Sligo Rovers failed to make the most of fellow European chasers Derry City's defeat to Shamrock Rovers as they could only afford to draw with Waterford at the Showgrounds.

Andre Wright opened the scoring for the Bit O’Red before the interval, but Marc Bircham’s side struck back shortly after the restart.

The result leaves third placed Rovers four clear of the Candystripes in fourth, while Waterford remain in the play-off spot, moving to within two points of Dundalk.

FULL MATCH DETAILS

With just two wins from their last five and having been beaten in their last two, it was Rovers who had the first of the chances in what was a scrappy first half.

Johnny Kenny might blame the floodlights on the Jinks’ Avenue side of the ground when he mis-controlled a ball over the top from Garry Buckley. The ball bouncing off the shin of the dazzled Kenny before it dribbled wide of Brian Murphy’s goal.

Waterford, on their first visit to Sligo this year, twice went close in quick succession.

Rovers goalkeeper Ed McGinty went full stretch to push Junior Armado’s effort wide, while Phoenix Patterson blasted over after the Sligo midfield was carved open on 21.

There were half-chances from the boots of Sligo’s Lewis Banks and Blues’ Prince Mutswunguma before Rovers opened the scoring three minutes from the break.

Marc Bircham's side are two points behind Dundalk and sit ninth in the table

Niall Morahan’s work won the ball back for Rovers as he found Greg Bolger. Kenny nodding Bolger’s over-hit ball back across the face of goal for Wright to scramble home for his second goal of the season.

The second period was just four minutes old when Sligo were again opened up.

Prince provided the assist as Patterson capitalised on poor defending as he slotted the ball into the ample space between McGinty and his near post.

Sligo struggled for ideas in this period and the unmarked Adam McDonnell could only watch on as Banks’ cross floated just out of his reach with the former Shelbourne man in front of goal on 67 minutes.

Kenny fired into the side netting as Rovers showed some intent going forward, while Junior wasn’t far off Prince’s well-weighted cross after a speedy Blues counter at the opposite end as Waterford remained a threat.

Sligo again hit the side netting with five to go, goal-scorer Wright driving the ball wide from Banks’ corner. While Sligo full back Robbie McCourt took another Patterson effort off the Rovers line on 90.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, Robbie McCourt, Garry Buckley, Colm Horgan; Niall Morahan (Mark Byrne 90), Greg Bolger, Adam McDonnell; Ryan De Vries; Johnny Kenny (Walter Figueira 81), Andre Wright.

Waterford: Brian Murphy; Darragh Power, Eddie Nolan, Kyle Ferguson, Cameron Evans; Shane Griffin (Jack Stafford 49), Niall O’Keefe, Anthony Wordsworth, Phoenix Patterson; Junior Armado; Prince Mutswunguma.

Referee: John McLoughlin.