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Date Time League Season
18 March 2022 8:00 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Shamrock’s come from behind to draw in Rovers battle

Shamrock Rovers came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Sligo Rovers in the League of Ireland Premier Division.

The Bit O’Reds led by 2-0 at the break thanks to strikes from Will Fitzgerald and Aidan Keena but the defending league champions replied through a Graham Burke spot kick and an own goal from Sligo.

It was the hosts who started the game the brighter of the two sides and wing backs Andy Lyons and Barry Cotter caused Sligo trouble in the opening stages.

Despite dominating possession early on, Stephen Bradley’s side didn’t have many clear-cut chances.

After just under 20 minutes played, Sligo Rovers made the breakthrough with their first shot of the game through wide man Will Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald drifted in field before getting on the end of a perfect cross from Karl O’Sullivan, to head his side into the lead.

From here Rovers did step it up a gear with Rory Gaffney and Sean Hoare both going close through headers of their own.

Aidan Keena dealt The Hoops another hammer blow on the half hour after capitalising on an error from Barry Cotter. The in-form Sligo man made no mistake from close range, burying the ball into the bottom corner.

It’s a fifth of the season for Keena and his fourth this week to send The Bit O’Reds into the break with a 2-0 advantage.

Rovers brought Neil Farrugia and Jack Byrne on at half time in an attempt to reduce the deficit, but it was Graham Burke who almost pulled one back for the Tallaght outfit after ten minutes of the second period.

Andy Lyons went on a fantastic run down the right wing before teeing the ball up for Burke. Ed McGinty was forced into the save and he kept his side’s two goal lead.

The Hoops did find a way back into the game just after the hour mark when the lively Andy Lyons was brought down by Adam McDonnell inside the box.

Graham Burke stood up and dispatched the ball into the bottom corner, sending Ed McGinty the wrong way.

The home side came narrowly close to scoring an equaliser after Jack Byrne’s corner found Lee Grace at the back post. Thankfully for Liam Buckley’s men, Jordan Hamilton was well positioned on the line to head clear.

Rovers continued to mount pressure and their efforts were rewarded when Sean Hoare’s header was hit into the back of the net by Sligo's Max Mata to bring the sides level.

Ed McGinty made a fantastic double save just moments later to deny Andy Lyons and Richie Towell from close range.

  • 90'

    Max Mata almost makes up for the own goal but his shot is saved by Alan Mannus. Five minutes of additional time remaining.

  • 87'

    The hosts are pressing hard for a winner here late on. Just under three minutes of normal time remaining.

  • 81'

    An own goal from Sligo brings Rovers level with just under ten minutes to go.

  • Amazing save from McGinty to deny Pico Lopes' header from point blank rage. Outrageous save from the Sligo No.1.

  • 77'

    Hamilton with a vital block on the line for Sligo to deny Lee Grace's powerful header.

  • 75'

    Graham Burke is booked now for kicking the ball at a Sligo Rovers player after giving away a free.

  • 74'

    Ed McGinty is the next player booked, this time for time wasting.

  • 73'

    The hosts still looking for an equaliser here and are knocking at the door here but Sligo are remaining cool at the back.

  • 70'

    Aaron Greene is the first Hoops' man in the book after being booked for simulation.

  • 62'

    Graham Burke scores and it\'s game on!! Sent McGinty the wrong way. Just under half an hour remaining.

  • 61'

    PENALTY to Shamrock Rovers after Andy Lyons is brought down by Adam McDonnell.

  • 57'

    Andy Lyons tees up Graham Burke inside the area but McGinty is equal to it yet again.

  • 54'

    Aidan Keena booked for a dive inside the Rovers box.

  • 49'

    Gaffney fouled just outside the box, free kick for the hosts in a dangerous area. Mandroiu stands up and it goes into the wall and behind.

  • 46'

    Back underway ahead of the second period.

  • 45'

    Neil Farrugia and Jack Byrne coming on for Barry Cotter and Gary O'Neill.

  • 45'

    Jack Byrne warming up alone here at half time, will almost certainly be introduced for the second period.

  • 45'

    Half Time here and The Bit O'Reds lead 2-0 at the break. Big 45 minutes coming up for both teams.

  • 45'

    Andy Lyons and Rory Gaffney linking up well yet again here but the frontman drags his effort inches wide of the target. Just seconds to go here.

  • 45'

    Just under a minute to go until half time here in Tallaght Stadium.

  • 38'

    Watts' floated free kick finds Lee Grace but the centre half couldn't keep his header down.

  • 32'

    Graham Burke releases a rocket from 25 yards out and McGinty makes a fantastic finger tip save to deny him.

