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Date Time League Season
28 July 2022 7:00 pm UEFA Europa Conference 2022

Match Report

Historic European night for Sligo at the Showground against Motherwell

Shane Blaney's fantastic free-kick saw Sligo Rovers complete a historic win over Motherwell, punching their ticket into the third qualifying round of this year's UEFA Europa Conference League.

They will play Norwegian side Viking in the final qualifying round, with the first leg to be played at the SR-Bank Arena on August 4.

With a slender advantage from the first leg, the defender gave John Russell's men the perfect start after Bevis Mugabi's needless foul on last week's matchwinner Aidan Keena.

Sligo were strong and overly forceful in the tackle, as evidenced by giving away a few too many free-kicks early on.

Motherwell equalised from one, eight minutes later, but thankfully for the hosts, Ricki Lamie's close-range effort was swiftly ruled offside.

If VAR was in operation, Adam McDonnell's yellow card would've been upgraded to a straight red after he slid late and recklessly on Josh Morris after 15 minutes.

The visitors were unable to create any meaningful chances until the dying embers, with Sligo absorbing pressure well before looking threatening on the counterattack themselves.

Connor Shields, his first sub of the evening, missed a great chance to level the scoring after Paul McGinn's ball across the box evaded his outstretched legs.

David Cawley could've doubled Sligo's lead, but was thwarted by a brilliant Barry Maguire sliding tackle after great work from William Fitzgerald to skip past two defenders in transition.

Sligo absorbed pressure well and looked threatening on the counter themselves, but a more clinical side would've surely hurt them at least once.

Substitute Joseph Efford volleyed wide from a promising opportunity before Lamie spurned a chance shortly afterwards.

Mata, who could've had a brace last Thursday, stayed composed to kill the tie in stoppage-time after latching onto an over-the-top ball and calmly slotting past Liam Kelly at his near post.

2-0 on the night and a well-earned result over two legs, the vast majority from a sold-out Showgrounds will travel home happy tonight.

They hadn't won consecutive European ties in the same season but will savour a memorable evening before turning their attention to First Division side Wexford in the FAI Cup on Sunday.

Then, a trip to Stavanger awaits this time next week as they look to continue their adventure even further.

  • 94'

    I've been Mosope Ominiyi, hope you've enjoyed following this commentary tonight. Stay tuned for the full match report and more to come on the site shortly. Until next time, goodnight!

  • 94'

    Full-time! Sligo led early and deservedly progress into the third qualifying round of a European competition for the first time in the club's history, pouncing on a limp Motherwell showing, and kept consecutive clean sheets too!

  • 93'

    Sligo had never won two European ties in the same season, but Motherwell haven't played like a team with the pedigree they possess -- lacking match sharpness or not.

  • 91'

    He should've scored last week, but Mata comes off the bench to kill the tie in stoppage-time this Thursday! 3-0 on aggregate, 2-0 on the evening and it's deserved for Sligo, who are full value for this result.

  • 90'

    GOAL!!! MATA DOUBLES THE LEAD ON THE NIGHT!

  • 89'

    That proves Fitzgerald's final action of the evening, as he trudges off the pitch to a warm reception from the home fans after producing a big shift. Frank Liivak replaces him for the final moments now.

  • 89'

    Efford latest into the book now, for a lazy foul on Fitzgerald.

  • 88'

    Motherwell look to play forward, but if a sequence of play was to sum up their evening, it's this: after some patient passing outside the box, Paul McGinn whips the ball too hard and it flies out for a goal-kick. Boos ring around the stadium and are drowning the ironic jeers!

  • 85'

    Five minutes plus stoppages to come now, Sligo are managing the game as well as can be expected, despite Motherwell still pressing for what would be a nervy finish if they scored now...

  • 77'

    Lamie, who had a first-half equaliser ruled out, also misses an encouraging chance! Motherwell are stirring late, but are their efforts in vain?

  • 74'

    Close! Shields controls a header down and flicks the ball towards fellow substitute Joseph Efford, who volleys wide from a promising opportunity. Should've kept his effort down there.

  • 70'

    Mugabi - who has had an evening to forget - is hooked, as Johansen replaces him in the latest Motherwell change. Mata, already on a booking remember, is on for Morahan in a Sligo sub now too.

