- U19 Euros G10
- U19 Euros G10
- NL D Grp 1
- NL D Grp 4
- NL C Grp 3
- NL C Grp 3
- NL B Grp 1
- NL D Grp 1
- NL D Grp 4
- NL B Grp 4
- NL A Grp 1
FAI Cup R4
Date: 7:45 p.m. Aug. 27, 2011
Venue: The Showgrounds
The first half was a very quick-paced affair which saw Monaghan United players working to their limit to keep up with Sligo Rovers. Monaghan did well but if anyone looked like scoring in the first half it was Sligo. The visitors were without the cup-tied Jordan Keegan and new signing Willo McDonagh while Sligo had only one change from the line-up that lost to Derry City in the EA Sports Cup on Tuesday night; Joseph Ndo starting ahead of Matthew Blinkhorn who moved to the bench.
Sligo set the pace of the first half from the very start as they forced Monaghan to concede an early corner after a quick one-two in the box between Ndo and Rafael Cretaro. Sligo kept the pressure on for most of the first 45minutes and it showed the real strength of the Monaghan defence as they had most attacks covered.
Sligo wasted a great chance in the 7th minute as Cretaro ran right through the middle of the box to get on the end of a pass, but instead of taking the shot from close range he opted to pass the ball to the far post which was intercepted by Alan Byrne. Despite this bad decision by Cretaro, Sligo nearly got the ball in the back of the net as Byrne’s interception was hit goal wards but, fortunately for Monaghan, directly at Gabriel Sava.
Monaghan had their first real chance in the 13th minute when Ryan Brennan, who was excellent in the first half, set up John Reilly, but he shot weakly at Brendan Clarke.
Gabriel Sava, whose heroics were the crucial factor in Monaghan’s 3-1 win over Waterford United last week, was called on again after 32 minutes. Man of the match Alan Byrne’s defence was beaten for the first time by a corner from Joseph Ndo which caught everyone off guard, but Sava scrambled backwards to get a touch on the ball and Byrne finally cleared it.
Eoin Doyle had Sligo’s best chance of the half in the 34th minute when he got on the end of a dangerous cross to the near post unmarked. He attempted to tap in the ball but Sava’s quick reaction paid off as he got a hand to it and grabbed it to safety.
Monaghan United had their first corner of the match in the 42nd minute but despite Michael Isichei’s brilliant lay off to set up Keith Quinn for a shot, the ball drifted well wide.
The second half started off as a quiet affair and for the first 15 minutes it failed to regain the quick pace of the first. But in the 67th minute Monaghan United's Jason Marks was on the end of another precise pass from Ryan Brennan. Marks' cross then skidded past Keith Quinn and set up Sean Brennan for a shot but his effort stumbled wide.
Then, in the 69th minute, the half really came to life as a wayward back pass by Sligo Rovers gifted an opportunity for Monaghan striker Michael Isichei . He ran towards Brendan Clarke and touched it past him setting himself up for a shot to an open goal. However, before Isichei could get to the ball, Brendan Clarke barged him down in a desperate attempt to prevent the shot. Paul Tuite gave a straight red card and Sligo sent on substitute goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly in place of John Russell. The Monaghan free kick was taken by Sean Brennan and was hit agonisingly wide.
In the 75th minute, just as Monaghan had started to take advantage of their extra man, temper got the better of Keith Quinn who, after a rough challenge by Richie Ryan, lashed out at the Sligo player off the ball and received a straight red to even up the numbers.
After this, Sligo Rovers dominated the last 15 minutes with plenty of chances that really worked the Monaghan back line. In the 80th minute, John Dillon’s cross forced Sava to get down and intercept but he then spilled the ball before recovering quickly.
In the 81st minute, Sava was beaten by Eoin Doyle’s header and the home crowd began to cheer but the ball bounced off the very bottom of the upright and was cleared to safety. Jason McGuinness then made an impressive run through midfield in the 84th minute and took a low and hard shot that Sava saved. With five minutes added on the end of the match, Sligo took control and in the 90th minute Joseph Ndo took a free kick from the right hand side of the penalty box which hit the crossbar before going out for a goal kick.
Aidan Collins almost scored an own goal in the dying minutes as his defensive header beat 'keeper Sava but not the Monaghan crossbar. Collins then crucially intercepted the rebound before anyone in Sligo colours got the chance to get a shot off.
The two sides must now meet again on Wednesday night in what will hopefully be an equally good, if not better, match.
Sligo Rovers: Brendan Clarke, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Jason McGuinness, Gavin Peers, Joseph Ndo, John Russell (Ciaran Kelly 63), Richie Ryan (C.) (John Dillon 76) , Danny Ventre, Raffaele Cretaro, Eoin Doyle, Aaron Greene (Matthew Blinkhorn 68).
Subs Not Used: Derek Foran, Alan Kirby, Conor Powell.
Sent Off: Brendan Clarke.
Monaghan United: Gabriel Sava, Alan Byrne (C.), Aidan Collins, Shane Grimes, John Reilly, Ryan Brennan, Eric Foley, Jason Marks, Keith Quinn, Sean Brennan (Phillip Byrne 94), Michael Isichei.
Subs Not Used: Roddy Collins, Kevin Loughran, Declan O’Brien, Jake Rossiter, Paul Whelan.
Bookings: Aidan Collins, Eric Foley, Michael Isichei.
Sent Off: Keith Quinn.
Referee: Paul Tuite.
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Alan Byrne.