  • 30'

    Sligo double their lead through Aidan Keena who capitalises on a defensive error from Lee Grace, 2-0 to Sligo.

  • 29'

    The reigning League of Ireland champions are enjoying plenty of the ball but still struggling to make that final, cutting edge pass..

  • 25'

    Dylan Watts is involved again after getting on the end of Rory Gaffney's cross. Watts timid effort was saved comfortably by McGinty.

  • 23'

    Dylan Watts' corner finds Sean Hoare who had a free header. Sadly for the hosts, the centre back can't get a proper connection and Sligo remain 1 up.

  • 18'

    Goal for Sligo against the run of play courtesy of Will Fitzgerald. The wideman found himself in acres of space inside the box before slotting the ball into the back of the net.

  • 17'

    Sligo with their best chance of the game so far after Karl O'Sullivan showed great pace and power to breeze by Lee Grace. His right footed effort narrowly missed the target and the game remains scoreless.

  • 12'

    Barry Cotter causing Sligo some real problems here down their right hand side and the wing back lifted an inch perfect ball onto the head of Rory Gaffney. The Hoops front man couldn't keep his effort on target and it rolled narrowly wide of the target.

  • 11'

    Stephen Bradley's men have started the brighter of the two sides early on here but Sligo are getting men behind the ball at crucial times.

  • 5'

    Somehow the hosts haven't taken the lead here. Graham Burke's corner finds Barry Cotter again but his effort is cleared off the line before Gaffney's effort is saved by Ed McGinty.

  • 3'

    First half chance falls Shamrock Rovers way but Graham Burke's half volley is blocked and goes behind for a corner. The follow up corner finds Barry Cotter's head but it's straight into the hands of McGinty.

  • 1'

    And we're off here in Tallaght Stadium.

  • 10 minutes to go until kick off here at Tallaght Stadium.

  • Aidan Keena will be eager to add to his tally of four goals this season and the Sligo front man was in sensational form last weekend, with a hat trick against Finn Harps.

  • There's no place for the hosts' star man Jack Byrne in the starting eleven but they have named an exciting front three of Graham Burke, Rory Gaffney and Dano Mandroiu.

  • The Hoops will be eager to re find their free scoring form that they showed over the past two seasons but do come up against a Sligo side that have conceded just twice this campaign.

  • Hello and welcome to FinalWhistle.ie for tonight's game between Shamrock Rovers and Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium. My name is Luke Delaney and I will be taking you through tonight's game.

Shamrock Rovers

1Alan Mannus Goalkeeper
3Sean Hoare Defender
4Roberto Lopes Defender
5Lee Grace Defender
6Barry Cotter 23 Defender
7Dylan Watts 17 Midfielder
10Graham Burke Forward 62'
75'
14Daniel Mandriou 38 Midfielder
16Gary O’Neill 29 Midfielder
20Rory Gaffney 9 Forward
22Andy Lyons Defender
25Leon Pohls Goalkeeper
8Ronan Finn Midfielder
9Aaron Greene 20 Forward 71'
11Sean Kavanagh Defender
17Richie Towell 7 Midfielder
23Neil Farrugia 6 Midfielder
26Chris McCann Midfielder
29Jack Byrne 16 Midfielder
38Aidomo Emakhu 14 Midfielder

Sligo Rovers

1Ed McGinty Goalkeeper 74'
2Lewis Banks Defender
7Will Fitzgerald 12 Midfielder 18'
8Niall Morahan 4 Midfielder
9Aidan Keena 27 Forward 30'
53'
10Jordan Hamilton 22 Forward
14Karl O’Sullivan 3 Forward
17Adam McDonnell Midfielder 61'
19Paddy Kirk Defender
26Garry Buckley Midfielder
28Nando Pijnaker Defender
3Colm Horgan 14 Defender
4Shane Blaney 8 Defender
11Seamas Keogh Midfielder
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) 7 Midfielder
22David Cawley 10 Midfielder
25Cillian Heaney Forward
27Max Mata 9 Forward 81'
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
34Kailin Barlow Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Series 31)
2 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers

(Series 20)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers

(Series 13)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers

(Series 4)
1 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers

(Semi Final)
2 - 0
FAI Cup
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers

(Series 14)
4 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Tallaght Stadium

Shamrock Rovers v Sligo Rovers

(Series 5)
2 - 3
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Shamrock Rovers

Ground

Tallaght Stadium
Tallaght Stadium, Whitestown Way, Tallaght, Dublin 24, D24 XC9W

Luke Delaney is a Final Year Journalism Student in DCU. Sports Reporter for Wicklow People and Finalwhistle.ie.