SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
Sligo Rovers 3, Bray Wanderers 2
SLIGO Rovers picked up their first win of this season’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division when they defeated Bray Wanderers 3-2 in a thriller at The Showgrounds on Saturday night last.
Talisman Kieran Sadlier’s third goal of the season kick-started Rovers’ struggling campaign – they had failed to win any of their previous four fixtures – as it was the winger’s exceptional 54th minute free-kick proved the winning goal in the 3-2 defeat of Bray Wanderers at The Showgrounds.
Rovers, bottom of the table ahead of a clash with a Bray Wanderers outfit who had won three of their opening four games, were undone in the third minute when their former player, Gary McCabe, converted from close range after Mark Salmon’s dangerous cross wasn’t cleared.
The home side reacted positively – full-back Tobi Adebayo-Rowling’s piledriver was kept out by Bray net-minder Peter Cherrie and Kieran Sadlier, lively throughout, hit the base of the upright with a low shot after 25 minutes.
Then Rovers bagged two goals in three minutes with Sadlier involved in both. His 26th minute cross was meant for striker Jonah Ayunga but Bray defender Derek Foran, a former Rovers player, diverted the ball into his own net to make it 1-1.
Busy Chris Kenny put Sligo 2-1 after 28 minutes when he lashed a loose ball home after another telling left-wing delivery from Kieran Sadlier.
Bray equalised seven minutes short of half-time when Gary McCabe netted with a brilliant free-kick but Sadlier’s dead-ball skills would later settle this end-to-end tie. Sadlier, who scored 11 goals last season, has now scored three in his last three appearances.
The home side, who had lost away to Cork City the previous Monday, started with Shaun Patton in goal with Micheál Schlingermann still not 100%, while Liam Martin did well at left-back in the absence of the injured Regan Donelon.
Dave Robertson’s side are away to Finn Harps this coming Saturday at Finn Park (7.45pm start).
Best for Rovers: Kieran Sadlier
Sligo Rovers: Shaun Patton; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Mick Leahy, Liam Martin; Kieran Sadlier (Daniel Kearns 83), Chris Kenny (Gary Boylan 88), Craig Roddan, John Russell; Raffaele Cretaro (Mathew Stevens 88), Jonah Ayunga
Subs not used: Micheál Schlingermann, John Mahon, Jack Keaney, Mikey Place
Bray Wanderers: Peter Cherrie; Ryan Robinson (Conor Earley 28), Conor Kenna, Derek Foran, Kevin Lynch; Aaron Greene, Mark Salmon, John Sullivan (Ryan Brennan 75), Dylan Connolly; Gary McCabe; Anthony Flood (Ger Pender 82)
Subs not used: Lee Steacy, Hugh Douglas, Tim Clancy, Jason Marks
Referee: Paul Tuite