Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sligo Rovers triumph in EA Sports Cup Final

Sligo Rovers clinched silverware for the first time since their 1998 League Cup success thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over Monaghan United in the EA Sports Cup final at The Showgrounds.
Matthew Blinkhorn's 14th minute strike proved the difference between the sides, although Sligo should have had the result sewn up before the final whistle.
The same sides had met a week earlier at the same venue in the quarter final of the FAI Ford Cup, with Rovers victorious 3-0 on that occasion, but their First Division opponents produced a much improved showing this time out.
The 3,000 plus attendance witnessed an open contest and, following Blinkhorn's opener, John Russell should have extended Sligo's lead four minutes later - only for Monaghan United goalkeeper Gabriel Sava to produce a terrific save from Russell's piledriver.
Philip Hughes' 25th minute free-kick was the visitors' best chance of the opening half, but it climbed over Ciaran Kelly's crossbar.
Following the interval, Sligo Rovers continued their dominance, with Sava denying Blinkhorn within a minute of the restart and Gavin Peers volleying wide from Joseph Ndo's corner on 55 minutes.
Russell almost sneaked in at the far post for Rovers in the 59th minute, and Eoin Doyle should have made it 2-0 on 65, but pulled his shot wide of the far post.
Against the run of play, United nearly equalized in the 73rd minute - Alan Keane clearing Brian Gartland's header off the line with Kelly beaten.
Rovers responded immediately with Romauld Boco forcing Sava to dive to his left on 74 minutes and Russell almost converting for the home side - the excellent Sava again coming to the rescue.
Rovers substitute Gary McCabe's 85th minute free-kick also crept just past Sava's post, and minutes later Boco dragged a shot wide.
Darragh Hananphy nearly engineered a stoppage-time chance for the visitors - only for Rover's Jim Laughlan to time a saving tackle to perfection - and the hosts held out for victory.
The win gives Paul Cook his first success as Sligo Rovers manager.

Sligo Rovers: C Kelly; A Keane, G Peers, J Laughlan, I Davoren; E Doyle, J Russell (G McCabe 78), R Ryan, R Boco; J Ndo, M Blinkhorn
Monaghan United: G Sava; C McMahon, A Byrne, B Gartland, S Grimes; A Collins, S Brennan (C O'Connor 68), B Clancy, D Tierney (A Lynch 84); K Berminghan, P Hughes (D Hanaphy 77)

Referee: D Hanney (Dublin)

This victory is a reward to the team and especialy Paul Cook who has put in an enourmous amount of work in the last 3 years. Well done the Bit'O'Red!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

EA Sports Cup review

Sligo Rovers take on Monaghan United in the EA Sports Cup final in The Showgrounds on Saturday evening, live on Setanta Sports.

