Date: 8 p.m. Sept. 26, 2009
Venue: The Showgrounds
Att: 2,400 (est)
The game opened with both sides going for it early on, but with chances few and far between until the quarter hour mark when Rafael Cretaro charged down a lazy clearance by the Shamrock defence and found himself 30 yards out, one-on-one with Alan Mannus in the Shamrock Rovers goal. Cretaro approached with menace, but his shot was comfortable for Mannus to deal with.
A further chance fell to Matthew Blinkhorn before Cretaro gave Sligo the lead in the "Rumble of the Rovers" in the 32nd minute. A long clearing header by Gavin Peers in the Sligo defence fell behind the Shamrock right back, allowing Cretaro to pounce on the opportunity. After composing himself, the striker stuck low and hard to Mannus' left to put Sligo in the lead.
Shamrock had two half chances in the first half, and otherwise lacked any presence at all offensively in the opening period. The first of the half chances fell to the prolific Gary Twigg, who headed the ball straight at Brush from two yards out when he really should have done better and the second fell to Stephen Bradley who blasted a free from 30 yards over the bar in the 42nd minute.
The game really got its feet in the second half, however, when the Hoops were awarded a penalty three minutes into the second half. Dave McKeon gave the decision when, in his opinion, Alan Keane took down Graham Barrett in the area after failing to spot an earlier infringement. Twigg stepped up and struck it straight down the middle as Brush dived to his left. Game on you might say.
The game ebbed and flowed for the next 20 minutes until Gavin Peers headed into his own goal as he attempted to clear a Stephen Bradley corner. His flying dive would have been a great finish if it was in the other net, but ,alas for both Sligo and Bohs supporters, it wasn't.
Sligo then piled on the pressure, going 3-4-3 and bringing on Rob Turner and Owen Morrison to try and crack the Shamrock defence once more. Their pressure didn't go far until injury time, when a succession of chances fell to the Bit O'Red. The first fell to Cretaro, who chested and volleyed from outside the area only for it to be saved by Mannus. Rommy Boco then took matters into his own hands when he marauded from defence to shoot low from thirty yards. It seemed to have caught everyone unaware, but just clipped the outside of the post. The final fell to Peers from a corner, but his header was dealt with with ease by Mannus.
Sligo Rovers: Brush; Boco, Keane (Turner, 85), Peers, Kendrick; Cash (Ryan, 69), Ventre, O'Grady, Marshall (Morrison, 71);Blinkhorn, Cretaro.
Subs not used: Kelly, Camano.
Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Treacy (Robinson, 46), Sives, Price, Flynn; Bradley, Chisholm, Rice, Cahill; Baker (Barrett, 46), Twigg (Johnston, 89).
Subs not used: Murphy, Amond.
extratime.ie Man of the Match: Gavin Peers - easily the best of a bad bunch on show this evening. Complete composure despite the own goal and is the crux of the Sligo side's recent good performances.
Referee: Dave McKeon (Dublin).