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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018

Cretaro and Drennan deliver as Sligo snatch crucial three points in the fight for safety

A goal from Raffaele Cretaro off the bench and a double from Mikey Drennan helped Sligo to another win away from home on Friday.

Raffaele Cretaro was on the scoresheet for Sligo on Friday night.
Raffaele Cretaro was on the scoresheet for Sligo on Friday night.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Limerick 1

Sligo Rovers 3

Andrew Cunneen reports from the Markets Field

SLIGO ROVERS ALL but secured their spot in next season’s Premier Division following a comprehensive win over Limerick in Garryowen.

A Mikey Drennan brace and a stunner from first-half substitute Raffaele Cretaro cancelled out Shane Duggan’s goal to hand Sligo a comfortable three points.

Tommy Barrett stated in his programme notes that this game was a must-win. With that in mind, he named two conventional wingers in his side, instead of playing with four central players as he did against Waterford FC in their last home game.

Their last league game was a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Bohemians. Shaun Kelly and Darren Murphy made way for Kilian Cantwell and Eoin Wearen, who both missed the Dalymount Park clash through suspension.

Sligo themselves made three changes from the XI that fell to Longford Town in a shock defeat last weekend. Cretaro and the suspended pair of David Cawley and Kyle Callan-McFadden missed out, with Seamus Sharkey, Kris Twardek and Adam Wixted replacing them.

The opening half lacked a spark, and the small crowd in attendance didn’t help the occasion. There are bigger sporting fish to fry on Shannonside this weekend, after all.

The most noteworthy moment of the opening half hour came when Rhys McCabe pulled up with an injury. Most of Sligo’s play had gone through the Scot, and it seemed that the away side would be worse off for it.

Gerard Lyttle celebrates after the game Sligo Rovers manager Gerard Lyttle. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

But Cretaro entered play, just three weeks removed from his testimonial. His presence lifted Sligo and he was directly involved in the opening goal, just five minutes before the break.

The League of Ireland veteran was in space down the right, where he was cleverly picked out. He swung an inviting cross into the six-yard box and Drennan headed home from close in – his first goal since returning to the league.

Five minutes either side of the half would ultimately shape the game, as Drennan was once again involved in the box. This time, he was fouled by Eoin Wearen and Rob Harvery had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

He picked the ball up, placed it down and smashed it past Holland to double his tally.

Shane Duggan would pull one back ten minutes later, but Raffaele Cretaro stunned the home crowd with a breathtaking strike into the top corner just three minutes after to put the game to bed.

LIMERICK: Tommy Holland; Kilian Cantwell (Shaun Kelly, 46), Eoin Wearen, Killian Brouder (Darren Murphy, 77), Billy Dennehy; Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan; Karl O’Sullivan, Barry Maguire, Will Fitzgerald; Connor Ellis (Danny Morrissey, 53).

SLIGO ROVERS: Mitchell Beeney; Seamus Sharkey, Patrick McClean, John Mahon, Regan Donelon; Rhys McCabe (Raffaele Cretaro, 31), Jack Keaney; Kris Twardek (Niall Morohan, 90), Lee-J Lynch, Adam Wixted (Liam Kerrigan, 71); Mikey Drennan.

Referee: Robert Harvey.

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About the author:

Andrew Cunneen

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