The Bit o' Red have defeated Letterkenny Rovers, St Patrick's Athletic and Shamrock Rovers on the way to the final.
They go into the game without Richard Brush and Mauro Almeida due to long-term injury, but Paul Cook has no other injury or suspension worries.
Cook has warned his players that the match will represent a difficult test for his side. Monaghan lost 3-0 to Rovers last weekend in an FAI Cup quarter-final in The Showgrounds.
Cook said: 'There all different sorts of criteria for finals. It is on the day. I think Monaghan will respect the fact that we beat them last Saturday, we beat them quite convincingly. But by the same yardstick, it is a completely different game now.
'Monaghan come for a one-off game, it'll be finished Saturday night. If you do make mistakes or get people sent off it could come back to haunt you.'
The Rovers manager has revealed he has not been pushing his players too hard in the run-up to the game after a rigorous schedule with league and cup games.
'At the minute we've got no injuries and no suspensions. We just had four games in two weeks so it was important we got rest into the lads. We needed to prepare them and prepare their minds properly for what will be a very tough encounter.'
Rovers have risen to fourth in the Premier Division table and, as well as being in the EA Sports final, they have reached the last four of the FAI Cup. Despite the fantastic position the Bit o' Red find themselves in, Cook has stressed the job is far from complete.
'We've been playing consistently well for a long period but at the end of the season we all say the same things.
'The league table will not lie and then two trophies will be handed out. We've got a chance to put our hands on both.'
Monaghan and the Bit o' Red reached an agreement to play the final in The Showgrounds. The Rovers boss is calling on the home supporters to get behind the team from the off to try and help add to 'a long and glorious history' of the club.
'We're delighted to have the final here. The game is close to a sell-out, which is great. It is live on television. The playing surface is to a good standard so it has got all the ingredients to be a really good cup tie. Myself and Mick Cooke will try to do the league proud and put a good spectacle for everyone.
'I want the supporters to get behind the team from the first minute. Loads of encouragement, loads of noise and loads of colour. Make it a special occasion because if you look back we've won the League Cup once in our history. We've got a long and glorious history and we've only won it once.
'To win the EA Sports Cup another time puts some more silverware in the cabinet. It goes towards the history of the club and Saturday we have an opportunity if we all play our part - fans, players and staff alike, then we can get that success we need.'
Cook is now at the club for three-and-a-half years and in that time Rovers have played in two League Cup semis, an FAI Cup final and a Europa League first round match. He hopes the experience will help his side's cause on Saturday evening.
'Our lads have played a lot of big games now. I can telling people about experience. We’ve played against Vllaznia, FAI Cup finals, League Cup semi-finals, big big games. So we’ve got no problem with nerves or the expectancy of crowds.'

Monaghan have no injury concerns for the match.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Boheimians match report

Ten-man Bohemians missed the chance to move within a point of leaders Shamrock Rovers after drawing one-all with Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds.
After Killian Brennans sending off for a stamp on Alan Keane, Bohs never realy looked up to much.

Rovers were unchanged from the team that defeated Monaghan United in the Cup at the weekend. Gary McCabe returned from suspension but started on the bench.
Jason McGuinness missed out for Bohemians because of injury, with Ken Oman coming into the side as the only change to the team that defeated Bray last time out.
Both sides featured attackers playing against their former clubs - Raffaele Cretaro for Bohs and Joseph Ndo for Sligo - and both showed an appetite for the contest, demanding possession at every opportunity.
Ndo saw more of the ball as Bohs struggled a little with the swirling wind at their backs and the former Cameroon international almost set Eoin Doyle free with an incisive pass, but for a timely interception from Conor Powell.
But it was Cretaro that made the more telling impact when a bad pass across the field from Jim Laughlen put peersy ender pressuere and he ended up giving away a free against Cretaro (who went down like a bag of potatoes).
Quigley curled the ball around the wall, under Kelly and into the corner of the net from the resulting free-kick.
But just two minutes later a rush of blood to the head resulted in a sending off.
Brennan tangled with Keane on the sidelineand after he got up he blatenly stamped on Keane for a straight red.
Fenlon reacted by introducing Paul Keegan for Jason Byrne.
But Rovers almost carved open a chance to equalise before the break when Russell controlled Richie Ryan's cross in the area, but couldn't get his shot away as Bohs surrounded him in numbers.
But the midfielder grabbed the leveller on 57 minutes as he raced onto a cross-field pass into the area and slid the ball past keeper Chris O'Connor with a left-foot shot.
The excellent Russell almost won it in injury-time, but his header from John Dillon's cross flashed the wrong side of the post.
 This draw will feel like a loss for Rovers as after the sending off Bohs offered nothing going forward, Rovers had all the ball and the chances but didn't have that cutting edge up front.
Jim laughlan put in a massive performance and was the best player on the pitch i think!!
Sligo Rovers: 1 Ciaran Kelly; 2 Alan Keane, 20 Jim Lauchlan, 4 Gavin Peers, 3 Iarfhlaith Davoren (21 Gary McCabe 74); 11 Eoin Doyle (7 John Dillon 74), 6 Richie Ryan (Captain), 8 John Russell, 15 Joseph Ndo; 18 Romuald Boco, 9 Matthew Blinkhorn.
Subs not used: 5 Danny Ventre, 12 Conor O'Grady, 19 John Gibson.
Booked: Russell (47), Lauchlan (65), Peers (83).
Bohemians: 25 Chris O'Connor; 2 Owen Heary (Captain), 6 Ken Oman, 5 Brian Shelley, 3 Conor Powell; 7 Killian Brennan, 8 Gareth McGlynn, 4 Glenn Cronin, 11 Mark Quigley (16 Aaron Greene 74); 9 Raffaele Cretaro (14 Mark Rossiter 77), 10 Jason Byrne (12 Paul Keegan 41).
Subs not used: 15 Ruaidhri Higgins, 1 Barry Murphy.
Sent-Off: K Brennan (37).
Referee: Tom Connolly (Dublin).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Boheimians review

