Sligo Rovers are still chasing their first win of the season after a 3 - 1 defeat to Bray Wanderers at the Showgrounds this evening with Steven Beattie and David Cassidy getting on the score sheet for both their teams respectively.
Dinny Corcoran and Kevin Devaney got Rovers off to a strong start inside two minutes when Devaney slipped through the Bray defense and managed to get a strong cross over to Corcoran but the visitors were aware of the danger and managed to clear the ball after some confusion.
David Cassidy was to first to get on the score sheet after a penalty was awarded to Bray inside six minutes - Cassidy was brought down by Ryan Coulter and Rovers paid the price for such a reckless challenge after Cassidy’s shot sent Coulter the wrong way and Wanderers went one ahead.
The home fans made their voices heard to encourage them team on and it worked as, eleven minutes later, after a good passage of play between Alan Keane. and David Cawley the ball found Steven Beattie who drilled a shot home into the bottom left corner of Stephen McGuinness’ net
A Rovers free in the 28th minute found the head of Stephen Folan in the box – but he was unable to connect properly with the ball and the ball was carried over the crossbar.
Another free for Rovers taken by Keith Ward nine minutes later on the edge of the box had fans hopeful the Bit o’Red were about to edge ahead but the shot was too low and sailed right into the arms of McGuinness. Just before the half Keane was caught restricting Cassidy in the box which Padraigh Sutton awarded with a second penalty for the visitors.
Cassidy again stepped up to the spot and again sent Coulter the wrong way and the half ended with Bray ahead by one. Sligo were again the stronger side in the opening minutes of the second half were spent in and around Bray’s eighteen yard box with Beattie raising a groan from fans after a well struck header smashed off the crossbar.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Sligo though as just five minutes later Ward was sent off much to the dismay of the assembled crowd for heading the ball out of the hands of McGuinness. Despite this, though, Rovers still continued to look the stronger team and kept asking questions of Wanderers, looking for weaknesses in their defensive line.
Corcoran almost had a chance in the 66th minute when he cut in from the left and found himself with just the keeper to beat – but there was too much power on the shot and the ball went well over the net. Cassidy found his form for the visitors again three minutes later when he got through a sleeping Sligo defense and curled the bar under Coulter for his third goal of the game.
A flatness fell over the Showgrounds after that goal owing to home side's frustrations and a comfortable lead built up by an internally troubled Bray who looked to close out the game. Beattie tried his luck with a low shot at McGuinness’ net with four minutes to go, but Michael Barker watched his shot all the way and sent the ball out of play.
Sligo kept looking for answers well into the four minutes of added time with Corcoran, Beattie and Cawley all looking for a way through but the Wanderers line held firm and the score sheet remained 3-1 to Bray. With that win Bray move just ahead of Sligo in the League standings with their next game against Limerick at home on the 11th of April.
Rovers next league game, however, is away to Galway United on April 10th.
Sligo Rovers: Ryan Coulter; Alan Keane (Morten Nielsen 61), Stephen Folan, Gavin Peers, Jake Dykes; Steven Beattie, David Cawley, John Russell, Keith Ward, Kevin Devaney (Sander Puri 65); Dinny Corcoran.
Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly (gk), Danny Ledwith, Gary Boylan, Eoin Wearen, Raffaele Cretaro.
Bookings: Ward (23), Cawley (41), Keane (44), Peers (83).
Sent Off: Ward (52).
Bray Wanderers: Stephen McGuinness; Michael Barker, Hugh Douglas, Adam Michell, Daniel O’Reilly; Adam Hanlon (Emeka Onwubika 91), David Cassidy, Ryan McEvoy, Luke Gallagher (Alan McNally 41), Peter McGlynn; Gareth McDonagh (Chris Lyons 70).
Subs not used: Brian Kane (gk), Jack Memery, Niall Cooney, Peter Durrad.
Bookings: McGlynn (76), Lyons (87).
Sent off: Mitchell (36)
Referee: Padraigh Sutton
Man of the Match: Hugh Douglas (Bray Wanderers)