Date Time League Season
31 July 2022 6:00 pm FAI Cup 2022

Match Report

FAI Cup Report: Sligo Rovers 1-2 Wexford

Dinny Corcoran's late equaliser, and a Luke McNicholas own goal in extra-time, saw First Division side Wexford FC recover from 1-0 down to knock Sligo Rovers out of this season's FAI Cup.

With a much-changed side from the one who stunned Motherwell in Europe on Thursday, manager John Russell gave debuts and rare starts to a handful of players.

Nonetheless, their lack of cohesion made for an underwhelming affair as Wexford defended astutely and had goalkeeper Alex Moody to thank for keeping them in the tie.

He made key saves from Max Mata and Frank Liivak before half-time and could do little to deny inspired substitute Aidan Keena from twelve yards, after Adam Wells hauled down Livak in the box.

Keena provided impetus and incision for a Sligo side lacking much urgency in the first-half, but he hit the woodwork shortly afterwards and missed other promising opportunities too. Their visitors eventually took strength from a myriad of spurned chances, while Moody and his defenders frequently repelled their hosts' attempts as the match went long.

Corcoran, who spent a season at Sligo in 2015-16, found himself in the right place at the right time to poke home a late equaliser in a goalmouth scramble. Extra-time was needed to separate the two sides.

As that reality sank in, a number of disgruntled supporters headed for the exits. Home fans still at The Showgrounds couldn't believe what they saw, as substitute Mark Byrne headed wide with the goal gaping at his mercy after good work by fellow sub Will Fitzgerald in the build-up.

Moody was again called into action, thwarting Fitzgerald and later Mata after some probing passes breached his backline. He would not be beaten again. Then, disaster struck for Sligo.

The usually reliable Luke McNicholas leapt to claim Ger Shortt's looping cross. He didn't assertively grab hold of the ball, instead parrying it into the netting at his far post, completing a seemingly improbable turnaround for a side largely reduced to long-distance efforts.

Liivak limped off injured, Keena and Fitzgerald were both called upon, and their hard graft went unrewarded. Not a good omen as they look to recover quickly and adequately prepare for a trip to Norway next with Viking FK awaiting them on Thursday.

  • 123'

    That's it! Full-time: Sligo 1-2 Wexford, the hosts are out of the FAI Cup in R1 for the second season running! They won't be happy with how it finished in the dying embers, but only have themselves to blame after missing multiple goalscoring opportunities.

  • 120'

    Three minutes of stoppage time to play, can Sligo take this to penalties? Will Wexford hold on?

  • 115'

    Disaster for Luke McNicholas, an own goal! Ger Shortt, off the bench, curled a looping cross goalwards and the 'keeper attempted to claim, but didn't grab hold of the ball... instead parrying it into goal at his far post.

  • 114'


  • 110'

    Two big chances in quick succession... Fitzgerald feeds Mata with an excellent pass, he rounds Moody but squares back to Will... whose effort is beaten away. Then, Buckley breaches Wexford's backline for Mata -- Moody with a leg save!

  • 107'

    Second-half of extra time underway, Moody is booked now for what the referee perceives as timewasting...

  • 104'

    What a miss! Sligo fans voice their desire for urgency, with Fitzgerald beating Farrell before crossing for Byrne - O'Sullivan trailing behind him in the box. Somehow, with the goal gaping at his mercy, he heads wide.

  • 98'

    Won the penalty, was a nuisance - especially first-half - and Liivak receives a warm reception as he trudges off, with Fitzgerald the latest from Thursday to be introduced now.

  • 97'

    Unsurprisingly, it looks as though Liivak's evening is all but over with Will Fitzgerald getting ready to come on now.

  • 95'

    Frank Liivak receives medical treatment and is limping heavily after a rough challenge, but continues as he hobbles off with play continuing following a brief stoppage.

  • 91'

    No changes by either side after a brief interval, extra-time begins and we're still finely poised in what has been an underwhelming affair despite flashes of promise early in the second-half.

  • 93'

    Full-time, an extra half-hour - minimum - is needed to separate these two sides now. 1-1 after 90 minutes.

  • 90'

    Three minutes of stoppage-time to come now, can either side secure a late winner? Are we going to extra-time?

  • 89'

    Conor Davis on, Conor Barry off for the visitors...

  • 88'

    A cheap free-kick to give away, but Moody holds his nerve under pressure from a host of Sligo players in his six-yard box and quells the danger...

  • 86'

    Great probing through ball pass by Keena into Byrne, who edges into the box but can't keep his eventual effort down and sees the strike float over the bar.

  • 82'

    A whirlwind of changes by both sides in quick succession, making this a more stop-start affair, and Wexford - without warning - gleefully snatch a sneaky leveller.

  • 81'

    GOAL! WEXFORD EQUALISE! Dinny Corcoran, straight off the bench, remains cool and pops up in the right place at the right time to poke him a late equaliser as the ball trickles out to him in a goalmouth scramble.

  • 70'

    Over the bar! Again it's Keena, and this time he should've done better from close-range but fires his eventual finish wide after good, patient passing work in the build-up down the flank.

  • 67'

    Great incisiveness from Keena - exactly what Sligo lacked in the first-half - teeing up Liivak, but great goalkeeping by Moody, rushing off his line to thwart the onrushing forward.

  • 65'

    Substitutions aplenty by both sides now, midway through a much busier second-half. Mark Byrne is among those being introduced for the hosts.

  • 55'

    Off the post! Keena lets fly from distance, watching his effort crash off the far post and trickle away... he's been very lively as expected since being introduced.

  • 53'

    GOAL! KEENA MAKES NO MISTAKE! Cool as you like from twelve yards out, Sligo are ahead after finally getting their spot-kick.

