Sligo Rovers travelled to Tallaght on Good Friday in good spirits following their win over Bohemians a week earlier but it proved to be a frustrating night for the Bit O’Red as Shamrock Rovers claimed a deserved victory.
Shamrock Rovers 1
Sligo Rovers 0
John Russell's 23rd minute red card, for a rash tackle on Roberto Lopes, proved to be costly for the visitors as they had started brightly but with only 10 men looked to be out of their depth.
In the absence of a new manager being appointed following Dave Robertson's departure, Declan McIntyre continued as caretaker manager. McIntyre would have hoped to see his side build on the encouraging showing they produced a week earlier against Bohemians when they emerged with a 2-0 win but after Russell's red card a home win was always the most likely outcome.
The decisive goal, scored by Brandon Miele, arrived just three minutes into the second half. The visitors had done well to frustrate the hoops during the opening half but loose defending from a corner meant Miele was free at the edge of the box and when the ball broke to him he clinically dispatched his shot.
Were it not for the heroics of Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Micheal Schlingermann the final score would have been much more emphatic. Throughout the second half he made a series of wonderful saves as he staged a one man resistance to frustrate Ronan Finn, Graham Burke, Gary Shaw and Sean Boyd.
The defeat means Sligo Rovers lie in 11th place in the table, just ahead of Galway who are rooted to the foot of the table. With three teams set to face the drop to the first division McIntyre will be hoping to see a change in fortune at The Showgrounds soon.
Sligo Rovers were back in action on Monday night when they travelled to face Finn Harps in the second round of the EA Sports Cup.
Rovers made a number of changes to their starting line-up with former U-19 players John Mahon and Jack Keaney made their debuts for the club while Paul Doyle made his first start for the Bit O'Red.
Unfortunately the game was overshadowed by a horrible collision between Finn Harps goalkeeper Harry Doherty and defender Packie Mailey with two ambulances offering assistance on the pitch meaning the game was delayed for 25 minutes. It was reported in the aftermath of the game that both players were recovering well.
Thanks to everyone for the messages and calls from last night and today, been a rough 24 hours but out of hospital now ⚪️ #UTH— HarryDoherty (@Harry_Doherty_) April 18, 2017
When the game resumed Mathew Stevens scored a late winner to secure Rovers' place in the next round.
Always great to get a goal but even more special when it's the winner ⚽️#bitored— Mathew Stevens (@mattystevens98) April 17, 2017
On Saturday Rovers host Derry City at The Showgrounds, kick-off 7.45pm.