Dan Carr netted the only goal of the game as Shelbourne picked up their first league victory since February with a win over an out-of-sort Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

The former Shamrock Rovers attacker's goal was enough to see the Drumcondra side move to within three points of their opponents.

With no win in their last five league outings, it was Shels who controlled large parts of this first half.

Damien Duff’s charges didn’t allow their hosts dictate proceedings and in doing so, created the best of the half’s opportunities when they did arrive.

Jordan McEneff skied the game’s first talking point on 17 minutes, while centre half Aaron O’Driscoll did likewise after Rovers failed to clear Conor Kane’s set-piece.

The visitors looked the more likely to open scoring as the half wore on as Sligo continued to labour.

A group of Rovers defenders did enough to put off Shane Farrell who could only hammer his effort into Ed McGinty’s side netting just short of the half hour.

For their sheer work rate alone, the Dubliners deserved their lead from the penalty spot which arrived on 33 minutes.

Carr sending McGinty sprawling the wrong way after Karl O’Sullivan was punished for a lazy challenge on Kane inside the Sligo penalty area.

A lagging Sligo finally worked Shels goalkeeper Brendan Clarke late in the half. But the former Rovers net minder easily dealt with both Robbie McCourt’s looping header and Shane Blaney’s set piece attempt.

Things got worse for the Connacht side when they lost top scorer Aidan Keena to injury in added time, while Shels’ John Wilson did just enough to rob the ball off the toe of David Cawley when he struck from just a few yards out early in the second period.

Rovers boss Liam Buckley made wholesale changes to his set up just short of the hour, including the introduction of the influential Greg Bolger.

But an ordinary looking Bit O’Red remained unable to create anything of note until the 82nd minute, when substitute Paddy Kirk’s low drive took a deflection off a Shels defender before landing narrowly wide of Clarke’s post.

Clarke had to be alert at the death to see off strikes from both Adam McDonell and Seamas Keogh.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, Shane Blaney, Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt (Paddy Kirk 58); Adam McDonnell, David Cawley; Will Fitzgerald (Seamas Keogh 58), Karl O'Sullivan (Greg Bolger 58); Jordan Hamilton (Mark Byrne 78); Aidan Keena (Max Mata 45+1).

Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; Luke Byrne, Aaron O’Driscoll, Kameron Ledwidge, Conor Kane; Mark Coyle, Aodh Dervin, John Wilson; Jordan McEneff (Kyle O’Connor 81), Shane Farrell (Sean Boyd 63); Dan Carr (Stan Anaebonam 90).

Referee: Ray Matthews