Sligo Rovers produced a fine away performance at Oriel Park to complete a domestic double over Dundalk and guarantee their highest SSE Airtricity League finish since 2013. Dundalk began the brighter of the sides with Stefan Colovic drawing a foul fr
Sligo Rovers produced a fine away performance at Oriel Park to complete a domestic double over Dundalk and guarantee their highest SSE Airtricity League finish since 2013.
Dundalk began the brighter of the sides with Stefan Colovic drawing a foul from John Mahon after 2 minutes, giving the home-side their first opportunity to get the ball into the Sligo Rovers box. The subsequent free kick was dealt with comfortably by Rovers’ ‘keeper Ed McGinty before a speculative effort from range by Sean Gannon.
Sligo Rovers’ first half-chance came after 8 minutes when a Ronan Coughlan cross was glanced wide by Ryan De Vries. It wasn’t long before the Bit ‘O Red found themselves in front through a Jesse Devers’ cross-come-shot which sailed over the head of Gary Rogers to give Rovers the lead on 10 minutes.
Dundalk pressed for an equaliser on 23 minutes with Nathan Oduwa’s dangerous cross cut out by McGinty with Patrick Hoban lurking. Brian Gartland came closest to leveling proceedings on 42 minutes when his header drew a superb save from McGinty.
The second half began as the first half ended with The Lilywhites on top but they continued to struggle to find a breakthrough. Rovers’ countered with Ronan Coughlan on 55 minutes before he was fouled in a dangerous central area but Junior put the resulting free kick well over.
Dundalk struggled to find any real rhythm with Rovers always looking a threat on the counter in a half of few chances. The Town waited until the 88th minute before drawing McGinty into action as he reacted quickly to deny Gannon from an in-swinging corner at the far post.
Dundalk’s hopes of a late equaliser were ended when Ronan Coughlan finished brilliantly in the 95th minute to seal the points for Sligo Rovers and guarantee a fourth-place finish which could see Rovers compete in Europe for the first time since 2013.
Results elsewhere sealed Dundalk’s third place finish in what has been a disappointing domestic season despite their European adventures. They now turn their attention to next weekend’s Extra.ie FAI Cup Semi Final away to Bohemians.