  • 69'

    Subs aplenty by both sides now, fresh legs and impetus to come... Tierney and Slattery off, for Efford and Goss.

  • 66'

    Mugabi again penalised for - you guessed it - another foul on Keena. Nothing comes of the eventual set-piece, just like the last one, but if the Uganda international hadn't been well protected before now, what's going to change in the last half-hour?

  • 62'

    McGinn is latest into the referee's book and can have no complaints, as Fitzgerald leaves him for dead on the edge of the area... only for the midfielder to cynically scyth him down.

  • 57'

    Close! Fitzgerald shows a fresh pair of heels to skip past multiple Motherwell players in transition, tees up an overlapping Cawley on the counter attack... but Maguire makes an important sliding challenge to stop his goalbound effort.

  • 52'

    Chance! McGinn looks up and fizzes a great ball across the face of goal, Conor Shields lunges forward to latch onto the pass but misses the ball completely as Sligo hold their breath and clear their lines. Still 1-0, but the substitute should've reacted quicker and at least got a shot off there.

  • 48'

    Connor Shields is the Motherwell change at the interval, replacing Blair Spittal - whose first-half assist was ruled out for offside.

  • 47'

    A cynical, but important booking to take for Josh Morris as Sligo players counter in numbers after a woeful corner sees the visitors' momentum snapped rather suddenly.

  • 45'

    Kick-off! Second-half is now underway and considering the first-half performance wasn't good enough from a Motherwell perspective, they've unsurprisingly made a substitution. I'll provide details as soon as I get it.

  • 49'

    Motherwell have been rattled by their hosts but, as evidenced by the offside equaliser, remain dangerous from set-pieces and are yet to get into the groove with their build-up play. Can Sligo hold their nerve?

  • 49'

    A mixture of rapturous applause and boos reverberate around the Showgrounds, as the referee blows his whistle for half-time! Sligo Rovers 1-0 Motherwell (2-0 agg), the hosts are now just 45 minutes away from the final qualifying round of this season's UEFA Europa Conference League.

  • 47'

    I promised I would update you and here it is: Viking's Mai Traore has just scored in stoppage-time to snatch a late winner against Sparta Prague! The winner here, Sligo Rovers as it stands, will play them next month.

  • 45'

    The fourth official signals on his electronic board, four minutes of stoppage-time to finish what has been a manic first-half at times. Still 1-0 here...

  • 44'

    Game is temporarily stopped as McDonnell receives medical treatment for an accidental collision, sustaining a head injury as he challenged for a 50-50 in mid-air.

  • 40'

    Big save! Liam Kelly gets down low and smothers the danger from close-range as Keena pounces on a cross in open play, but doesn't angle his effort and watches it safely enter the goalkeeper's gloves.

  • 39'

    Sligo's pressure proves key and they win a corner, which is taken short... but well defended by Paul McGinn.

  • 37'

    A long talking to by the referee for Mugabi, who has been struggling to keep up with Aidan Keena again tonight and fouls the forward once more.

  • 29'

    Niall Morahan can consider himself a lucky man too, avoiding so much as a booking for sliding in late (and high!) on Slattery. Free-kick and Motherwell players are understandably unhappy, as these fouls are mounting up and they\'re not being given a chance to circulate some build-up play in the middle third.

  • 25'

    Max Mata, among the Sligo bench again tonight, is latest into the referee's book for deliberately halting play as Motherwell looked to take a quick throw-in on the far side. There are ways to be subtle about delaying the game and then there's what he did, just blasting the ball high into the stands in plain sight.

  • 23'

    Kevin van Veen fires high and wide from an awkward angle as the ball trickles out to him. Frustrated look on the Dutchman's face, understandably so as he's been reduced to scraps so far.

  • 15'

    Awful studs-up sliding challenge commited by Adam McDonnell on the far side, unceremoniously crashing into Josh Morris and is first into the ref's book. If VAR was in operation tonight, that would've been upgraded to a straight red.

  • 12'

    Motherwell equalise! But it's swiftly ruled offside by the linesman on the far side, as defender Ricki Lamie shows great control to latch onto Blair Spittal's curling delivery and hammer home from close-range.

