Shamrock Rovers miss chance to close the gap
Shamrock Rovers 0 Sligo Rovers 0
Shamrock Rovers missed out on a golden chance to close the gap at the top of the Premier Division table as they were held by a gutsy Sligo Rovers outfit at Tallaght.
With Dundalk dramatically dropping two points away to Derry City, the door was left open for the Hoops to increase the heat on their title rivals. However, despite creating a plethora of opportunities throughout the course of the contest, they couldn’t unlock the Sligo rearguard.
In the only change to the side that comfortably defeated St Patrick’s Athletic last Monday, debutant Graham Cummins led the hosts’ attack in place of Dan Carr.
The Cork man had a penalty claim turned down just shy of the half-hour mark, before he headed Greg Bolger’s inch-perfect delivery against the woodwork in the latter stages of the opening period. Sligo’s Ed McGinty subsequently turned away a Sean Kavanagh half-volley, ensuring his side remained on level terms at the break.
The Glasgow native came to the visitors’ rescue once again on the resumption – tipping over a spectacular long-distance drive by Jack Byrne – but Sligo remained resolute in defence.
In an attempt to inject fresh life into their challenge, Bradley introduced Carr and Gary O’Neill (a recent recruit from UCD) off the Hoops’ bench.
Both men went close to securing a breakthrough, while Cummins was also denied by an in-form McGinty. The home team continued to bombard the Sligo box as the final whistle approached, but they ultimately remain eight points adrift of the champions.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; O’Brien, Lopes, Grace, Clarke; Bolger (O’Neill, 63 mins), Finn (Carr, 58 mins); Watts (Greene, 76 mins), Byrne, Kavanagh; Cummins.
Sligo Rovers: McGinty; Callan-McFadden, Leverock, Mahon, Banks; Dunleavy, Russell (Warde, 67 mins), Cawley (Morahan, 77 mins), Parkes; Murray (Twardek, 67 mins); Coughlan.
Referee: N Doyle (Dublin).