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Dublin: 17°C Sunday 13 June 2021

Ventre Vidi Vici as captain Danny sends Sligo Rovers into FAI Cup final

The Bit O’Red captain opened the scoring for the home side and two late strikes settled the tie.

Danny Ventre of Sligo celebrates scoring the first goal of the game as Rovers players appeal for offside.
Danny Ventre of Sligo celebrates scoring the first goal of the game as Rovers players appeal for offside.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Updated at 17:52

SLIGO ROVERS BEAT 10-man Shamrock Rovers 3 — 0 in their FAI Cup semi-final encounter at the Showgrounds.

Danny Ventre broke the deadlock midway through a tense half in front of a packed out ground. A 73rd minute Alan Keane penalty, just after Conor McCormack was dismissed, and a late Anthony Elding strike settled affairs. Sligo will now face Drogheda United in the FAI Cup final on 3 November.

Rovers had the better of the opening exchanges as Billy Dennehy and Ronan Finn tested the home side down the flanks. The first chance of note came after 16 minutes when Finn found Billy Stewart 10 yards from goal. The midfielder sliced his effort but the Dubliners got a second bite of the cherry and Shane Robinson flicked a header just wide.

The close call sparked Bit O’Red into action and Raff Cretaro got down the right wing and squared for Kieran Djilali. The forward’s effort was tame, however, and was hacked off the line by McCormack.

Sligo took the lead on 25 minutes when Aaron Greene careened up the left and crossed for club captain Danny Ventre, who mistimed a shot before making no mistake from six yards out.

Hoops boss Trevor Croly would have been aware of the ominous defensive record of the westerners at home before kick-off but he urged his players against panic. Sligo have kept 15 clean sheets at the Showgrounds this season but the Tallaght side have displayed attacking verve this season to give them hope going into the second half.

imageSligo’s Joseph Ndo contests a tackle with Shamrock Rovers captain Shane Robinson. INPHO/Donall Farmer

Rovers were eager to get forward at the beginning of the second half but the space they left behind their advanced midfield was exploited by the reigning league champions. Danny North had a firm drive saved by Richard Brush in the Hoops goal. The striker got his legs in a tangle, five minutes later, and scuppered what would have been a one-on-one chance.

The best the Hoops could muster, in response, was a Billy Dennehy shot and a wild Robinson effort. Jeff Henderson, who had received treatment at four different times for a head injury, was given a hero’s reception as he left the field but Mark Quigley was not given a warm welcome back to Sligo.

The jeers turned to cheers on 73 minutes when McCormack bundled over Cretaro in the box. The defender protested his innocence but referee Alan Kelly looked to have made the right call, including the red card for McCormack. Alan Keane dispatched the penalty to make it 2 — 0. Elding came on for Cretaro and put the red cherry on top with a low finish after Brush was left in no-man’s land.

Earlier today, Drogheda United beat nine-man Dundalk to reach the final at Lansdowne Road next month.

*First published at 16:50

Kenny in sideline outburst as Drogheda beat 9-man Dundalk to reach FAI Cup Final

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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