Gary McCabe returns to the Rovers squad after missing the 3-0 FAI Cup win against Monaghan United last Saturday due to suspension.
Rovers have a strong squad to choose from, with long-term injury victims Mauro Almeida and Richard Brush the only definite absentees.
Several players are carrying minor injuries, with Paul Cook set to make a decision over their selection with the EA Sports Cup final due to take place on Saturday evening.

For Bohs, defender Jason McGuinness is not available as he is struggling with a hamstring injury. And Gareth McGlynn is a doubt for the trip to the north-west as he faces a fitness test on an injured knee.Anto Murphy and Stephen Gray remain out with long-term Achilles injuries.

The game kicks off tonight (Monday) in the Showgrounds at 7:45

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Monaghan UTD match report

Sligo Rovers have ensured that the top four teams in the Airtrcity League Premier Division will contest the FAI Cup semi-finals.
A 3-0 defeat of First Division leaders Monaghan United at The Showgrounds on Saturday evening saw the home side join Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and St Pat's in the final four.
Last year's finalists were good value for the win, with a first half Alan Keane penalty and a second half strike from Romuald Boco propelling them to the win, before Mark McGoldrick wrapped it up with a third in injury-time.
Rovers were the better team in the early stages, but struggled to break down a disciplined Monaghan rearguard.
But they broke the deadlock when Monaghan briefly lost their discipline on 24 minutes. Conor McMahon was put under pressure by Eoin Doyle contesting John Russell's cross, and referee Padraig Sutton spotted a handball and pointed to the spot.
Alan Keane confidently stepped up to convert his second penalty in two cup games.
Rovers could have doubled their lead on 33 minutes, when Russell turned his man inside the area and tried to pick out Matthew Blinkhorn in front of goal, but keeper Gabriel Sava dived to save.
Rovers forced eight corners in the opening half, including three in the closing stages of the period, but the closest they came to a second was when Doyle beat a couple of players inside the area, but saw his shot flash across the face of goal.
Monaghan tried to shake things up at half-time by introducing Karl Bermingham for Cathal O'Connor, but they went two down just 30 seconds into the second half.
Aidan Collins looked like he had Richie Ryan's long ball under control, but his clearance went straight to Joseph Ndo, who fed Boco to smash the ball past Sava from close range.
Aidan Lynch also came on for Monaghan entering the final quarter, and Barry Clancy had a couple of efforts on goal, one of which required a safe pair of hands from Ciaran Kelly.
Bermingham also had a half-chance he couldn't keep on target after a blocked Philip Hughes shot rebounded invitingly for him.
At the other end, Matthew Blinkhorn tried his luck after brilliantly controlling a kickout, but Sava was well positioned to make the save.
But Rovers did get the third in injury-time, as substitute Mark McGoldrick looped the ball over Sava for his first senior goal for the club.
Sligo Rovers: 1 Ciaran Kelly; 2 Alan Keane, 20 Jim Lauchlan, 4 Gavin Peers, 3 Iarfhlaith Davoren; 15 Joseph Ndo, 6 Richie Ryan, 8 John Russell (5 Danny Ventre 82), 11 Eoin Doyle (7 John Dillon 90); 18 Romuald Boco, 9 Matthew Blinkhorn (17 Mark McGoldrick 89).
Subs not used: 12 Conor O'Grady, 14 Nelson Vieira, 16 Derek Foran, 19 John Gibson.
Booked: Doyle (32).
Monaghan United: 1 Gabriel Sava; 2 Aidan Collins, 4 Conor McMahon, 5 Brian Gartland, 3 Shane Grimes; 7 Cathal O'Connor (12 Karl Bermingham HT), 6 Don Tierney (17 Aidan Lynch 66), 8 Alan Byrne, 11 Barry Clancy, 9 Sean Brennan; 10 Philip Hughes (14 Darragh Hanaphy 83).
Subs not used: 13 Anthony Costigan, 15 Stephen McCrossan, 16 David Quirke, 18 Darren Coleman.
Booked: McMahon (41), Byrne (53), Gartland (74).
Referee: Padraig Sutton (Clare).

