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Stephen Bradley suffers first league defeat as Sligo win thriller at the Showgrounds

Dave Robertson’s side enjoyed a 3-2 win over the Dublin side.

Sligo are now just two points behind their opponents in the table.
Sligo are now just two points behind their opponents in the table.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Sligo Rovers 3

Shamrock Rovers 2

SLIGO ROVERS HAVE added their hat into the ring for European places following their 3-2 defeat of Shamrock Rovers in a thrilling encounter at the Showgrounds this evening.

The Hoops took the lead in the first-half through Sean Boyd, but Achille Campion levelled the scoring before half-time.

John Russell made it 2-1 just after half-time, before Raffaele Cretaro made it 3-1. The Hoops made it 3-2 with minutes left on the clock thanks to Aaron Dobbs, but it wasn’t enough for the Dubliners.

Sligo Rovers’ home form has proved difficult to beat this year, with their last defeat at the Showgrounds coming in their opening game of the season against Shamrock Rovers.

Dave Robertson’s side almost got off to the perfect start against the Hoops, as a solo run from Liam Martin was brought to an abrupt halt by David Webster.

New signing Campion’s free-kick looked destined for the top corner, but the hand of Craig Hyland just forced it away from the danger zone.

Stephen Bradley’s side managed to ride the storm of the Sligo attacks and managed to make use of their own.

Patrick Cregg’s through ball fell to Boyd, who only had to lift his effort over the onrushing Micheal Schlingermann to make it 1-0 to the visitors.

The game fizzled out somewhat, but French striker Campion brought it back to life just seconds before referee Graham Kelly blew up for half-time.

An excellent cross from Kieran Sadlier was headed straight past Hyland by the former Port Vale striker, with his second goal for the club.

The 26-year-old thought he had given the Bit o’Red an early second-half lead when he had the ball in the back of the net again, only to see the linesman’s flag had been raised.

The hosts looked the more likely to score next as they piled the pressure on Stephen Bradley’s side.

Tobi Adebayo-Rowling’s cross was flapped at by Hyland, with the ball rolling into the path of Russell who had no issue hitting the target to make it 2-1.

The Bit o’Red weren’t done just yet, though, as they went in search of their third of the night. And it came from club stalwart, Cretaro.

Midfielder Sadlier found the Tubbercurry man on the right side of the box, and his first effort was saved by Hyland, but he made no mistake with his follow-up shot, tucking it into the back of the net to make it 3-1.

The visitors, to their credit, continued to try claw their way back into the game and made it 3-2 on 83 minutes.

Substitute Dobbs got on the end of a Simon Madden cross, beating Schlingermann at close range to make it a nervy last few minutes.

Sligo Rovers: Micheal Schlingermann, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Jimmy Keohane, Gavin Peers, Michael Leahy, Craig Roddan, John Russell (Gary Boylan, 87), Kieran Sadlier, Liam Martin, Achille Campion (Phil Roberts, 85), Raffaele Cretaro (Mikey Place, 88).

Subs: Ciaran Nugent, Pat McCann, Daniel Kearns, Paul Doyle.

Shamrock Rovers: Craig Hyland, Simon Madden, David O’Connor, Robert Cornwall, David Webster, Stephen McPhail, Trevor Clarke, Brandon Miele (Gary McCabe, 55), Sean Boyd (Dean Clarke, 62), Gary Shaw (Aaron Dobbs, 75).

Subs: Barry Murphy, James Doona, Gavin Brennan, Shane Hanney.

Referee: Graham Kelly.

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Jessica Farry

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