Sligo Rovers have edged nearer their first Premier Division title since 1977, following this well-earned point in a 0-0 draw against Cork City at Turner’s Cross.

The visitors dominated the opening half with their slick passing game, and they went close on a couple of occasions through Danny Ventre and Raffaele Cretaro.

Cork were much better after the break, having brought on substitute Colin Healy at the break, and they nearly snatched a winner when a Kalen Spillane header struck the post late on.

The Bit o’ Red came to Cork on the back of a 13-match unbeaten run in the league and just one defeat all season in their 26-game programme to date.

The home side themselves had shown some good recent form, picking up ten points in their previous five league encounters and they gave a senior start to teenage midfielder Brian Lenihan.

The visitors started with the same side that defeated Derry City 4-1 at the Showgrounds last Saturday and they certainly had the better of the opening half hour.

Sligo took the game to the Rebels, with Pascal Millien, in particular, looking very dangerous on the right.

Captain Ventre belted a 25-yard shot inches wide and skipper Cretaro flashed a shot just wide of Mark McNulty's goal after picking up a stray Daryl Horgan pass.

City introduced former Republic of Ireland international Healy at half time for debutant Linehan to add more experience to an over-worked midfield.

The hosts were more settled after this change, but they lacked punch in attack where lone striker Vinny Sullivan was isolated.

But right-sided midfielder Ian Turner did strike a good low shot on 65 minutes which brought a good diving save from Gary Rogers.

Minutes later a Turner corner-kick was headed against the Sligo post as Cork pushed for a winning goal.

But the crucial point sees Sligo move six points clear at the top with just three games remaining.

Cork City: McNulty; Murphy, Spillane, K Murray, Kavanagh; Dunleavy, D Horgan (Kenny, 84 mins), Duggan, Lenihan (Healy, h-t), Ian Turner; Sullivan.

Sligo Rovers: Rogers; Conneely (Cawley, 43 mins), McGuinness, Peers, Gaynor, Millien (Buchanan, 82), Lynch, Ndo, Ventre, Cretaro, Quigley.

Referee: Derek Tomney (Dublin).