Date Time League Season
23 April 2022 7:45 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Buckley bags late Sligo winner

The match between Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United this evening had everything, including two penalties, a sending off and a late winner, concluding things at 3-2 in the hosts’ favour at the Showgrounds.

David Cawley insisted it was a dream start for the hosts, netting two goals within the opening four minutes. Georgie Poynton pulled one back for Drogs in the 26th  minute and they then went on to equalize 10 minutes into the second half via a Shane Blaney own goal.

Evan Weir was sent off shortly afterwards for a second yellow infringement on Cawley, and despite the game remaining at 2-2 for the majority of the second half it was Garry Buckley who was the hero for Sligo in the 92nd minute.

Will Fitzgerald set up both components of Cawley’s brace, the first of which came with less than a minute on the clock and the second in the fourth.

Sligo often exploited Mark Byrne’s space on the left wing throughout the game and really should have converted more of their chances through Cawley and Blaney. McGinty was deemed to have fouled Brennan inside the box and so United were awarded a penalty, which was initially saved but later followed up by Poynton.

Keena also had a penalty chance although it was saved by Sam Long, meaning the scoreline read 2-1 at the break.

Dane Massey showed some good skill to rile his side into action in the second half but it was impressive play from Dayle Rooney that changed the game for Drogs. He curled a ball forward to Chris Lyons who edged is way between two Sligo defenders, the ball eventually deflecting off Blaney and into the back of his own net.

Weir’s sending off didn’t open up the game to Rovers as much as would have been anticipated. Adam McDonell provided very threatening opportunities into the box and while Lewis Banks came close on occasion Liam Buckley’s men couldn’t capitalize on the extra man until late on.

There Garry Buckley buried the ball into the back of the net with just minutes to go, securing Rovers’ second win on the bounce.

Next up on Friday then Sligo head to Tolka Park in search of a triumph over Shelbourne, while Drogheda come to blows with Dundalk.

  • 92'

    What an end as Garry Buckley snatches a 92nd minute winner for hosts - It's finished 3-2 at the Showgrounds.

  • 90'

    5 minutes added time announced as Sam Long is yellow carded for time wasting

  • 89'

    Corner Sligo

  • 87'

    Great chance for Fitzgerald and Banks. But Drogheda survive!

  • 83'

    Keena puts his boot through the ball and its miles over the bar

  • 80'

    McDonell cross from a freekick is threatening but goes out over the endline

  • 77'

    Morahan off, Hamilton on

  • 75'

    Lyons off, Heeney on for Drogs

  • 72'

    Drogs on the break here

  • 69'

    Sligo corner

  • 67'

    Blaney heads one towards goal but Long is the better of it

  • 63'

    Horgan off, Banks on, Bolger off, McDonell on and Byrne off for Karl O'Sullivan for SLigo. Quinn replaced by Cowan for Drogs.

  • 60'

    Fitzgerald's shot/cross is caught by Long

  • 55'

    Evan Weir fouls Cawley and is sent off

  • 55'

    Brennan replaced by James Clarke

  • 54'

    Rooney curls a cross into Lyons and the last touch comes off Blaney. 2-2

  • 53'

    Poynton fouled and its a free kick to Drogs

  • 50'

    Keena attempt blocked and its out for a corner

  • 49'

    Some good skill from Massey before Cawley is fouled and its a freekick to Sligo

  • 45'

    The second half has started!

  • 45'

    Halftime. Sligo lead 2-1 at the break

  • 43'

    Bolger tries to find Byrne on the left wing once again but the ball goes out for a throw

  • 43'

    SLigo playing it around the back

  • 40'

    Blaney gets a head to the corner and it comes off the bar but out over the endline. Close!

  • 39'

    Cawley chance! On the half volley he takes a pop and forces Long into fingertipping it over the bar

  • 38'

    Cawley tries to find Byrne with a cross field ball but there's too much on it and Long gets there first. That ball to Byrne on the left wing is one Sligo are utilising often in this half

  • 36'

    Poynton's cross goes out over the endline

  • 35'

    Penalty Sligo. Keena takes it but its saved by Long

  • 31'

    Another penalty call for SLigo but the referee is having none of it

  • 27'

    2-1! McGinty fouled Brennan to give away the pens. He saved the initial penalty but Poynton followed it up to pull one back

  • 24'

    Buckley fouled on the edge of his own area. Free out

  • 21'

    Sligo playing with Drogheda in the middle of the park at the minute. Niall Morahan after pulling off a nutmeg

  • 19'

    Ball comes off Colm Horgan and its out for a throw in near the corner flag for Drogs

