Kailin Barlow (L) was on the mark for Rovers (file pic). Evan Logan/INPHO
breathing space

Sligo Rovers stun Bohs to arrest recent slide

Kailin Barlow scored his first goal for the Bit O’Red in a 3-1 victory at the Showgrounds.

Sligo Rovers 3

Bohemians 1

Jessica Farry reports from The Showgrounds

SLIGO ROVERS BOUNCED back from a horror defeat to UCD to shock Bohemians at The Showgrounds on Friday night.

Rovers took a 2-0 lead into the second half, with Kailin Barlow scoring his first for the club and Max Mata scoring his tenth of the season.

A fabulous strike from Stefan Radosavljevic made it 3-0, with Rovers then reduced to ten as Barlow picked up a second yellow.

A stunning late goal from Johnny Afolabi was nothing more than a consolation for Bohs.

Hosts Sligo Rovers have been struggling for form of late, with last week’s shock defeat to bottom side UCD leaving the Bit O’Red in eighth place.

Three defeats in four games has piled the pressure on John Russell’s side, who have collected just two wins from their last 10.

Bohs came into tonight’s game in fifth spot, one point behind Dundalk who were in fourth before tonight’s games.

Declan Devine’s side had one win in their last five, that coming against the Bit O’Red in Dalymount Park at the start of this month.

Russell made two changes to the side that lost to UCD, Greg Bolger came in for David Cawley, while Kailin Barlow replaced Stefan Radosavljevic.

Devine made three changes from the side that came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Shamrock Rovers last day out.

Keith Buckley, Ali Coote and James Akintunde dropped to the bench with Kris Twardek, James Clarke and Dylan Connolly coming into the team.

The hosts are fighting for their lives, and it was clear from the start that Russell’s men were up for this.

Rovers were putting pressure on the Bohs rearguard from early on, Max Mata’s ball across the box was poked wide by Frank Liivak.

A fantastic save from James Talbot denied Barlow an opener, before the Dubliners enjoyed a spell of dominance of their own.

Former Sligo man Twardek found Johnny Afolabi, and the former Celtic man turned excellently, before a fantastic last ditch tackle from Danny Lafferty got in the way.

Mata headed wide from eight yards, before Rovers took the lead.

Morahan regained possession for the Bit O’Red inside the Bohs half, setting up the move.

Bolger played it to Mata, and Rovers’ leading goalscorer teed up Barlow who fired from the right, with James Talbot unable to get a hand to it.

Conditions were incredibly difficult, with a strong breeze causing havoc.

The Bit O’Red weren’t complaining, though, as they got a second before half-time.

Fantastic work from Barlow down the right side caused problems for James Talbot, and the Bohs netminder couldn’t hold onto the shot.
Mata was prowling, and poked it in with his knee, his 10th of the season.

It was 3-0 just before the hour mark. Will Fitzgerald found Radosavljevic in acres of space, and the Faroese international struck gold from 30 yards, the pick of the bunch.

Russell’s side were reduced to ten men on 62 minutes when Barlow received a second yellow card.

It made for a tough closing period as Bohs piled the pressure on.

Luke McNicholas was never really troubled, until the 87th minute.

Referee David Dunne allowed the advantage after Lukas Browning fouled Jordan Flores.

Johnny Afolabi turned excellently on the edge of the box and fired past McNicholas to give Bohs a glimmer of hope for the final few minutes, but it was too tough a task.

Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas; Johan Brannefalk, John Mahon (David Cawley 74), Nando Pijnaker, Danny Lafferty; Niall Morahan, Greg Bolger (Lukas Browning 62); Frank Liivak (Stefan Radosavljevic HT), Will Fitzgerald; Kailin Barlow, Max Mata (Owen Elding 78).

Bohemians: James Talbot; Grant Horton, Krystian Nowak, Kacper Radkowski, Paddy Kirk; Jordan Flores, Adam McDonnell (Declan McDaid HT), James Clarke (Nickson Okosun 70); Dylan Connolly, Kris Twardek (James McManus HT); Jonathan Afolabi.

Referee: David Dunne

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