Sligo Rovers took another step towards to a first League title in 35 years when they defeated Bohemians 3-1 on Monday to consolidate their position at the top of the Airtricity Premier Division.
Three first half goals, in front of a bumper 3,127 crowd ensured Sligo remain in a commanding position and some of the football they produced during the opening 45 minutes meant they were deserved winners.
Despite the blow of losing Romauld Boco to Accrington Stanley a week previously, Rovers took control straight from the start.
Raffael Cretaro started in a wide midfield position and he had an excellent game for the home side while once again Mark Quigley was in top form.
The heavy rainfall before kick off made matters difficult for both sides but the home side were quicker to get in to their stride as the midfield combination of Joseph Ndo, Pascal Millien and Lee Lynch caused all manner of problems for Bohs.
Bohemians were the last side to register a league win against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds, winning in August of last year, but they never looked likely to repeat that result on Monday night.
After plenty of early pressure the early breakthrough the home crowd was hoping for arrived when Mark Quigley rose to meet Lee Lynch’s cross and his header found its way past Bohs goalkeeper Craig Sexton.
Since the season ending injury sustained by top scorer Danny North in July Quigley has been outstanding and his goal on Monday night was his 11th goal of the season and it was the fourth successive home game in which he has been on target.
Bohs came close to equalising but were denied when Gavin Peers acrobatically cleared a Danny Joyce effort off the goal line but there wasn’t long to wait for the game’s next goal.
Alan Keane’s good work on the right wing resulted in Cretaro being afforded the opportunity to shoot from the edge of the box. On a very difficult night for goalkeepers Cretaro’s shot skidded on the surface before bouncing over the arm of the diving Sexton.
The three points were all but secured seven minutes before half time when Lee Lynch shot from a similar position to Cretaro and again Sexton was powerless to keep it out.
The second half failed to live up to the excitement of the opening half although a speculative Mark Quigley effort had the entire crowd off their feet only to see a back peddling Sexton do just enough to divert the shot away from his goal.
In the third minute of injury time Bohs scored a late consolation goal through Keith Ward who fired home from close range.
With a healthy nine point lead, Sligo will be looking to further consolidate their position on Monday next when they host Dundalk in The Showgrounds.
Gary Rogers, Alan Keane (Martin Owens 85 mins), Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Seamus Conneely, Danny Ventre (David Cawley 70 mins), Joseph Ndo, Pascal Millien (Liam Buchanan 70 mins), Raffael Cretaro, Lee Lynch, Mark Quigley.