Sligo Rovers welcomed the Mayo League to the Showgrounds this Tuesday night in the first round of the EA Sports Cup.
The Bit O’ Red were utterly dominant from the start and were a little unlucky to go in at half time only two goals to the good, thanks to Morten Nielsen and Gary Armstrong.
Sligo Manager Owen Heary made a number of changes to his team after Saturday night’s opening league fixture, which saw Sligo denied a memorable win over Cork City. Only Sander Puri, Danny Ledwith and Morten Nielsen were kept in the starting eleven, with Alan Keane given the night off following the birth of his son on Sunday night.
Similarly to the Cork match, Rovers started the second half on top and were soon 3-0 up after Gary Armstrong grabbed his second of the night. Rovers continued to turn the screw and were rewarded for their effort when Sander Puri added a fourth, scoring his first for his new club. Rovers added a fifth when fit again Raffaele Cretaro scored a penalty after he was fouled in the box.
Rovers made it six when Liam Flatley met Gary Armstrong’s ball in the box to calmly slot it into the back of the net. Rovers pushed for a seventh and were rewarded for their persistence after eighty five minutes when Gary Armstrong and Liam Flatley combined again to score Rovers’ seventh.
With just a minute left of ordinary time Liam Flatley scored his third goal for the Bit O’ Red, latching onto a Ward cross and that’s how the game finished.
Heary now looks forward to a game against Drogheda United this weekend in the league.
Pundit Arena Man of the Match: Sligo Rovers’ Gary Armstrong.
The young winger set up two goals and scored two goals to further enhance his reputation at the Showgrounds.
Aaron Cawley, Pundit Arena