Sligo Rovers 5, Irish Defence Forces 0
SLIGO Rovers were comfortable 5-0 winners against the Irish Defence Forces on Wednesday evening in their penultimate pre-season game at The Showgrounds.
In what was Rovers’ fourth pre-season win of 2017, the winners’ goals came from Chris Kenny (2), Raffaele Cretaro, Kieran Sadlier and Matty Stevens.
Rovers midfielder Chris Kenny, the game’s best player, played for the Irish Defence Forces at last month’s CISM (International Military Sports Council) World Football Club. The Irish Defence Forces included a Sligo native, Easkey’s Keith Duffy, who played at centre-back.
The Bit O’Red opened the scoring after 11 minutes following a decent passing move.
Jonah Ayunga miscontrolled a ball from Regan Donelon, but being forced wide would work in the forward’s favour as he turned possession back to Daniel Kearns who whipped a perfect ball into the box for Raffaele Cretaro, whose powerful header beat Stephen Whelan.
After launching the move which broke the deadlock, Donelon found himself on the end of another move when a wonderful first time ball from Chris Kenny found the left-back who broke into the box but could only fire wide from an acute angle.
Kieran Sadlier had his first real involvement on the half-hour mark when he forced a save from Whelan. The ball subsequently found its way to Kearns whose effort was deflected wide.
Rovers continued to move the ball around with ease and managed to double their lead on the stroke of half-time. Chris Kenny slipped into a pocket of space, received a through ball and finished comfortably into the bottom corner to leave the home side 2-0 up at half-time.
After the restart there was a lengthy uneventful period. The game suddenly burst back into life when Sadlier scored a well-placed free-kick from the edge of the box following a foul on Matty Stevens.
This was then followed by what would surely have been the goal of the game when a powerful volley from Chris Kenny looked destined to find the top right corner, but Kenny’s teammate Matty Stevens could not evade the shot in time and he inadvertently deflected the shot over.
The Peterborough man would get the chance to make amends when he drifted into point-blank range to get on the end of a Mikey Place ball to score a poacher’s goal.
Rovers wrapped up the scoring with the last kick of the game when a deep, searching cross from Craig Roddan was met by Chris Kenny who claimed his second of the game with a fantastic looping header.
Best for Rovers: Chris Kenny
Sligo Rovers (v Irish Defence Forces): Michael Schlingermann (Shaun Patton h-t), Tobi Adebayo-Rowling (Jack Keaney 79), Mick Leahy (John Mahon 66), Gary Boylan (Kyle Callan-McFadden 66), Regan Donelon (Mikey Place 79), Craig Roddan, Chris Kenny, Raffaele Cretaro (Liam Martin 77), Kieran Sadlier (Mark Hannon 79), Daniel Kearns, Jonah Ayunga (Matty Stevens ht)