Date: 8 p.m. April 18, 2009
Venue: The Showgrounds
Ref: Derek Tomney
Att: 1,900 (est)
Sligo Rovers started the much brighter side and looked quite dangerous from free kicks. Owen Morrison delivered two frees after successive fouls from Ken Oman on the edge of the area. The first was net bound but for the head of an onrushing Conor O’Grady which took it away from its path to the top right hand corner of the Bohs’ goal. The second was a direct free from twenty yards out which tipped the top of the crossbar as it went over.
The Gypsies first threatened the Sligo goal on the twenty sixth minute when Gary Deegan attempted a half volley on the turn which had Sligo keeper Richard Brush at full stretch. A minute after the Deegan shot, Sligo winger Sean Doherty crossed the ball from the right for the head of Romauld Boco, who failed to hit the target.
Bohs then turned on the style when Jason Byrne back heel volleyed a ball into the path of an onrushing Brian Shelley on the thirty second minute. The former Drogheda man then found himself caught in two minds with only Brush to beat, and Bit O’Red centre back Gavin Peers had time to slide in to relieve the danger.
The Boco-Doherty partnership nearly paid dividends for Sligo on the thirtieth minute, when the winger found the Benin international in the box again. Boco’s header this time was on target, but Brian Murphy was equal to it.
The second half started as the first ended, with both sides playing very positively and trading bouts of pressure but chances were few and far between for both sides. The first chance of the half fell to Gary Deegan in the 67th minute as he stormed into the Sligo box from the right and shot low. His attempt though was blocked by Peers, who once again slid in to save the day.
Rovers had their first opportunity of the second half when Oman again clumsily fouled on the edge of the box, and Owen Morrison was given another chance at goal. From the right of the target, twenty yards out, Morrison repeated the feats of his earlier free as his shot just touched the top the bar as it dipped down.
Both sides continued to play their open, free flowing football. The Rovers goal was threatened on the eighty second minute when Killian Brennan struck a trademark free from straight in front of the posts. His free almost silenced the home fans but failed to dip enough.
Bohemians pressed for the winner but the home side held out for a draw in the game that really could have seen either side as winner.
Sligo Rovers: Brush, Boco, Holmes, Peers, Keane, O’Grady (Torpey 40), Doherty, Ryan, Feeney, Cretaro, Morrison (Cash 72) Subs not Used: Feeney, McLoughlin, Schlingermann.
Bohemians B Murphy, Heary, Shelly, Oman, McGuinness, Ndo, Keegan, Deegan, Carey (Brennan 63), Crowe (Murphy 77), J Byrne Subs not Used: Gregg, Powell, S Byrne.
Referee: D Tomney
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gavin Peers