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Date Time League Season
5 March 2022 7:45 pm Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Sligo Rovers and Dundalk fail to reach heights in scoreless draw

Sligo and Dundalk played out a 0-0 draw at The Showgrounds this evening in a match that felt like it never really reached full flight.

Chances were at a premium with the home side bossing possession but not making City keeper Mark Harington really work. City tested Luke Dennison in the first half but offered very little in the second half that was until Barry Coffey brought an excellent save out of Dennison in stoppage time near the end of the game.

It was very much a new look Longford Town side that took to the field with just three players starting that had played in the Premier Division; Mick McDonnell, Aaron Robinson and captain Sam Verdon. Ben Lynch came on as a substitute having made his debut near the end of last season.

Town waited an extra two weeks for their season to get underway following the postponement of their opening game against Cobh Ramblers and then last weekend was their free week. Both sets of supporters were made wait even longer for chances of note in this game.

Ruairi Keating brought a fine save out of Dennison while Town failed to test Harrington in the City goals in the opening half. 

The home side upped their performance in the second half and created several chances but their shot selection let them down on occasion and also their finishing. Ryan Graydon was impressive and he came close on two occasions while Aaron Robinson hit an excellent shot that just went wide.

Matt Srbely should’ve done better with his effort on 67 minutes. As the clock ticked down Town continued to probe for a goal and ultimately the winner but it was the visitors that nearly grabbed a late winner in stoppage time. Matt Healy with a well struck free met the head of Barry Coffey but his effort was superbly saved by Town netminder Dennison.

  • 93'

    Full time, 0-0 as the sides share the spoils

  • 89'

    McDonnell chance looks like it was fledging towards the top corner but it topples wide. Bradley goes off for Dundalk, Adams on

  • 89'

    McDonnell chance looks like it was fledging towards the top corner but it topples wide. Bradley goes off for Dundalk, Elmes on

  • 88'

    Morahan spreads the ball to Byrne who after some fancy trickery is dispossessed

  • 85'

    Bradley's effort is miscued and Ed McGinty takes the subsequent goal kick

  • 84'

    6 minutes to go and we still await a goal in The Showgrounds

  • 81'

    Dundalk corner. McGinty clears initially and it comes out to Connolly but it is dealt with by Sligo.

  • 76'

    Tripple sub for Sligo. Fitzgerald, Cawley and Keena off. Mark Hamilton, Mark Byrne and Seamus Keogh on. Keith Ward on for Dan Williams for Dundalk

  • 75'

    John Martin launches an effort towards goal but McGinty collects

  • 73'

    Keena called offside

  • 70'

    Sloggett at the back post as Buckley pressures him but he airs the ball over the cross bar

  • 67'

    Nando stares Bradley down to draw the ball and inhibit the run inside

  • 64'

    Keena with a brilliant chance but the he cross foots it across the face of goal and wide

  • 63'

    Sligo corner. Fitzgerald takes it and the ball scruples into the net but the whistle had already gone and it's ruled out

  • 57'

    Sloggett ensuring Dundalk keep their tempo high

  • 54'

    McDonald throws a ball over to Banks who heads it but it thumps the crossbar and tinkers over the endline

  • 53'

    John Martin comes in for Daniel Kelly

  • 51'

    Sligo stringing a few passes together at the minute

  • 45'

    The second half has begun

  • 46'

    Fitzgerald knocks a looping cross into the box but nothing results. 0-0 going into the pause in play.

  • 46'

    O'Sullivan earns The Bit O' Red a corner

  • 45'

    Fitzgerald takes a free kick and slots it into the area. Keeper falls but Connolly deals with the danger instead

  • 45'

    1 minute added time announced

  • 43'

    Ground browning underfoot, causing some bobbling of the ball and leading to some unexpected movements

  • 42'

    Sligo corner, Fitzgerald to take

  • 40'

    Dundalk win a free on the right wing and this is a chance now for an opportunity in the box

  • 39'

    Dundalk keeper meets Keena in the air for the ball and grabs a free kick for his bravery

  • 36'

    Fitzgerald and Morahan working together over on the left flank before Benson and Kirk collide

  • 30'

    Half an hour gone in this one. Getting quite heated tackle wise but no goals to talk about just yet

  • 29'

    Bradley shoots as he cuts in from the right but Nando covers him well before McGinty collects it

  • 27'

    Fitzgerald freekick is skied over

  • 25'

    Connolly given a yellow for foul on Keena, in a dangerous area too so it remains to be seen what Sligo can do with this

  • 24'

    Foul on Nando Pijnaker and Sligo play around at the back from the free kick

  • 21'

    Morahan wins Sligo a free just outside their own box

  • 19'

    Williams' long ball comes to nothing but McGinty's hands

  • 15'

    Cawley free kick eventually results in a Sligo throw in deep in Dundalk's half

  • 11'

    Kelly finds Hogan in the middle of Sligo Rovers' box but his headed attempted pops over the bar

  • 9'

    O'Sullivan takes a great touch to bring a ambitious ball down but his next one forward lets him down

  • 8'

    Dundalk playing it around the back at the minute

  • 3'

    Benson with some great solo play but his long range effort is picked up with ease by Ed McGinty

  • 2'

    Banks' shot takes a reflection off Keena but it tumbles over the endline

  • The match has started. The Showgrounds turf has seen better days but the atmosphere in the ground sounds electric

  • 5 minute warning until kick off!

