Sligo Rovers moved to the top of the Airtricity Premier Division with a 2-1 defeat of Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray on Friday night. The men from the West took the lead on 10 minutes through Raffaele Cretaro but Bray equalised through Kieran Marty Waters on nineteen minutes. Danny North’s 49th minute goal gave Sligo the victory and kept their unbeaten run going.
It was a lively start to the game and Bray did have the first opportunity after just one minute. John Mulroy gifted the ball to Sean Houston who fired the ball straight at Gary Rogers. Sligo then ran down the field just four minutes later and Bray ‘keeper Darren Quigley had to punch the ball clear after Alan Keane forced the ball in to the box.
The deadlock was broken after ten minutes through the Tubbercurry tornado Raffaele Cretaro. A ball down the right from defender Alan Keane was headed in to the net by Cretaro. Sligo did have the Bray defence under pressure but it was a defensive error from the visitors that gave the seagulls the equaliser in the 19th minute. Gavin Peers’ under-hit pass back let Kieran Marty Waters in and he slipped the ball in past Gary Rogers in the Rovers goal.
Pat Devlin’s side went close on goal soon after when Adam Hanlon made his way past Iarfhlaith Davoren on the right and had a good effort on goal which was pushed over by Rovers ‘keeper Gary Rogers. Former St. Patrick’s Athletic man Danny North went agonisingly close to giving Sligo the lead again when John Dillon gifted him a lovely ball which he smashed over Darren Quigley’s goal.
There was less urgency about Sligo after the Bray goal but Wanderers were not threatening enough up front to put themselves ahead. Kieran Marty Waters’ effort towards the end of the first-half failed to challenge Gary Rogers in goal as he hit it a country mile over the bar.
It was Ian Baraclough’s side who found themselves in the lead early in the second half. A Joseph Ndo free-kick on 49 minutes from the edge of the box was knocked in to the net by Grimsby man Danny North to give him his fifth goal in four games for the Bit O’Red.
The Sligo defence was forced in to action when the impressive John Mulroy played the ball down the left to Adam Hanlon whose cross was intercepted and knocked behind by Alan Keane. Jason Byrne was kept quiet for the majority of the game but did have a decent opportunity which he failed to hit on target and could only watch on as it slipped wide.
Although the Seagulls had their share of chances, they were wasteful and were not converting any opportunities. Marty Waters did try to lob Gary Rogers, however, but that was nowhere near the target. There just wasn’t enough time for Wanderers to get their way back in to the game meaning that Rovers headed back West with all three points.
Bray Wanderers: Darren Quigley; David Webster, Danny O’Connor, Pierce Sweeney, Kevin Knight; Adam Hanlon (Daire Doyle, 89), John Mulroy (Jonathan Kelty, 89), Dean Zambra, Sean Houston, Kieran Marty Waters (Anthony Bolger, 89); Jason Byrne.
Subs not used: Brian Kane, Ian Byrne, Conor Butler, Stephen Last.
Bookings: Kevin Knight (64), Danny O’Connor (80).
Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Raffaele Cretaro (Ross Gaynor, 68), Joseph Ndo, John Dillon (David Cawley, 85), Lee Lynch, Romauld Boco; Danny North.
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Liam Martin, Mark McGoldrick, Ben McGarry, Martin Owens.
Referee: Alan Kelly.
Attendance: 1,500 (estimate).
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Romauld Boco (Sligo Rovers).