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Dublin: 10°C Wednesday 23 September 2020

Donelon earns a point for Sligo as Shamrock Rovers look forward to European football again

Gary Shaw gave Shamrock Rovers the lead just after the half-hour mark.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Shamrock Rovers 1

Sligo Rovers 1

Harry Manning reports from Tallaght Stadium.

A STUNNING REGAN Donelon free-kick earned Sligo Rovers a precious point away to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

Despite both sides’ determination to take the full three points, the result will be welcomed by both managers as for Sligo, they take another massive point in their fight to beat the drop while Shamrock Rovers seal European football for a fourth consecutive season for the first time since 1988.

The Hoops dominated the first-half and almost drew first blood on 15 minutes after a fantastic free-flowing move.

Cameron King steered a ball wide to Simon Madden whose first-time cross found the head of Shaw, however, his header hit the underside of the bar before Shaun Patton eventually got two hands to it.

On 24 minutes Shaw had another glorious chance to break the deadlock. Aaron Bolger scooped a ball into the front man who cleverly flicked it twice with his heel to break past his man however, when one-on-one he blazed over when he should have at least hit the target.

Stephen Bradley’s side continued to pulsate Sligo and on 33 minutes, Shaw finally had his goal.

Brandon Miele burst down the left flank before hitting a cute cross which the 25-year-old deftly poked past Patton from the edge of the six-yard box.

Five before the break the host’s had Sligo’s crossbar rattled once again. Miele’s corner ball was beautifully met by David McCallister however it bounced off the bar before being hooked clear.

Greg Moorhouse was barely on the pitch two minutes when he was handed a brilliant chance to draw Ger Lyttle’s men level after the restart.

A long punt up the pitch landed at his feet and he charged clean through, however, he opened up his body too much and bent his effort well-wide of the mark.

After a patchy period all round, Sligo brought the game back to life after Jamie McDonagh was blatantly fouled by Trevor Clarke 25 yards from goal. Donelon then stepped up and curled an unstoppable shot past Kevin Horgan and into the back of the net to tie up the game with a 13 to play.

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A rejuvenated Sligo almost nicked the full three points five minutes later when Moorhouse saw a flick-on rebound off the foot of the post.

The result means Sligo remain a place and a point outside the dropzone with two games to play.

Shamrock Rovers meanwhile remain third, however, coupled with Bray’s defeat to Dundalk, they are now guaranteed at least a fourth place finish and will once again contest the Europa League.

SHAMROCK ROVERS Kevin Horgan; Simon Madden, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace, Trevor Clarke (Luke Byrne, 87); David McCallister, Ronan Finn; Cameron King (James Doona, 75), Aaron Bolger, Brandon Miele; Gary Shaw

SLIGO ROVERS: Shaun Patton; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Seamus Sharkey, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Regan Donelon; Daniel Kearns (Benny Igiehon, 74), Craig Rodden, Jack Keaney (Greg Moorhouse, 46), John Russell (Jamie McDonagh, 66); Rhys McCabe, Vinny Faherty

Referee: Jim McKell (Tipperary)

Source: The42 Podcasts/SoundCloud

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Harry Manning

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