  • 19'

    Ball comes off Colm Horgan and its out for a throw in near the corner flag for Drogs

  • 16'

    Byrne gets loose again and passes off to Cawley who shoots for his third of the day but it doesn't come off for him

  • 14'

    Mark Byrne has space on the outside of the area but opts to pass it off instead and loses possession

  • 13'

    Cheers run out as Niall Morahan tackles continuously. Sligo a lot more aggressive here than the last time they played at home

  • 13'

    Fitzgerald goes down in the box but referee dismisses the notion of a penalty

  • 11'

    Sligo putting the visitors under pressure in their own half

  • 10'

    Drogs corner. Poynton takes but Bolger clears

  • 7'

    Cawley sends Fitzgerald on his bike to chase and while Drogheda recover a pass out from Sam Long found Keena. He has a shot but its over

  • 6'

    Corner Drogs. It goes straight through everyone

  • 3'

    2-0! David Cawley again!

  • 1-0! With less than a minute on the clock David Cawley grabs Sligo the lead on the end of a Will Fitzgerald pass

  • Underway!

  • It's live on LOITV with kick off at 7:45pm and updates here on throughout.

  • Speaking before the home match Buckley says he is looking forward to what “should be a good game.” “We were happy to pick up three points on Monday night and are in fourth position going into the weekend” he says. “We have been working hard again in training this week and want to play well against Drogheda who have been in good form lately. When we played them up there we did really well in the first half, going three goals ahead. We’ll be looking to make a good start again and try to keep improving. The fans have come out in good numbers this season at The Showgrounds and it’s important that they come out again and get behind the lads as always. It should be a decent crowd on the night.”

  • Last time the duo came to blows was back in series five where Liam Buckley’s men ran out a 3-0 triumph at Head in the Game Park. There it took only seven minutes for Rovers to inch ahead thanks to a Lewis Banks header, which was later supplemented by Jordan Hamilton and Will Fitzgerald later on in the half.

  • Drogheda on the other hand are also coming off the bounce of a good streak which sees them unbeaten in their last six Premier Division matches. The latest of which saw a healthy result against league leaders Derry where Joe Thomson and Ryan Brennan’s strikes cancelled each other out in a 1-1 conclusion.

  • Sligo recently set a bad run of form right when they beat North-West rivals Finn Harps 1-0 in Donegal thanks to a goal from Karl O’Sullivan, marking their first victory in five games.

  • The Bit O’Red currently sit in fourth on 16 points, behind Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic, while United are in seventh on 13th points with only Dundalk and Bohemians between them.

  • A win for Drogheda United at The Showgrounds come 7:45pm would draw them level with tonight’s opponents Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division. My name is Alanna Cunnane and I'll be bringing you tonight's match commentary!

Sligo Rovers

1Ed McGinty Goalkeeper
3Colm Horgan 2 Defender
4Shane Blaney Defender 54'
6Greg Bolger 17 Midfielder
7Will Fitzgerald Midfielder
8Niall Morahan 10 Midfielder
9Aidan Keena Forward
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) 14 Midfielder
19Paddy Kirk Defender
22David Cawley Midfielder 1', 3'
26Garry Buckley Midfielder 90+2'
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
2Lewis Banks 3 Defender
5Robbie McCourt Defender
10Jordan Hamilton 8 Forward
11Seamas Keogh Midfielder
14Karl O’Sullivan 12 Forward
17Adam McDonnell 6 Midfielder
25Cillian Heaney Forward
28Nando Pijnaker Defender

Drogheda Utd

31Sam Long Goalkeeper
2Sean Roughan Defender
3Evan Weir Defender
4Andrew Quinn 5 Defender
8Gary Deegan Midfielder
9Chris Lyons 21 Forward
10Ryan Brennan 22 Midfielder
14Dane Massey Defender
16Dayle Rooney Midfielder
24Darragh Nugent Midfielder
26George Poynton Midfielder 27'
1Colin McCabe Goalkeeper
5Keith Cowan 4 Defender
10Dylan Grimes Midfielder
12Aaron Davis Goalkeeper
20Paddy Moore Forward
21Luke Heeney 9 Midfielder
22James Clarke 10 Midfielder
25Killian Cailloce Forward
45Mark Hughes Midfielder

Past Meetings

(Round 5)
0 - 3
LOI Men's Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Sligo Rovers

(Series 33)
2 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United

(Series 26)
0 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Sligo Rovers

(Series 15)
1 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Drogheda United

(Series 8)
1 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Sligo Rovers


RefereeAssistantsFourth Official
Damien MacGraithAllen LynchAlan Patchell


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.