  • 11'

    Free-kick for Motherwell in a potentially promising position now, as Buckley bundles into the back of Morris.

  • 10'

    Slattery's hopeful volley is met by ironic jeers from the home supporters as the ball finds him from a Motherwell corner on the edge of the box... but he blazes over the crossbar. It's been that sort of start so far.

  • 4'

    A sweetly-struck effort loops over Liam Kelly and into the top corner, giving Sligo a two-goal cushion on aggregate now! Talk about a purposeful start... Motherwell defensively don't know what has hit them.

  • 3'

    WHAT A GOAL!!! SHANE BLANEY\'S FREE-KICK FROM DISTANCE GIVES SLIGO AN EARLY LEAD!

  • 2'

    Cagey start in the early exchanges, Mugabi gets quickly reacquainted with Keena and needlessly wrestles him off the ball, giving away a free-kick. Sligo can do something from this set-piece...

  • 1'

    Kick-off! We're underway, will Sligo consolidate last week's slender win or can Motherwell make amends for a disappointing showing here?

  • A reminder if you needed it, the winner of this clash will face either Viking or Sparta Prague. It's currently half-time in that second leg, 1-1 on the night (and aggregate too!). I'll keep you posted on how that one fares too.

  • The pitch is in pristine condition, the sun is still shining and it's a beautiful atmosphere with The Showgrounds bouncing right now. Just a few minutes to go before kick-off now.

  • As for the visitors, Irish U21 midfielder Ross Tierney - a Bohemians academy graduate - is among those who'll be motivated to produce a dazzling display this evening.

  • If it's not broken, don't try fixing it! An unchanged starting eleven for the hosts, with last week's matchwinner Aidan Keena among the notable names to watch out for.

  • Without further ado though, some team news has filtered through on social media...

  • If you fancy some pre-match reading to pass the time, why not check the article tab for my match preview?

  • My name's Mosope Ominiyi and I'll be taking you through the night's action in what could be a big night for the hosts, which is unsurprisingly sold out at The Showgrounds. Kick-off is just under an hour's time.

  • Good evening everyone and welcome to tonight's live play-by-play commentary, as Sligo Rovers host Motherwell in the second leg of a big clash in the UEFA Europa Conference League's second qualifying round.

Sligo Rovers

32Luke McNicholas Goalkeeper
2Lewis Banks Defender
4Shane Blaney Defender 4'
19Paddy Kirk Defender
7Will Fitzgerald Midfielder
8Niall Morahan 27 Midfielder
17Adam McDonnell 34 Midfielder 15'
22David Cawley 28 Midfielder
26Garry Buckley Midfielder
14Karl O’Sullivan Forward
9Aidan Keena Forward
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
31Conor Walsh Goalkeeper
28Nando Pijnaker 22 Defender
41Eanna Clancy Defender
6Greg Bolger Midfielder
34Kailin Barlow 17 Midfielder
44Darragh McCarthy Midfielder
10Frank Liivak Forward
25Cillian Heaney Forward
27Max Mata 8 Forward 90'
25'
12Mark Byrne (Sligo) Midfielder

Motherwell

1Liam Kelly Goalkeeper
3Jake Carroll Defender
4Ricki Lamie Defender
5Bevis Mugabi 15 Defender
6Barry Maguire Midfielder
7Blair Spittal 29 Midfielder
8Callum Slattery 27 Midfielder
9Kevin van Veen Forward
16Paul McGinn Defender 62'
23Josh Morris Midfielder 47'
26Ross Tierney 11 Midfielder
12Scott Fox Goalkeeper
31Matthew Connelly Goalkeeper
14Juhani Ojala Defender
2Stephen O’Donnell Defender
18Dean Corneilus Midfielder
27Sean Goss 8 Midfielder
35Sam Campbell Defender
15Sondre Solholm Johansen 5 Defender
28Robbie Mahon Forward
29Conor Shields 7 Forward
11Joseph Efford 26 Forward 89'

Past Meetings

(Second Qualifying Round)
0 - 1
UEFA Europa Conference
Fir Park

Motherwell v Sligo Rovers

Ground

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