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A Brandon Miele strike in the first half was enough to hand Shamrock Rovers a confidence boosting 1-0 win over ten-man Sligo Rovers in their SSE Airtricity League game at Tallaght Stadium on Good Friday.
Miele's goal came after a first half in which the home side regularly threatened but failed to do much in front of goal, with their best chance coming courtesy of a Gary Shaw header in the 17th minute.
The second half was more of the same, with Sligo goalkeeper Michael Schlingermann making save after save to deny Rovers. Two point blank headers for Graham Burke and Shaw somehow failed to find the back of the net, after a great Schlingermann save and the intervention of the crossbar respectively.
The opening exchanges saw Stephen Bradley's men holding much of the early possession, and they got their first shot away with a curling effort by Shaw that went over the right corner.
A fantastic challenge in the centre of the park from captain Ronan Finn sent Burke away on the break in the 11th minute but he failed to find the mark, before a well taken corner from Burke somehow missed the head of defender Danny Devine.
Shaw's chance came after a great run down the right from Simon Madden, who enjoyed much freedom on the flanks in this game, but the connection on the header was off and he put it over the bar.
Four minutes later, however, Sligo were reduced to ten men after a mistimed challenge by John Russell on Roberto Lopes.
The Hoops player beat Russell to an open ball and Russell connected with the defender's ankle, studs showing, and was given his marching orders by referee Neil Doyle.
Miele had two efforts after the 30 minute mark set up by great through balls splitting the Sligo back line, but the first was denied by the offside flag and, on the second, he delivered a weak shot as the Bit O' Red clung on to the clean sheet.
A pull back from Madden to Finn bought the Hoops another chance in the 37th minute but again the finish was lacking, before Sligo actually had the ball in the net on the break a minute later, courtesy of Jonah Ayunga – but it was ruled out for offside.
Wake up call well and truly received, the home side took the lead just three minutes after the break when, moments after Burke drew a good save from Schlingermann to produce a corner, a clever routine between Trevor Clarke and Simon Madden found Miele unmarked 25 yards out of goal. He unleashed a thunderous shot into the far right top corner to put the Tallaght side in front.
The game quickly evolved into a siege on the away goal, and Schlingermann produced a moment of magic in the 64th minute when he clawed a Burke header out of the goal from underneath his body, swinging his left arm down to pull off the feat, before rising to Finn's effort from 18 yards directly afterwards.
Another Finn effort was blocked and Schlingermann's brave dive out at the feet of Miele kept Sligo in the game, as wayward finishing cost the Hoops.
With 20 minutes to go a pinpoint cross from Madden found the head of Shaw, whose header beat the ‘keeper but inexplicably rebounded off the inside of the crossbar and out.
Schlingermann would continue to keep Sligo in the game, making saves from substitutes Sean Boyd and James Doona as the game wound down, but Sligo would rarely threaten the home goal as interim boss Declan McIntrye stared down the barrel of defeat after an impressive victory against Bohemians the week before.
One final wayward effort from range for David Webster was fired well over as the Hoops took away all three points in the end, a comfortable win that really should have come with a larger scoreline.
Shamrock Rovers: Tomer Chencinski; David Webster, Roberto Lopes, Danny Devine (Sam Bone 82), Simon Madden; Trevor Clarke, Ronan Finn, Brandon Miele (James Doona 85), Darren Meenan; Gary Shaw (Sean Boyd 73), Graham Burke.
Subs Not Used: Kevin Horgan, Luke Byrne, David McAllister, Dean Dillon.
Booked: Trevor Clarke (19), Sean Boyd (90+3).
Sligo Rovers: Michael Schlingermann; Toby Adebayo-Rowling,, Mick Leahy, Kyle McFadden, Gary Boylan; Liam Martin (Daniel Kearns 72), Craig Rodden, John Russell, Kieran Sadlier; Raffaele Cretaro (Chris Kenny 60), Jonah Ayunga.
Subs Not Used: Shaun Patton, Regan Donelon, Paul Doyle, Jack Keaney, Matthew Stevens.
Booked: Liam Martin (43), Raffaele Cretaro (50).
Sent Off: John Russell (23).
Referee: Neil Doyle
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Michael Schlingermann (Sligo Rovers)