/ Soccer

FK Banga 0-0 Sligo Rovers

Updated: Friday, 04 Jul 2014 07:33 | Comments

Sligo's Evan McMillan takes a tumble
Sligo's Evan McMillan takes a tumble

Sligo Rovers were held to a scoreless draw by Lithuanian side FK Banga in their Europa League first qualifying round, first leg tie at Gargzdai Stadium. 

Bit O'Red manager John Coleman rued some missed chances from his side but he is confident they can raise their game for the return leg at The Showgrounds next week.

“The cutting edge wasn’t there tonight and we’re slightly disappointed with that," said Coleman. "But I’m delighted with the effort and delighted that we got a clean sheet.

“I’d like to think we’d be a different proposition at home. I know that we’re better than what we showed from an attacking perspective. Hopefully, we’ll rectify that next Thursday.

“We’ve got to believe that at home, with a bouncing crowd behind us, we can really get at them, ” added Coleman, whose side host Banga next Thursday at The Showgrounds. 

Sligo went in search of their first ever European victory away from home and almost took the lead on four minutes.

David Cawley's shot from the edge of the Banga area was deflected away by Zaurbek Karkusov. 

Following a strong early showing from the Bit O'Red, the away side allowed Banga to become more comfortable.

Evaldas Grigaitis' effort from distance sailed over Gary Rogers' crossbar on 12 minutes. 

Both Danny North and John Russell tested Banga goalkeeper Sarunas Jurevicius, but the home side's netminder was equal to both attempts. 

Sligo almost gifted their opponents a lead on the half-hour mark. Raffaele Cretaro's miss-placed pass was cut out by Grigaitis, who produced a great save from Rogers. 

Cretaro's low shot towards the bottom corner was palmed away by Jurevicius moments later. 



The Banga keeper denied Cawley once more as the teams went in at the break with the scores level. 

Sligo almost unlocked the door five minutes into the second half.

Cretaro's cross from right was directed towards goal by North, but the 26 year old found Jurevicius in good form once more as he tipped the ball over the crossbar.

Sergii Shevchuk blasted his 52nd-minute volley high above Rogers' goal, while Paul O'Conor's speculative effort from 20 yards fizzed past the Banga goalkeeper's front post. 

Seamus Conneely spurned a glorious chance to put Rovers into the driving seat in the 72nd minute. 

Ross Gaynor's corner found its way through a host of defenders before Conneely's drive was blocked by a Banga defender.

Conneely pounced on the loose ball but Jurevicius once more denied Sligo as he did well to smother the former Sheffield United man's effort. 

Grigaitis was given plenty of time and space inside the Sligo penalty area.

But the winger could only lash his volley high above Rogers' goal as Banga continued their search for an opener against the run of play. 

John Russell headed Djilali's cross from the left narrowly over while Aslanbek Tcallagov passed up a great chance to win the game right at the death, the substitute failing to find the bottom corner. 

FK Banga: Jurevicius Sarunas; Arlauskis Davydas, Karkusuv Zaurbek, Epifanov Alexey, Urbaitis Karulis; Khablov Maksym, Butkus Andrius, Shevchuk Sergii, Grigaitis Evaldas; Zagurskas Eivinas (for Tcallagov Aslanbek 78), Staponka Aurelijus. 

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers; Alan Keane (for Danny Ledwith 90), Seamus Conneely, Evan McMillan, Ross Gaynor; Raffaele Cretaro (Aaron Greene 74), David Cawley, Paul O'Conor, John Russell, Kieran Djilali; Danny North. 

Referee: Teisajes Suren Baliyan (Armenia). 

User contributions and/or comments do not, unless specifically stated, represent the views of RTÉ.ie or RTÉ.
Click here for Terms of use