Danny North's 49th minute strike earned Sligo Rovers a 1-0 victory over Monaghan United in Gortakeegan tonight.

Rovers dominated the match but wasted several second-half opportunities as Ross Gaynor struck a post with a 25-yard strike and North and Lee Lynch wasted good chances.

Monaghan disappointed in attack with a late handball appeal the most they had to shout for in a poor game.

The first half was a cagey affair with both sides looking to break on the counter.

 

What chances there were went the way of Sligo Rovers. In the 32nd minute a short kick-out by Monaghan keeper Chris Bennion came to Lee Lynch who played in Danny North but he shot wide of the post.

Three minutes later a Joseph Ndo corner from the right found Raffaele Cretaro in space in the box and he played it back to Lynch whose shot on the bounce was turned over the crossbar by Bennion.

Just before half-time Sligo looked to be getting on top as they forced three corners in succession but nothing came of them.

Sligo continued this momentum into the second half and got the breakthrough goal in the 49th minute.

Cretaro won the ball on the left and played in North who opened up for a shot which beat Bennion despite the best efforts of Monaghan defender Conor McMahon.

Sligo were now well on top and could have doubled their lead in the 75th minute when Lynch squared the ball for Ross Gaynor whose side-footed effort was brilliantly saved by Bennion.

The net-minder then reacted well to save Lynch’s follow-up. Gaynor went close again in the 84th minute.

Romauld Boco with a cross from the right that was met by an angled left foot volley from the former Dundalk player that hit off the inside of the post.

Monaghan did push forward more in the last few minutes of the game but the best they could manage was an off target shot from Owen Humphrey.

Next up for Sligo they are home to Dundalk while Monaghan are next away to UCD.

Monaghan United: Chris Bennion; William McDonagh, Conor McMahon (Jason Marks 90), Alan Byrne; Conor Murphy, Robert Bayly, Jordan Keegan, Stephen Maher, Keith Quinn; Gareth O'Connor (Shane Dunne 68), Anthony Griffiths (Owen Humphrey 68).

Subs Not Used: Roddy Collins, Darragh Raynor, Michael Schlngermann.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Romauld Boco, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness, Iarfhlaith Davoren; Danny Ventre, Ross Gaynor, Lee Lynch, Joseph Ndo; Danny North, Rafael Cretaro (John Dillon 76).

Subs Not Used: David Cawley, Liam Martin, Mark McGoldrick, Marty Owens, Jake Dykes, Richard Brush.