  • Around 15 minutes to kick off and the teams are in! Kirk and Morahan come into replace Sligo's injured duo of Bolger and McCourt, while Dundalk have made four changes to the side that beat Finn Harps last round including Mark Connolly, Greg Sloggett, Daniel Kelly and Pat Hoban. Brian Gartland and David McMillan are left out via illness, with Mayowa Animasahun coming onto the bench

  • Stephen O’Donnell too pre-empts a “big appetite” for local fans to attend, but doesn’t fear the situation either. “We don’t mind playing away from home. We’ve always had a good away record at this club and our approach doesn’t really change that much, whether we’re at home or away.”

  • Speaking before the game Liam Buckley remarked that although their league started with “two tough away games” today’s game offers an ample opportunity for the supporters to get out and cheer on his unit, as well as to establish the ground’s stronghold reputation “We want the supporters to get behind us and make that atmosphere that teams come here knowing it’s a difficult place to go and play” he says.

  • The last time these sides met Dundalk bounced away with a 4-1 victory against Rovers, a Sean Murray brace, an own goal from John Mahon and a Patrick Hoban goal proving too much for Johnny Kenny’s strike early in the game.

  • Dundalk currently lie in four place in the Premier Division table with five points as a result, with only St Patrick’s Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Derry City elevated above them. Given The Bit O’Red’s first scheduled showcase against Bohemians was postponed due to bad weather, it now means they sit in sixth position with four points as things stand in the table but with a game in hand.

  • A Stephen Bradley double and a Sam Bone strike proved the difference there, while Sligo’s stalemate at the Brandywell will stand to them as they managed to earn a point in a match where the home side dominated, but two worrisome injuries to Robbie McCourt and Greg Bolger mean it is still unknown will they be at their full force this evening.

  • Both outfits are yet to beaten this year, the latest results seeing Sligo hold firm for a 0-0 draw versus Derry, while The Lillywhites secured a 3-0 win over Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps in Oriel Park.

  • Sligo Rovers play their first home game of the season tonight in The Showgrounds as they take on Dundalk FC at 7:45 pm. My name is Alanna Cunnane and I'll be bringing you tonight's match commentary!

Sligo Rovers

1Ed McGinty Goalkeeper
2Lewis Banks Defender
7Will Fitzgerald 10 Midfielder
8Niall Morahan Midfielder
9Aidan Keena 11 Forward
14Karl O’Sullivan Forward
17Adam McDonnell Midfielder
19Paddy Kirk Defender
22David Cawley 12 Midfielder
26Garry Buckley Midfielder
28Nando Pijnaker Defender
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
34Kailin Barlow Midfielder
3Colm Horgan Defender
10Jordan Hamilton 7 Forward
11Seamus Keogh 9 Midfielder
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) 22 Midfielder
4Shane Blaney Defender
27Max Mata Forward
25Cillian Heaney Forward

Dundalk

1Nathan Sheppard Goalkeeper
2Lewis Macari Defender
4Andy Boyle Defender
5Mark Connolly Defender 25'
6Sam Bone Defender
7Daniel Kelly 11 Midfielder
8Robbie Benson Midfielder
9Patrick Hoban Forward
10Greg Sloggett Midfielder
16Steven Bradley 20 Forward
19Daniel Williams 17 Midfielder
14Peter Cherrie Goalkeeper
11John Martin 7 Forward
17Keith Ward 19 Midfielder
20Joe Adams 16 Midfielder
21Paul Doyle Midfielder
24Mayowa Animasahun Defender
25Mark Hanratty Midfielder
28Ryan O’Kane Forward

Past Meetings

(Series 28)
4 - 1
Premier Division
Casey's Field (Oriel Park)

Dundalk v Sligo Rovers

(Series 22)
2 - 1
Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Dundalk

(Series 10)
0 - 1
Premier Division
Casey's Field (Oriel Park)

Dundalk v Sligo Rovers

3 - 4
eLOI-Group B
Online Event

Sligo Rovers v Dundalk

(Series 1)
1 - 1
Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Dundalk

(Series 18)
0 - 2
Premier Division
Casey's Field (Oriel Park)

Dundalk v Sligo Rovers

(Series 9)
3 - 1
Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Dundalk

Ground

The Showgrounds
The Showgrounds - Sligo Rovers F.C., Magheraboy Road, Knappagh Beg, Sligo, Sligo Municipal Borough District, County Sligo, Connacht, F91 P523, Ireland

Alanna is currently pursuing her studies in journalism at Dublin City University and writes regularly for her local media outlets in Sligo.