A Morten Nielsen brace helped Micky Adams Sligo Rovers to a hugely important 4-0 victory over Drogheda United at United Park on Friday evening.
After a positive start from Sligo, it was Drogheda who were the better side in the first 25 minutes. The Boynesiders created the first three chances of note, firstly on 12 minutes as Schlingermann set Drogheda on the counter, with the ball eventually reaching Bayly who seen his shot easily saved by Brush.
Next up, it was Duffy’s turn to see his effort saved by the Bit o’Red keeper before Thornton sent a volley wide of the far post when he probably should have done better.
Then came what can only be described as a crazy five minutes of football which saw a controversial red card for the home side and two goals for the visitors.
Drogheda were reduced to ten men on 26 minutes as Bayly, on his first league start for the Louth side, was controversially sent off by referee Ray Matthews for a cynical foul on the forward rushing John Russell. Bayly knew what he was doing, committing a cynical foul and ‘taking one for the team’. However, Matthews seen it as more than that and flashed the red card dismissing the former Shamrock Rovers man.
A minute later, Sligo hit the front. From the free kick for the foul on Russell, the visitors forced a corner. The corner was cleared but only as far as Russell who crossed the ball for Nielsen to head home, unmarked, from five yards.
It was 2-0 to Micky Adams side on the half hour mark as a shocking mix up at the back between Alan Byrne and Sean Thornton gifted the ball to Hughes, who slotted the ball past Schlingermann with ease.
It was Sligo who started the brighter of the two sides in the second half and they made it 3-0 on 51 minutes. Again, it was the outstanding John Russell who was the provider for Nielsen. Russell whipped in a ball from the right to Nielsen who seen his first shot well saved by Schlingermann but the ball dropped to the Dane’s feet and he made no mistake at the second time of asking.
Sligo were comfortable and were in control and limited Drogheda to one chance in the second half. That chance came 68 minutes in as a great run from Lee Duffy set Drogheda on the attack and Duffy, on the byline pulled the ball back to McKenna who could only shoot straight at Brush.
Sligo would make it 4-0, through substitute and new signing Anthony Elding from the penalty spot following a foul on Keith Ward by Drogheda captain Mick Daly. There were no complaints about this decision and Elding stepped up to score his third goal against Drogheda this season.
The Sligo midfielder has only just returned from injury and based on this performance, may be what Sligo have been missing. He controlled the game and was central to everything Sligo did going forward, grabbing himself two assists, both for Nielsen before he was substituted on 72 minutes. A smart decision by Micky Adams as he is a player that will be of huge importance if Sligo are to stay up this season.
Anthony Elding introduction and goal.
This was the crowd pleaser, if you are a Sligo fan that is. New signing Anthony Elding replaced Cretaro on 75 minutes, much to the delight of the travelling support and they didn’t have to wait long to see the Englishman score as he sent Schlingermann the wrong way from the penalty spot less than ten minutes later.
What Happens Next?
Next up for Drogheda is a trip to Galway on Monday night. Both sides are currently level on points and are just three ahead of Sligo. A defeat for Drogheda or Galway will put them in serious trouble.
Sligo on the other hand, should now be boosted in confidence following this result. They host Derry City at the Showgrounds on Monday and will be hoping that this win against Drogheda is only the start of a run which will see them move up the table.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann; Daly (c), Byrne, O’Reilly, O’Brien (McKenna 65’); Whelan (Maher 30’), Thornton, Bayly (sent off 26’), Marks; Duffy (Hughes 72’), Pender.
Unused Subs: Farrell (GK), Gorman, Brennan, Seery.
Sligo Rovers: Brush; Keane, Peers, Clancy, Donelon; Cretaro (Elding 75’), Hughes, Boylan, Puri; Russell (Ward 72’); Nielsen (Corcoran 75’).
Unused Subs: Coulter (GK), Lehane, Armstrong, Nzuzi.
Gerard Grimes, Pundit Arena.