Report: Sligo Rovers 3 – Bohemians 1

- Kevin Fagan @ The Showgrounds -

Bohemians conceded three for the first time in the league this season as they slumped to a third successive Airtricity League away defeat.

League leaders Sligo Rovers capitalised on some poor individual errors from Bohs to lead Aaron Callaghan’s men 3-0 at half-time.

A late consolation goal from Derek Pender made the scoreline respectable. But in truth, the Gypsies were lucky to avoid a more comprehensive defeat.

Former Bohs men Mark Quigley and Raffaele Cretaro came back to haunt their former employers, both getting on the scoresheet in a best-forgotten opening 45 minutes for Bohs.

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Callaghan reverted to the 3-5-2 formation that has served the Gypsies well at times this season. But the visitors in yellow were totally outclassed in the first half.

Craig Sexton replaced Andy McNulty between the sticks for Bohs, but endured a nightmare evening in the west of Ireland.

Haitian international Pascal Millien had two early strikes off target. But most of Sligo’s penetration came from their right-hand side, where Cretaro and Lee Lynch cut the Bohs backline to ribbons at times.

It was down this side that the opening goal came on 12 minutes. The excellent Lynch played an all too easy one-two with Alan Keane before delivering for Quigley to head home from eight yards.

Bohs almost got an instant reply. Dinny Corcoran’s free-kick was headed down by Evan McMillan. Dave Mulcahy did brilliantly to hook the ball over Gary Rogers, but Gavin Peers made a miraculous goal-line clearance. It was as good as it got for Bohs in the first half.

Sexton was already having a difficult evening even before the second goal arrived. The slippy conditions had caused him to lose his footing on a couple of occasions.

But when Cretaro cut inside and let a tame shot fly on 24 minutes, the keeper really should have done better. He allowed the ball to trickle through his hands into the bottom corner and the home side led 2-0.

Sligo were thoroughly in control of this game now. Joseph Ndo was wandering around the pitch at what can only be described as a walking pace – yet he still controlled the game.

He fed Lynch for Sligo’s third on 38 minutes. Lynch’s shot went through McMillan’s legs and into that same bottom corner. The half-time break couldn’t come quick enough for Callaghan.

Bohs stepped it up in the second period. Corcoran and Pender forced Rogers into a fine double save, and Bohs generally had more of the ball in the third quarter. Still, Cretaro should have given Sligo a fourth goal on the hour mark when he inexplicably headed wide from five yards out.

The Bohs fans gave it their all and created a fun atmosphere as part of the impressive 3127 crowd.

Quigley got the brunt of their banter when he was moved to the left wing. He responded to the taunts about his hairstyle with an audacious 40-yard effort that had Sexton scrambling.

Kevin Devaney came on for his Bohs debut but the game was well and truly finished by then – Sligo had noticeably taken their foot off the gas in the second period.

Bohs had the final say and capped a much better second-half performance with a late consolation from Pender.

Dave Scully should have scored at the back post, but the ball ricocheted back to Pender who buried it from eight yards.

The win sees Sligo move nine points clear at the top of the table – and surely no one at Dalymount would begrudge these Rovers the league title this season.

Bohs now face back-to-back Dublin derbies – St Pat’s at Dalymount on Friday night, followed by the big one away to Shamrock Rovers on Monday.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane (Marty Owens 85), Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Seamus Conneely; Raffaele Cretaro, Lee Lynch, Joseph Ndo (David Cawley 71), Danny Ventre, Pascal Millien (Liam Buchanan 71); Mark Quigley. Subs not used: Richard Brush, Jeff Henderson, John Dillon, Ryan Connolly.

Bohemians: Craig Sexton; Dave Mulcahy, Evan McMillan, Michael Barker, Roberto Lopes; Derek Pender, Luke Byrne (Kevin Devaney 69), Danny Joyce, Keith Buckley; Dinny Corcoran (Dave Scully 76), John O’Connor (Keith Ward 81). Subs not used: Karl Moore, Andy Mulligan, Stephen Traynor, Adam Martin.

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