chances, with Gavin Peers and the outstanding Aaron Greene getting their goals.

In contrast, Bohs frustratingly saw Derek Pender, Conor Murphy and Anto Murphy miss the opportunities which came their way.

Manager Owen Heary said: "There are positives to take, because that was a good side we came up against and we battled ferociously.

"The league table tells its own story. We have a lot of work to do to stay up but we won't give up.

"People may not have expected us to get any points from our three games against Rovers, Pat's and Sligo. We got four. There are plenty of twists left in this season yet."

Baraclough agrees, saying: "We aren't in the giving up business.

"If Dundalk or Pat's slip up, we have to be in a position to take advantage of that."

Bohemians – Delany; Pender, Murphy, Lopes, Byrne; Mulcahy, McEvoy (Reynor 66), Traynor, Moore, Buckley; Murphy (Lyons 75).

Sligo Rovers – Rogers; Keane, Peers, Ventre, Davoren (Martin 88); Conneely, Cawley, Djilali, Greene; D McMillan (North 62), Elding ( Lynch 75).

Ref – G Kelly (Cork).

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