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Dublin: 22 °C Thursday 16 July, 2020

Joy for Micky Adams as four-star Sligo thrash 10-man Drogheda

Robert Bayly’s sending off proved the turning point in tonight’s game.

Jason Hughes was on target for Sligo tonight.
Jason Hughes was on target for Sligo tonight.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Drogheda United 0-4 Sligo Rovers

ROBERT BAYLY’S REPUTATION precedes him. At least, you must think that when you try to make sense of the first half sending off that turned this game from keenly-contested affair to one-sided damp squib.

In the end, Sligo romped to a comfortable four goal win against Drogheda at United Park, but the game was even enough before the former Shamrock Rovers man was sent off after 25 minutes.

No stranger to a booking, or a red card, Bayly looked to fear the worst when referee Ray Matthews blew up after his challenge on John Russell. It was a booking at most, but a straight red card was brandished.

That left Drogheda with a question to answer; did they have it in them to withstand Sligo’s ominous pressure, numerical advantage considered. The answer came just two minutes later when the visitors plundered their first.

After seeing an effort superbly saved by Micheal Schlingermann, Danish striker Morten Nielsen made no mistake at the second time of asking. John Russell crossed from the left moments later and Nielsen put his header past the goalkeeper.

In doing so, he doubled his whole league goal tally for the entire season. Four minutes later, it was 2-0. This time, Drogheda had no excuse. The usually dependable Sean Thornton slipped and Jason Hughes was free to run in on goal and slot a low shot past Schlingermann.

Having joined Rovers from Limerick in the window, that was Hughes’ first league goal. There’s been change in the dugout too. This trip to Boyneside was new boss Micky Adams’ first away assignment.

Things got better for the former Port Vale manager six minutes after the restart when Nielsen again got on the end of a Russell cross. Again, his initial effort was saved but he poked in the rebound from four yards. Yes, now he’d trebled his goal tally for the season.

If Adams hopes his Great Dane can inspire Rovers to safety, the same could be said for another new arrival in the form of Anthony Elding. Making his second debut for the club, Elding entered the fray as a second-half substitute.

When Keith Ward was felled by Mick Daly late on, Elding dispatched the penalty to seal a vital win for the Bit O’Red.

DROGHEDA UNITED: Michael Schlingermann, Mick Daly, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Mark O’Brien (Bob McKenna, 65), Sean Thornton, Robert Bayly, Adam Whelan (Stephen Maher, 30), Jason Marks, Lee Duffy (Mark Hughes, 73), Ger Pender.

Substitutes: Evin Farrell, Joe Gorman, Sean Brennan, Nathan Seery.

SLIGO ROVERS: Richard Brush, Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Tim Clancy, Regan Donelon, Raffaele Cretaro (Anthony Elding, 76), Sander Puri, John Russell (Keith Ward, 73), Jason Hughes, Gary Boylan, Morten Nielsen (Morten Nielsen, 76).

Substitutes: Ryan Coulter, Rob Lehane, Gary Armstrong, Patrick Nzuzi.

REFEREE: Ray Matthews (Westmeath)

MAN OF THE MATCH: John Russell (Sligo Rovers)

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