Shamrock Rovers, who have been champions for nine years, reached within five points of their first SSE Aerritic League title, a great performance to overtake Sligo Rovers at Tallag Stadium.
Domestically now in one year, 11 points are clear on Stephen Bradley’s Premier Division list. Stephen Bradley is ahead of second-placed Bohemians Derby in Shelby on Saturday evening. Hoops has four games to play.
Rovers were unbeaten 4-0 at last Sunday’s outgoing champions Dundalk, and Sligo manager Liam Buckley made a change from Tuesday ‘s home win over Derry City.
Regular captain David Cowley withdrew from suspension but Seymour arrived in midfield wearing the captain’s arm as he needed to be satisfied with a place on the bench.
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Rovers, who beat them 3-2 at the Showground in March, carried the game to their visitors from the start, but had to work hard to find holes in Sligo’s shape from the start.
Poor defense and goalkeeping gave Rovers the lead in the 13th minute.
Liam Scales, Neil Farugia and Aaron Green handed the ball to captain Ronan Finn from the left.
– Soccer Republic (oc Sock Republic) October 2, 2020
Finn controlled the ball before turning and hitting a low shot that Sligo keeper Ed McGinty tried to take comfortably into the body that fell to the ground.
McGinty was called up to Jim Crawford’s Republic of Ireland Under – 21 team the previous day and allowed the ball to move over his legs and over the line.
Sligo opened the scoring with half chances through Ryan de Vries and junior Ogedi-Usokwe. Graham Burke, on the other hand, fired upwards.
After playing brilliantly on the left side from Farougia, Green had to put in a better performance than dropping his shot width within half an hour, and Darag Nune did the set.
Rovers, who now dominate the ball, doubled the lead in the 39th minute with a superb goal.
Jack Byrne, who returned to Stephen Kenny’s senior Ireland team, handed a brave diagonal ball over the top. Burke stole the back of Gary Buckley, secured it with his left foot and killed the ball with a deep touch.
As the home side spread, McGinty saved his early mistake from an Aaron McNefe drive. At the same time, the leg was well protected and Green was repulsed.
The goal frame was blocked by Green’s thumping shot within 10 minutes before the Rovers took the lead in the 58th minute.
Burke and Farougia touch for Byron to throw the ball from the left side and then a left footed cross from McGinty into the far corner of the net.
Byron was shown a yellow card for a minor injury in front of a triple substitute in the 74th minute and received a strange moment in the dugout on the tagline.
Four minutes later Rovers added their fourth goal. Rice overtook Marshall Buckley and drove substitute Dylan Watts to the Side Foot Home.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannas; Lee Grace, Joey O’Brien (Sean Cavanagh 74), Liam Scales; Ronan Finn (Rice Marshall 74), Gary O’Neill, Aaron McNeff, Neil Farougia (Danny LaFerty 79); Jack Byrne (Dylan Watts 74), Abraham Burke; Aaron Green (Dean Williams 79).
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Darag Noon, Kyle McFandon, Gary Buckley (David Cowley 81), Timu Penninggas; Will Seymour, Niall Morohan; Jesse Devers (Alex Cooper 64), Ryan de Vries (Louis Banks 64), Jr. Ogedi-Usoque; Ronan Coglan.
Referee: Damien McGrath (Mayo).