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LOI wrap: Sligo march on as Cork edge Lee-side thriller

There was also a dramatic finish at Dalymount.

Dundalk's Gary Shanahan goes eye-to-toe with Ger O'Brien.
Dundalk's Gary Shanahan goes eye-to-toe with Ger O'Brien.
Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

TWO GOALS IN two first half minutes kept Sligo on course for the Airtricity League title as they comfortably saw off UCD 3-0 at the Showgrounds to move eight points clear at the summit.

The Bit O’Red looked a cut above through this encounter with Jason McGuinness’ header shaving the post from a sixth minute corner. Danny Ledwith had the Student’s best chance of the opening half, but blazed over the bar with the scores still level.

The breakthrough goal came after 38 minutes following a typically fluid Sligo move. Pascal Millien running at the heart of the visitors defence before feeding Romauld Boco, who in turn off-loaded possession to Mark Quigley who found the bottom corner.

Millien, having created the first goal, took the plaudits for himself two minutes later when Quigley turned provider setting the midfielder one-on-one with Mark McGinley and Millien slid his finish underneath the ‘keeper.

Champions in waiting, Sligo controlled the second half, with Boco rounding off the 3-0 win in the 76th minute.

Minimum gap

In Dundalk, St Patricks Athletic narrowed the gap between themselves and Shamrock Rovers to just a solitary point after their win in Oriel Park.

Despite not featuring in Friday night’s fixture-list, Dundalk were off the pace early on with Chris Forrester to the fore for Pats. After a goalless first half, it was Forrester who created the crucial opening after 63 minutes; his cross picking out Sean O’Connor.

Despite the goal, Dundalk were much more potent in the second period. Yet some questionable refereeing decisioned left the home support incensed. It may have been a different mood had Gary Shanahan, Mark Griffin and Christy Fagan converted gilt-edged chances.

Lee-side Thriller

Down in Cork, the Turners Cross faithful were treated to a thriller as the hosts ended up with 10 men and three points after a 3-2 win over Drogheda United.

The hosts instantly got on the front foot with a Danny Murphy free-kick shaking the goal-frame as the ball kindly bounced to the feet of Vinny Sullivan who opened the scoring on five minutes.

The Drogs hit back five minutes before half time, the goal coming from another direct free-kick, but the shot from Eric Foley was special and flew past Mark McNulty into the top corner.

Level at the break, but City repeated their five-minute feat after the restart. Kevin Murray the man to capitalise on some shaky United marking on set-pieces.

The game’s momentum appeared to shift towards the visitors in the 64th minute when McNulty was harshly adjudged to have fouled Gavin Brennan inside the area. The ‘keeper was red-carded and Declan O’Brien converted from 12-yards. Within minutes, though, Davin O’Neill took aim and found the net via a deflection.

The home side managed to hold on for the remaining 22 minutes in what was a breathless and dramatic encounter.

Stoppage time

There was another thriller at Dalymount Park where Bohemians twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Shelbourne.

Philly Hughes gave Shels the half-time lead after David Cassidy was bundled over on 39 minutes. Bohs would rally and threatened through Karl Moore and a brilliant effort from Dwayne Wilson. It was Hughes and Cassidy, however, who kept Shels dangerous.

With 13 minutes to go, Evan McMillan reached Owen Heary’s cross and diverted the ball past Chirs Bennion, but the visitors would retake the lead within five minutes. Kevin Dawson in the right place at the right time as McNulty parried a shot from Paddy Kavanagh.

Again Bohs came back, and at the death they rescued a point via Keith Ward’s penalty two minutes into stoppage time.

Goalless

Bray Wanderers and Derry City played out a stalemate at the Carlisle Grounds. As hosts, the Seagulls did grow as the game wore on, with opportunities in the fourth quarter of the game for Ismahil Akinade, Sean Houston and Dane Massey, but there would be no breakthrough. The sides remain separated by four points in the Airtricity League table.

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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