League Report: Sligo Rovers 2 - 1 St Patrick's Athletic

Ten man Sligo Rovers returned to winning ways as they defeated St Patrick’s Athletic 2-1 at the Showgrounds on Monday night.

Goals from Reece Hutchinson and Fabrice Hartmann proved to be the difference for the Bit O’ Red to see off the Saints and seal Rovers' second win of the season.

Both teams made changes to their line ups with John Russell making four changes after his side's defeat against Drogheda United.

Sligo quartet John Mahon, Stefan Radosavljevic, Fabrice Hartmann and Greg Bolger replaced Eanna Clancy, Frank Liivak, Kallin Barlow and Lukas Browning.

The visitors made five alterations to their side after a dismal defeat in Dundalk last Friday. The biggest of which saw Chris Forrester dropped to the bench.

The Saints would have liked to make a fast start to the game after a humbling loss to Dundalk last Friday.

But it was Sligo who started the better of the two. They created a couple of half-chances in the opening exchanges but did not trouble David Odumosu.

The Saints went direct from the off, looking to play of second balls from Tommy Lonergan, who was proving to be an effective outlet for the visitors.

Despite winning corners and free kicks in good areas, Ben McCormack's deliveries proved to be largely wasteful.

Disaster struck for Sligo in the 20th minute as they were reduced to ten men when John Mahon was dismissed.

Mahon, who was making his first start of the season, showed signs of rust as he was pick pocketed by Tommy Lonergan.

In an attempt to rectify the error, he pulled the former UCD striker to the ground just outside the area and Rob Hennessy had no hesitation when giving the Sligo man his marching orders.

Mahon and Rovers could argue to feel a tad hard done by as replays showed a recovering defender was present.

However, in spite of going down to ten, Sligo broke the deadlock when Reece Hutchinson and the lively Will Fitzgerald combined.

The pair linked up for a one two on the left hand side and Hutchinson placed his effort in the bottom corner to give the Bit O’ Red the lead.

The Athletic should have equalised before half-time after good work from McCormack, who pinched the ball of Nando Pijnaker on the half way line.

He then found Eoin Doyle in space who in turn squared the ball to his strike partner Tommy Lonergan at the back post.

But the front man could not sort out his feet as he put the ball wide of the post. Doyle also had a chance late on in the half but his effort was saved by Luke McNicholas.

Tim Clancy introduced two substitutes at the break, turning to Chris Forrester and Jake Mulraney to ignite a spark for St Pat’s in the second half.

Mulraney was immediately involved in the action, putting crosses into the Sligo penalty area but the Rovers defence was dealing comfortably with visitors efforts.

The Sligo rear-guard was breached just after the 60th minute mark when Jamie Lennon found Chris Forrester in a pocket of space outside the Sligo box - and the Smithfield man unleashed an unstoppable drive to level the game.

Forrester almost doubled his tally shortly after when he danced by two defenders and hit a low shot on target but Luke McNicholas made a good save to his left to keep the game tied.

This would prove to be a crucial save as Sligo regained the lead.

After conceding a free kick, the Saints lost their focus as Johan Brannefalk hit a quick free to the unmarked Fabrice Hartmann who cut in on his left to curl in a peach to make it 2-1 to the home side.

The Athletic huffed and puffed for the final twenty minutes, putting plenty of bodies and crosses into the Sligo box but to little effect as they never looked like breaking down the Bit O’ Red defence, creating little to none clear cut opportunities. 

In truth, it was Sligo who looked like the side who would go onto to score the next goal as they looked dangerous on the break through Fitzgerald and Max Mata.

It was a deserved win for Rovers on the night who played over seventy minutes with ten men as they moved up to fourth in the Premier Division.

For the Saints, another lacklustre performance and seven goals conceded in two games will be a worry for fans. 

And the games do not get any easier as Bohemians visit Inchicore on Friday night under the lights.


Sligo Rovers: Luke McNicholas; Johan Brannefalk, Reece Hutchinson, John Mahon, Nando Pijnaker; Greg Bolger (Éanna Clancy 57), William Fitzgerald, Fabrice Hartmann (Karl O'Sullivan 81), Niall Morahan (Kailin Barlow 68), Stefan Radosavljevic; Max Mata.

Subs not used: Richard Brush, Daniel Lafferty, James Finnerty, Bogdan Vastsuk, David Cawley, Frank Liivak.

Booked: Fabrice Hartmann (80).

Sent off: John Mahon (20).


St. Patrick's Athletic: David Odumosu; Anto Breslin, Sam Curtis (Jake Mulraney 46), Tom Grivosti, Jay McGrath, Joe Redmond; Jamie Lennon, Ben McCormack, Thijs Timmermans (Chris Forrester 46); Eoin Doyle (Conor Carty 80), Thomas Lonergan (Mark Doyle 59).

Subs not used: Dean Lyness, Noah Lewis, Vladislav Kreida, Serge Atakayi, Carl Axel Sjoberg.

Booked: Thijs Timmermans (39), Sam Curtis (42), Joe Redmond (69), Conor Carty (88).


Referee: Robert Hennessy.

Attendance: 2,751.  

extratime.com Player of the Match: Will Fitzgerald (Sligo Rovers).