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Sligo midfielder scores from inside his own half – but should the goal have stood?

Rhys McCabe opened the scoring with an incredible goal for Ger Lyttle’s side in Saturday’s win over Limerick.

Rhys McCabe Sligo Rovers midfielder Rhys McCabe. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

SLIGO ROVERS PICKED up a much-needed victory in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division on Saturday evening, aided by an incredible goal from Rhys McCabe.

Having not won a league game in over a month, Ger Lyttle’s side ended a run of three straight defeats by recording a 2-1 win over Limerick at Markets Field, which moved them into eighth place, a point above the Shannonsiders.

McCabe broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Sligo were awarded a free-kick by referee Ben Connolly a few yards inside their own half. The former Rangers and Sheffield Wednesday midfielder spotted Limerick goalkeeper Brendan Clarke off his line and capitalised with a brilliantly executed strike.

However, the footage suggests that Sligo may have been fortunate that the goal actually stood. It’s difficult to tell definitively if the ball was stationery or still rolling by the time McCabe’s boot connected with it, but make your own mind up and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

McCabe told RTÉ Sport afterwards: “I try it in training and stuff but usually they go over the bar. It was just instinct and it’s paid off so that’s great. One of the coaches said at half-time that [the goalkeeper's] starting position is quite high so I had that in the back of my mind. I saw the opportunity, had a go and it went in.”

Greg Moorhouse doubled Sligo’s lead in the 82nd minute. Daniel Kearns pulled one back for Limerick against his former club just before the full-time whistle but it was too little, too late for Tommy Barrett’s side, who now haven’t won in their last six league games.

In spite of the uncertainty, McCabe’s strike will be a strong contender for ‘Goal of the Season’, which was awarded to St Patrick’s Athletic’s Conan Byrne for a similar effort in 2017.

McCabe only joined Sligo last June but this isn’t the first time he has scored an audacious goal for the club. He also came up with something out-of-the-ordinary back in August to give the Bit o’ Red a crucial victory against Cork City at Turner’s Cross.

RM Source: RTÉ/Soccer Republic

The former Scotland U21 international will be hoping for another enjoyable trip to Leeside tomorrow night when Sligo make a long journey south for the second time in four days to take on the defending champions.

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Paul Dollery

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