/ Soccer

Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Sligo Rovers

Updated: Tuesday, 27 Apr 2010 09:43

Michael O'Neill's side secured a point at home to Sligo Rovers
Michael O'Neill's side secured a point at home to Sligo Rovers

An attendance of 3,175 saw Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers share the points after an enthralling Premier Division game at Tallaght Stadium.

The home side opened the scoring on six minutes when the unmarked Gary Twigg volleyed past Richard Brush with a cool finish from the right of the area.

Sligo were level on 36 when Padraig Amond raced onto Gary McCabe's pass and slotted past Alan Mannus into the bottom right corner from inches inside the area.

There were plenty of chances for both sides in an entertaining encounter but neither could find a winner.

Sligo goalkeeper Brush was a busy man from the start as the home side forced a series of corners. One of those fell to Billy Dennehy, on four minutes, who sent the ball to Thomas Stewart but Brush saved well from the former Linfield man’s header.

Brush was beaten just two minutes later when Twigg got on the end of a long Danny Murphy ball. The Scotsman took it down well, composed himself in the space afforded him by the Sligo defence who failed to pick him up, and confidently volleyed a screamer past Brush from the right of the box.

Rovers continued to dominate as the game continued, keeping Sligo back in their own half and cutting out any advances forward.

The Sligo defence contributed a little to this pressure with several back passes to Brush that he probably could have done without.

Brush made a fine save on 28 minutes when a Dennehy cross deflected out to former Sligo man Chris Turner, who turned and slammed a terrific shot on target. Then, on 31, Brush got a hand to another Dennehy cross before Twigg could do any damage.

The loose ball fell to Ollie Cahill but his strike went wide.

Although the home side were having the best of the play, Sligo were coming more and more into the game and snatched an equaliser on 36 when Amond raced onto McCabe’s pass after good Danny Ventre work and slotted past Alan Mannus into the bottom right corner from just inside the area.

The Dubliners were dealt a blow on the stroke of half time when Turner picked up a knock to the leg. Having received treatment on the sideline for a couple of minutes, he was replaced in first-half injury time by Stephen Rice.

Having finally made his debut on Friday against St Pat’s, Sligo fans were hoping that Joseph Ndo would produce some of his trademark magic.

After a quite first 45 minutes, he showed exceptional class on 57 minutes to sidestep Pat Flynn and create a good opening – but after the hard work all he could manage then was to cross the ball straight to Rovers defender Murphy.

On 58, Mannus was forced to save from McCabe from close range with Rovers captain Dan Murray clearing up the rebound.

Brush had a less taxing start to the second half than he had for the opening 45 but was on top form on 67 minutes when he saved with his legs after his defence had allowed Murphy to run in from the left and unleash a low drive.

Rovers had a free kick on 90 from Dessie Baker, but when met by Stephen Rice all he could do under pressure was knock the ball into touch.

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Flynn, Price, Murray, Murphy; Cahill (Barrett 73), Chambers, Turner (Rice 45+1), Dennehy; Twigg (Baker 60), Stewart.

Sligo Rovers: Brush; Whelan, Ventre, Peers, Keane; Ryan, Dillon (Doyle 83), Doninger (O’Grady 73), Ndo; Amond (Blinkhorn 75), McCabe.

Referee: D Hancock.

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