Rovers un­lucky in Dun­dalk

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT - By JES­SICA FARRY


PA­TRICK Hoban’s 11th goal of the sea­son two min­utes from time in­flicted a harsh de­feat on Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park on Fri­day night.

Hoban’s penalty, his 10th of the sea­son, gave the hosts the lead in the first half, be­fore Rhys McCabe’s spot-kick lev­elled the scor­ing be­fore half-time.

Rovers looked as though they had se­cured a draw, un­til the Li­ly­whites net­ted on 88 min­utes to take all three points.

The Bit o’Red had been strug­gling to find form com­ing into this game, los­ing to Bohs in their pre­vi­ous game hav­ing beaten Bray Wan­der­ers af­ter draw­ing with Water­ford and St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic.

Man­ager Ger Lyt­tle made just one change to the side that suf­fered a 2-0 de­feat against the Gyp­sies at The Show­grounds the pre­vi­ous week as Jack Keaney dropped to the bench in place of Caolan McAleer.

The Li­ly­whites bom­barded the Rovers rear­guard in the early stages of the game, with Mitchell Beeney cer­tainly the busier of the two keep­ers.

Beeney did well to keep out a Brian Gart­land ef­fort with just nine min­utes on the clock, be­fore Rhys McCabe’s goal-line clear­ance kept the hosts at bay, for a few more min­utes at the very least.

Michael Duffy sent his free-kick just inches wide of the post, be­fore Chelsea loanee Beeney did well to hold Pa­trick Hoban’s headed ef­fort.

At that stage, Ger Lyt­tle’s men were forced to try their luck from dis­tance, with McAleer try­ing his luck from 25 yards, but for­mer Rovers man Gary Rogers was equal to it.

The hosts did even­tu­ally get their chance to open the scor­ing. Ref­eree To­mas Con­nolly awarded a penalty af­ter Pa­trick McClean was ad­judged to have fouled Dy­lan Con­nolly in the box. Hoban sent his penalty past Beeney to give his side the lead.

McClean tried to make up for his ear­lier mis­de­meanour when he turned well and shot at goal on the half hour mark, but his ef­fort was de­flected wide.

Rovers felt they should have been awarded a penalty af­ter 45 min­utes when McAleer clashed with Rogers in the box, but the ref­eree was not in­ter­ested.

He did, how­ever, award Rovers a penalty in added time when McAleer was pulled down by Gary Rogers. Rhys McCabe made it 1-1 with sec­onds to go to the half-time whis­tle.

Stephen Kenny’s side were build­ing mo­men­tum at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond-half, with Michael Duffy head­ing just wide of the tar­get on 47 min­utes.

Ro­nan Murray, a tar­get for Ger Lyt­tle in the off sea­son, should have put Dun­dalk ahead when he was put through by Rob­bie Ben­son, but he slot­ted just wide of mark.

The home side felt they should have had a penalty when John Ma­hon’s strong chal­lenge up­ended Pa­trick Hoban, but To­mas Con­nolly dis­agreed.

Ma­hon did well again to get in the way of Hoban who looked set to give Dun­dalk the lead again.

It was all Dun­dalk with 20 min­utes to go, but Rovers were show­ing no signs of let­ting up, with Mitchell Beeney do­ing well to save Duffy’s ef­fort.

Dy­lan Con­nolly and Dun­dalk sub­sti­tute Marco Tag­ba­jumi went close, but again Rovers stood strong.

With just two min­utes left on the clock, Rovers’ hearts were bro­ken. Hoban rose high­est to nod in past Beeney, his sec­ond of the game and his 11th of the sea­son.

The Bit o’Red were al­most back in the game in the 94th minute when Dean Jarvis cleared off the line fol­low­ing a Rovers at­tack.

For Rovers, it was a tough de­feat to take given how well they played.

They take on St. Pa­trick’s Ath­letic tonight in Inchicore in the resched­uled game that was post­poned due to snow ear­lier in the sea­son.

On Satur­day, they play host to Sham­rock Rovers, kick off is 7.45.

Dun­dalk: Gary Rogers, Seán Hoare, Brian Gart­land, Stephen Folan (Dane Massey 56), Dean Jarvis, Chris Shields (Marco Tag­ba­jumi 79), Rob­bie Ben­son, Dy­lan Con­nolly, Ro­nan Murray (Jamie McGrath 66), Michael Duffy, Pa­trick Hoban

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Gary Boy­lan, Kyle Cal­lan-McFad­den, John Ma­hon, Pa­trick McClean (Jack Keaney, 42), Re­gan Donelon, Caolan McAleer, David Caw­ley, Rhys McCabe, Raf­faele Cre­taro (Adam Wixted, 67), Greg Moor­house (Adam Mor­gan, 59).

Ref­eree: To­mas Con­nolly.

Mitchell Beeney clears the dan­ger un­der pres­sure from Brian Gart­land. Pic: Piaras Ó Míd­heach/Sports­file

David Caw­ley cel­e­brates as he scores Rovers’ win­ner against Water­ford. Pic: Oliver McVeigh/Sports­file

Kyle Cal­lan McFad­den makes a clear­ance un­der pres­sure from Pa­trick Hoban.

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