Date: 7:45 p.m. July 26, 2009
Venue: The Showgrounds
Ref: Paul Tuite
Att: 1,800 (est)
Within three minutes of kick-off, Sligo were literally running around Pats, as Owen Morrison nutmegged Stephen Maher in a move that set the tone for the evening. Ten minutes after Maher was embarrassed by Morrisson, Blinkhorn lined up with Conor O’Grady as the new recruit put the captain through one on one with Gary Rogers in the Pats goal. Rogers snuffed out the subsequent shot to keep the score sheet clean, but it didn’t last for long as two minutes later Eoin Doyle had scored on his debut for the Bit O’Red.
After a low ball to the left wing putting Doyle through, Rogers found himself one on one with a Sligo player again within two minutes. The debutant Doyle then duly delivered a fantastic finish from the corner of the Pat’s box as he curled the ball around Rogers’ reach, with the ball just nipping inside Rogers’ left hand post.
Pat’s looked very lacklustre this evening, and Rovers had two more chances which fell to Blinkhorn and Cretaro before Pats had their first shot of the evening on the thirty fifth minute. Fabio O’Brien hit a header wide when he was found by Stephen Maher with a pinpoint ball from the right of midfield.
A long of period of time then passed until Pat’s had their first real attempt on the Sligo goal which came in the fifty second minute when Darragh Ryan hit a low and hard shot from thirty yards which Richard Brush scrambled to put into safety. It was all in vain however as Sligo extended their lead to two on the fifty ninth minute when Matthew Blinkhorn got his first for Rovers.
Following a majestic run by Rommy Boco on the right wing, Owen Morrisson chipped the ball for the Benin international to run onto just on the right of the side of the side of the Saints box. Rogers came for it, and really should have collected but Boco won the race and the ball then bobbled and fell nicely for Blinkhorn to chip the ball over everybody and into the net from the D outside the Pats area.
Sligo then put the game to bed in the remaining half an hour of the game as they killed Pat’s attempts at a revival by restricting them to long range shots. Stuart Byrne had a volley from thirty yards that troubles only the bystanders behind the goal while Byrne’s replacement Bobby Ryan linked up well to set up Fabio O’Brien with chances twice in a minute, but Fabio failed to deliver on both occasions.
Following a foul by Rob Turner seconds after his introduction and a fraca involving Ryan Guy and Rafael Cretaro, the game threatened to boil over. Both assistants, Jody Byrne for Pat’s and Gerry Carr for Rovers were banished from the touchline by referee Paul Tuite.
Minutes later, Turner hit the bar when he was slipped through by youngster Dean Marshall, who made a very impressive home debut for the Bit O’Red. Credit must go to Rogers for tipping Turner’s shot on to the bar in what was a fantastic save.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Romauld Boco. This was tough. Sligo played fantastic as a unit, with nearly everyone shining on the night. Morrisson, Blinkhorn and Doyle were particularly impressive while Dean Marshall was fantastic for all of the fifteen minutes he was on the pitch. The King of Benin however was a rock at right back, and seems to be flourishing there. With flair, flicks and a fast pair of legs, Boco at right back seems almost a waste but yet makes perfect sense at the same time.
Sligo Rovers (4-4-2): Brush, Boco, Keane, Ventre, Kendrick, Morrison (Marshall 75), O'Grady, McGrath, Doyle, Cretaro, Blinkhorn (Turner 85).
Subs not used: Devaney, Noctor, Chris Kelly.
St Patrick's Athletic (4-4-2): Rogers, Maher (Fitzpatrick 58), Harris, Lynch, D Ryan, Partridge, Byrne (B Ryan 73), Cawley, O'Connor, O'Brien, Guy.
Subs not used: Haverty, Clarke, Leech.
Referee: P Tuite.
Attendance: 1700 (est)