League Report: Dundalk 0 - 5 Sligo Rovers

Max Mata redies himself to take a penalty during Sligo Rover's 3-2 win over UCD at the UCD Bowl on Friday, 24 February 2023.

Max Mata scored twice for the Bit O'Red Credit: John Crothers (ETPhotos)

Patrick O’ Connor reports from Oriel Park Dundalk

Sligo Rovers put in a scintillating performance at Oriel Park on Monday night, where they comprehensively overcame Dundalk and recorded a thoroughly deserved 5-0 victory.

The visitors completely outplayed and outfought their hosts on a wet and windy night at the Co. Louth venue, more than making up for their 1-0 loss to Shelbourne on Friday night.

The Lilywhites were a pale shadow of their great teams of the past, and they never got to grips with the difficult weather conditions, either when they had the wind at their backs in the first half or when they played into the teeth of the gale in the second half.

The Bit O' Red, on the other hand, dominated both halves, both with and against the wind, and the game will live long in the memory of their hardy band of supporters who travelled across the country for this, the 250th clash between the two sides.

Rovers took the lead in the seventh minute through Ellis Chapman, who was set up by Max Mata, and the lead was doubled in the 14th minute when Fabrice Hartmann’s shot deceived George Shelvey and squirmed out of the goalie’s hands and across the line.

Chapman made it 3-0 in the 35th minute, and Mata completed the first-half rout three minutes later when he made it 4-0.

Any faint hopes that Dundalk would make a game of it against the wind in the second half were dashed when Mata scored his second and Rovers' fifth of the night in the 61st minute.

Dundalk Head Coach Stephen O'Donnell used all of his substitutions in an attempt to get a reaction from his underperforming side, but it was to no avail.

They did create more chances during the second half but found Ed McGinty in the Rovers goal in great form and never really looked like clawing back the huge deficit.

The result sees Dundalk now sitting alone at the bottom of the table on one point after three series of games, while Sligo Rovers move up to fifth place on five points having played four games.

Sligo Rovers will be in a buoyant mood when they host Shamrock Rovers at the Showgrounds in their next outing on Saturday night, while Dundalk will look to recover from this annihilation when they face fellow strugglers St Patrick's Athletic in Richmond Park on Friday night.

Dundalk: George Shelvey(Ross Munro 46); Mayowa Animasahun (Louie Annesley 46), Andrew Boyle, Archie Davies, Jamie Walker (Hayden Muller 37); Robert Benson (Jamie Gullan 64), Zak Bradshaw (Samuel Durrant 37), Paul Doyle, Scott High, Daryl Horgan; Cameron Elliott (Ciaran McGuckin 64).
Subs not used: Zak Johnson, Koen Oostenbrink, Ryan O'Kane.
Booked: None.

Sligo Rovers: Edward McGinty; Ollie Denham, Reece Hutchinson (Owen Elding 71), John Ross Wilson (Charlie Wiggett 83), Nando Zen Pijnaker; Ellis Chapman (Kailin Barlow 65), William Fitzgerald, Connor Malley (Stefan Radosavljević 71), Niall Morahan; Fabrice Hartmann, Max Mata (Wilson Waweru 65).
Subs not used: Richard Brush, Conor Reynolds, Kyle McDonagh, Simon Power.
Booked: Connor Malley (23).

Referee: .Mark Lynch
extratime.com Player of the Match: Max Mata ( Sligo Rovers )