Date: 8 p.m. June 5, 2009
Venue: The Showgrounds
Ref: Anthony Buttimer
Att: 1,800 (est)
Derry started the game the better, as Sligo were evidently stretched by their small squad only managing to name two players on the bench. The first chance came to the away side, when David Scullion’s pot shot was saved by Sligo keeper Richard Brush, Danny Ventre clearing. Rovers did show positive signs in a barren first half, Owen Morrison’s free kick eventually found Shaun Holmes, who’s tame shot limped its way to Derry keeper Ger Doherty.
Derry took the lead on thirteen minutes. Sammy Morrow placing his header past Brush in the home goal, after a cross from Stephen Gray. The home defence claimed the ball had not gone in, but the linesman on the Treacy Avenue side raised his flag to confirm the ball had infact crossed the line. It was mostly Derry for the second half, although Richie Ryan, Raf Cretaro and Owen Morrison all had chances to level for Rovers. Derry, for their part had Morrw, Scullion and McGlynn to blame for not giving them a more substantial and deserved lead.
Sligo came out all guns blazing in the second half, with Shaun Holmes and Steve Feeney both having notable chances, each time though Doherty found it easy to deal with. Raf Cretaro should have equalised for Rovers in the 44th minute when his shot from twenty yards was turned around the Derry post by Doherty. Sligo pushed for an equaliser time and time again, and former Derry winger Morrison found himself with a free header in the sixty first minute, only for him to blaze the ball high over the cross-bar.
The game threatened to get nasty in the 72nd minute when a terrible tackle from Stephen Gray on Jason Noctor ended up in a brawl at the half way line. Even Gerry Carr, the Sligo assistant, got involved in trying to calm both sides down. Both Gray and Noctor received their marching orders from referee Anthony Buttimer, while Peter Hutton was also booked for arguing with Buttimer over his decision.
The Bit O’Red had a claim for a penalty turned down eleven minutes before the end, as Gavin Peers seemed to be bundled over by Hutton, though both the linesman and referee didn’t seem to be interested. For all their efforts Sligo never got the wanted equaliser, although they had Derry at sixes and sevens when Steve Feeney’s header almost had the home fans in raptures, however, his effort at the back post was easily caught by Doherty. One last attack fizzled out as Brian Cash’s attempted first time cross ended up with the fans behind the goal.
Sligo Rovers: Brush, Holmes,Peers,Ventre,Noctor, Cash, Morrison, Ryan, Keohane, Feeney, Cretaro Subs: Chris Kelly, Ciaran Kelly
Derry City: Doherty, McCallion, Delaney, Hutton, Gray, Higgins, Morrow, McGlynn, Deery, Farren, Scullion Subs: McCrystal, Martyn, O’Brien, Jennings, McClean
Extratime.ie Man Of The Match: Gavin Peers
Referee: Anthony Buttimer