  • 52'

    SLIGO PENALTY! Liivak hauled down in the area by Adam Wells...

  • 51'

    Thomas Considine has been lively so far after the restart for Wexford, does well to tee up Aaron Dobbs... but he fires wide from close-range!

  • 46'

    Confirmation of that change then, as the second-half gets underway: Aidan Keena on, Niall Morahan off.

  • I'm hearing that Aidan Keena will come on at the start of this second-half, a change Russell will undoubtedly not have wished to make...

  • 45'

    Half-time! Sligo 0-0 Wexford at the break, no stoppage time required to finish a drab first-half in truth, McNicholas has made two impressive stops from distance but the hosts will feel hard done by with their lack of luck in the final third. They have to be more incisive with their playmaking though.

  • 43'

    Barry curls an effort goalwards, but another good diving catch by McNicholas!

  • 41'

    Another handball penalty shout - and the biggest so far - is waved away by the referee once more, this time as Cillian Heaney's goalbound cross hit Paul Cleary on the arm...

  • 38'

    Pijnaker has tried, on multiple occasions, to showcase his long ball distribution but he - like many others - is struggling to execute the final pass with much accuracy here. The idea is there, but it's tough to watch.

  • 33'

    Crowley's marauding run and effort from distance tests McNicholas, but the 22-year-old's safe hands hold firm. Still goalless after a little over half-an-hour played.

  • 30'

    Barlow wins two more free-kicks in quick succession and the commentary team are incredulous, as Conor Barry and Conor Crowley can't really have many complaints for being booked after committing cynical challenges.

  • 28'

    Kailin Barlow wins a free-kick in a dangerous position, after being fouled by Harry Groome - the first player to enter the referee's book tonight.

  • 26'

    Typical then, that minutes after the previous update, the Sligo crowd roar as two penalty appeals for handballs in quick succession are waved away by the referee.

  • 24'

    Unfortunately, not been much in the way of concrete action to report on in the last 10. Wexford look threatening in transition and would\'ve had a penalty, but for a few inches, nothing came of the eventual free-kick.

  • 13'

    Wexford - briefly - strung together a few promising passages of passing play, but Moody has again been called into action. This time, he showed great anticipation to thwart a pair of Sligo attackers... again Mata lurking intently.

  • 6'

    Mata proving a nuisance for Wexford defenders early on, and now Liivak has a close-range effort swatted away for a corner - which ultimately fizzles out - though Sligo have dominated the early going.

  • 1'

    Pitch looking beautiful, the sun is shining on a Sunday evening - a bank holiday I'm told - the two teams are out and kick-off is now underway! Sligo kicking from left to right, armed with an encouraging atmosphere.

  • Right on cue then with Sligo team news: Liivak, Pijnaker and Mata all start tonight's game for a much-changed Rovers side, while Heaney, Clancy and Barlow are given the opportunity to make their full first-team debuts.

  • Speaking of Norway... Sligo have just announced on social media that they've officially sold out their home attendance for the UECL second leg tie against Viking FK - to be played on August 11.

  • As for Sligo, we still await team news but that\'s a good segue to my match preview - hinting that John Russell will ring in the changes for tonight\'s cup clash with an eye on Norway this Thursday in mind. Click on the article tab to read that!

  • Wexford team news: Just one change for today's visitors, as Adam Wells starts ahead of Len O'Sullivan, while Shay O'Leary is named among the substitutes.

  • My name's Mosope Ominiyi, I'll be taking you through the evening's action from The Showgrounds. Sligo, still in Europe, will hope they can also remain in the domestic cup competition after losing in R1 this time last year.

  • Good evening everyone and welcome to today's live play-by-play commentary, as Sligo Rovers host Wexford FC in the First Round of this season's FAI Cup. Kick-off to come at 6pm, team line-ups shortly.

Sligo Rovers

32Luke McNicholas Goalkeeper 114'
2Lewis Banks Defender
8Niall Morahan 9 Midfielder
10Frank Liivak 7 Forward
19Paddy Kirk Defender
41Eanna Clancy 22 Defender
28Nando Pijnaker Defender
17Adam McDonnell 26 Midfielder
34Kailin Barlow 18 Midfielder
25Cillian Heaney 12 Forward
27Max Mata Forward
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
4Shane Blaney Defender
22David Cawley 41 Midfielder
7Will Fitzgerald 10 Midfielder
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) 25 Midfielder
26Garry Buckley 17 Midfielder
14Karl O’Sullivan Forward
9Aidan Keena 8 Forward 53'
18Robbie Burton 34 Midfielder 68'

Wexford FC

13Alex Moody Goalkeeper 107'
4Paul Cleary Defender
5Joseph Manley Defender
12Thomas Considine 22 Defender
17Adam Wells 16 Defender
7Conor Crowley 14 Midfielder 31'
8Conor Barry 9 Midfielder 30'
17Luka Lovic 33 Midfielder
11Aaron Dobbs Forward
21Harry Groome Midfielder 28'
24Eoin Farrell Forward
25Shay O’Leary Goalkeeper
2Aidan Friel Defender
16Len O’Sullivan 17 Defender
33Mitchell Byrne 17 Defender
20Jordan Tallon Midfielder
9Conor Davis 8 Forward
14Dinny Corcoran 7 Forward 81'
22Ger Shortt 12 Forward
19Evan Farrell Forward

Past Meetings

5 - 4
eLOI-Group B
Online Event

Sligo Rovers v Wexford FC


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

Mosope Ominiyi is a freelance sports journalist and sub-editor with over a decade's worth of experience, having graduated in 2020 with a BA Hons degree at Staffordshire University. His work has appeared in The Times, MailOnline and Sportskeeda, among other platforms.