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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 3 March 2021

Frustration for Shamrock Rovers, as they're held at home to Sligo

It finished all square in Tallaght as a crowd of over 2,500 witnessed one of the most one-sided draws this season.

Rovers' Jack Byrne dejected after the game.
Rovers' Jack Byrne dejected after the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 0

Sligo Rovers 0

Darryl Geraghty reports from Tallaght Stadium 

IT FINISHED ALL square in Tallaght as a crowd of over 2,500 witnessed one of the most one-sided draws this season.

The hosts started the brighter, dominating the middle of the park with Jack Byrne displaying his wide range of passing from the off. It was Byrne who had the game’s first shot in anger, brilliantly working a yard on the edge of the box and stinging the hands of Ed McGinty.

But Liam Buckley’s troops weren’t here just to make up the numbers, with last week’s hat-trick hero Ronan Coughlan, along with Romeo Parkes, looking dangerous on the break.

With just 20 minutes on the clock, the Hoops passed up a glorious chance to break the deadlock. Dylan Watts burst forward from midfield, and his attempt was deflected kindly into the path of Sean Kavanagh who, instead of smashing it home, elected to take a couple of extra touches to try round the keeper and his effort was eventually chipped over.

The pressure continued to mount as the half wore on. Just before the break, recent recruit Graham Cummins, who has already been lauded by some as the missing piece to the Hoops line-up, should have put his side ahead, but could only direct his header onto the bar. As the ball broke, Byrne prepared to smash a volley home, but Dante Leverock made an incredible last-ditch block to keep the score at 0-0.

The second half was a carbon copy of the first, as Rovers dominated, while the visitors just couldn’t get a foot hold in the game. Byrne again stung the hands of McGinty from distance, before putting Cummins through one on one, but his touch just let him down at the last second as he searched for a debut goal.

It was becoming another one of those nights for the hosts, as substitute Dan Carr was then put clean through down the left-hand side, but just couldn’t get enough curl on his right-footed effort.

Try as they might, wave after wave of Rovers attacks ended in shots from distance, wasted opportunities or excellent saves from McGinty as the Bit O’Red bravely battled their way to a huge point from Tallaght Stadium.

By contrast, it was a thoroughly frustrating night for Stephen Bradley’s troops, as they gear up for their trip away to SK Brann in the Europa League first round qualifier on Thursday.

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Greg Bolger (Gary O’Neill 63), Dylan Watts (Aaron Greene 76), Ronan Finn (Dan Carr 58), Sean Kavanagh, Trevor Clarke, Graham Cummins, Joey O’Brien, Jack Byrne

Subs: Leon Pohls, Ethan Boyle, Dan Carr, Gary O’Neill, Sean Callan, Aaron Greene, Brandon Kavanagh

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Johnny Dunleavy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Dante Leverock, John Mahon, Lewis Banks, David Cawley (Niall Morahan 77), John Russell (Sam Warde 67), Ronan Murray (Kris Twardek 67), Ronan Coughlan, Romeo Parkes

Subs: Sam Warde, Daryl Fordyce, Kris Twardek, Luke McNicholas, Liam Kerrigan, Niall Morahan, Brian Morley

Referee: Neil Doyle

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