Max Mata struck a three-minute brace as Sligo Rovers came from behind to beat Bohemians at the Showgrounds.

John O'Sullivan had the Phibsborough side in the lead in the 54th minute, but the Bit O’Red were left celebrating a first win in three at full-time after New Zealander Mata’s heroics in the 64th and 67th minutes.

Looking to put their European disappointment behind them, Sligo made three changes from last Thursday’s game in Norway with Nando Pijnaker, Greg Bolger and Frank Liivak all drafted in.

Garry Buckley, Lewis Banks and Adam McDonnell all missed out due to injuries picked up in their 5-1 defeat to Viking in Europe last Thursday.

For their first league game since mid-July, Bohs boss Keith Long made just the one change from their FAI Cup success in Ballybofey last week, with Jordan Flores missing out in place of Ali Coote.

Without a victory over Bohs in their last four attempts, Rovers did offer something through a few early corners but Tadhg Ryan in the visitor’s nets went the full first half without really being tested.

The Dubliners found themselves down to ten men for a short period when winger Liam Burt departed the pitch for a quick visit to the dressing room. Referee Ray Matthews showed a yellow card to the Scot on his return after he failed to report his absence to the official.

Rovers’ top scorer Aidan Keena had two efforts from distance, which were the closest the hosts came to an opener.

John O'Sullivan's goal put Bohs ahead

McDaid’s next set piece flew narrowly wide after Shane Blaney had fouled James Clarke right on the edge of the box.

Bohs applied the pressure late on the first half with a series of corners. But the nearest they came to a goal was when Rovers netminder Luke McNicholas showed great reactions to get a hand to Junior’s snapshot from a corner after Sligo struggled to clear their lines.

O’Sullivan headed narrowly wide from another McDaid corner early in the second half. But the same player was celebrating on early in the second half.

Both Clarke and Junior were involved as the latter teed up O’Sullivan who rifled the ball into the corner of the net from ten yards. Sligo goalkeeper Luke McNicholas got a hand to it and will feel he should have done better.

However, the home side only had to wait until the 64th minute for parity.

Keena played the ball into the path of Mata who struck past Ryan from a tight angle for his seventh of the season.

The home support were on their feet again just three minutes later when Will Fitzgerald’s cross was cleared to the feet of Mata who swept the beyond the Gypsies goalkeeper for his second, completing an unlikely turnaround after an hour of the visitors looking the superior side.

Keena nearly had Rovers’ third on 72 only for Ryan who got a strong hand to the Mullingar native’s powerful drive after trojan work from Paddy Kirk down the Sligo left.

The win puts Sligo back to within a point of fourth-place St Patrick's Athletic and also a lift in morale ahead of the second leg of their European encounter with Viking on Thursday.

Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas; Karl O'Sullivan, Shane Blaney, Nando Pijnaker, Paddy Kirk; Niall Morahan, David Cawley (Max Mata HT), Greg Bolger (Robbie Burton HT); Frank Liivak, Will Fitzgerald; Aidan Keena.

Bohemians: Tadhg Ryan; Jordan Doherty, Josh Kerr, Ciaran Kelly, Ryan Burke (Tyreke Wilson 92); James Clarke (Johnny Afolabi 80), John O’Sullivan, Ali Coote (Conor Levingston 74); Liam Burt (Kris Twardek 74), Declan McDaid; Junior (Ethon Varian 74).

Referee: Ray Matthews.