League Report: Sligo Rovers 2 - 1 Waterford

Tue, Aug 18 2020

Alex Cooper celebrates his dramatic injury-time winner. Credit: Liam Coughlan (ETPhotos)

Alex Cooper's stoppage-time free kick ensured Sligo Rovers picked up all three points on Tuesday evening with a 2-1 over Waterford at the Showgrounds.

United had taken a first half lead through Michael O’Connor before Ronan Coughlan equalised 13 minutes from time, but Cooper ultimately won it for the Bit o’ Red in the dying moments.

Waterford started the faster of the two teams and they had the first effort of the match after three minutes.

Robbie McCourt volleyed from long range and, although the shot was on target, Sligo keeper Ed McGinty claimed the ball with ease.

A couple of minutes later Sligo almost took the lead in strange circumstances, as David Cawley found Jesse Devers out on the right and his cross bounced off the top of Tadhg Ryan’s crossbar before falling to safety.

After ten minutes the Blues had another chance. This time through Will Longbottom, as he curled a shot narrowly wide of the Sligo goal from the edge of the penalty area.

Kurtis Byrne then had a chance to put John Sheridan’s men in front. The former Dundalk forward saw his volley from 20 yards saved and cleared by McGinty in the Sligo goal.

Waterford did take the lead two minutes later. Byrne played a ball to the overlapping Olawutunmise Sobowale, who found O’Connor in acres of space and he made no mistake, finishing low past McGinty from eight yards.

Sligo came close to an equaliser on 26 minutes as Teemu Penninkangas headed against the crossbar after getting onto the end of a Regan Donelon free kick.

Coughlan was played through on goal, he tried to lob the ball over Ryan, but the Waterford shot-stopper was equal to the effort and managed to clear his lines.

Sligo continued to grow into the game and had another effort just after the half-hour mark when Lewis Banks saw his 25-yard effort saved after good work from Coughlan and De Vries in midfield.

Rovers had another opportunity to level three minutes before the break when Waterford net-minder Ryan was adjudged to have picked up a back-pass.

De Vries rolled the resulting indirect free kick to Coughlan, but the striker fired over from 13 yards out.

Coughlan was involved in front of goal again before the break. This time he flicked Donelon’s corner towards goal, but Sobowale was on hand to clear the ball off the line.

Byrne had a chance to double Waterford’s lead just after the break as a long ball was knocked down to the forward by O’Connor.

The goalscorer’s 20 yard effort was initially dropped by McGinty before the young goalkeeper claimed the ball at the second attempt.

Sligo were unlucky not to equalise just after the hour mark. Devers found Cawley with a cross to the far post, but the midfielder saw his header come off the base of the post before being snapped up by Ryan.

11 minutes later it was Waterford’s turn to hit the woodwork. This time Tyreke Wilson’s curling free kick bounced back off the post after beating McGinty in the Sligo goal.


Moments later, Waterford were made to rue the miss as Donelon’s set-piece was knocked down to Coughlan, who finished well past Ryan from close range to equalise.

Sligo continued to press for a winner and it came in the third minute of stoppage time. Sobowale fouled Cawley, giving Sligo a free kick on the edge of the box.

It looked like Coughlan was going to take it, but he left it for substitute Cooper, who wrong footed Ryan and put it into the bottom corner of the Waterford net to give Rovers all three points.

Sligo Rovers: Edward McGinty; Lewis Banks (Darragh Noone 62), Regan Donelon, Danny Kane, Teemu Penninkangas; David Cawley, Niall Morahan, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe; Rónán Coughlan, Ryan De Vries, Jesse Devers (Alex Cooper 82).

Subs not used: Mark Byrne, Luke McNicholas, Ronan Murray, Sigitas Olberkis, John Russell.

Booked: Teemu Penninkangas (19), Danny Kane (30), Niall Morahan (36).

Waterford: Tadhg Ryan; Robbie McCourt, Jake Davidson, Sam Bone (Niall O'Keeffe 45); Tyreke Wilson, Robbie Weir, Olawutunmise Sobowale, Matty Smith, William Longbottom (Will Fitzgerald 88); Michael O'Connor (John Martin 88), Kurtis Byrne .

Subs not used: Dean Walsh, Darragh Power, Paul Martin.

Booked: Matty Smith (32), Sam Bone (45), Tadhg Ryan (66), Jake Davidson (76).

Referee: Damien MacGraith.

Attendance: 0.

Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Ronan Coughlan (Sligo Rovers).