The draw for the semi-final will be made on mns which begins at 7 on rte.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Monaghan UTD team news

Paul Cook will be without Gary McCabe for Saturday's Ford FAI Cup Quarter Final.
McCabe misses the game through suspension while there are doubts over winger John Dillon as he struggles to overcome a back injury. Romuald Boco and Richie Ryan will face late fitness tests but both should be fit to face Mick Cooke's men.
Central defender Jim Lauchlan is expected to make his return after sitting out the 2-2 draw with Galway United on Monday night.

As far from what i can see Monaghan have no new injury concerns for the match.

Kick off at The Showgrounds is 7.45pm on Saterday night.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs Galway United match report

Republic of Ireland under 21 international Karl Sheppard provided a flash of class grabbing an equaliser as Galway United made a stunning comeback at Terryland Park.
Sligo started impressively and struck two first half goals courtesy of Richie Ryan on eight minutes and John Russell after 36.
But Galway were given a glimmer of hope two minutes later when a Gary Curran shot squeezed over the line, and the Tribesmen levelled on 63 as Sheppard scored following a Stephen O'Donnell free kick.

Sorry about the poor match report, I just don't have much time due to homework!! :@

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs Galway United team news

Sligo Rovers take on Galway United tomorow night at Terryland Park @ 7:45.

John Dillon is the only absentee for Rovers' Monday night trip to Terryland Park.
Dillon misses the game due to a back injury which also kept him out of Friday's 4-3 win over Sporting Fingal.
Long-term absentees Mauro Almeida and Richard Brush will continue their time on the sidelines due to Achilles and hand injuries respectively.

For Galway Rhys Meynell and Paul Sinnott return to the side and Ciaran Foley may be in line for a return also.

Rovers are now up to fourth in the table and are only four points behind Pat's.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs Sporting Fingal match report

Sligo Rovers amazingly almost let a four-goal lead slip, before eventually seeing off Sporting Fingal at The Showgrounds.
Rovers scored twice in each half and looked like they were coasting to victory, before letting their guard slip in the closing stages and allowing the visitors to battle back.
Gary O'Neill, Kenny Browne and Shaun Williams all scored late goals for Fingal, but ultimately two goals from Romuald Boco and strikes from Gavin Peers and Eoin Doyle eventually earned Rovers all three points.

O'Neill scuffed a chance for the visitors in the opening minutes after some silky skills from Conan Byrne down the right.
On 18 minutes, Alan Kirby launched a quick attack after intercepting a Rovers clearance, and he fed captain Williams, who was unfortunate to see his effort fly too high.
A Kirby free-kick also presented Shaun Maher with an opportunity, but he directed his header straight at Ciaran Kelly.
The home side had plenty of possession but lacked a little in the final third with top-scorer Padraig Amond now departed for Portugal.
But with Boco coming to life on the left, they twice threatened in the space of 10 seconds. Boco's low cross invited a first time shot by John Russell inside the area, but Maher made a superb block.
The ball broke to Richie Ryan, who tried his luck with a powerful shot from distance, but Darren Quigley got his body behind it.
Boco went close himself on 32 minutes, when he exchanged a sharp one-two with Ryan, but dragged his effort across the face of goal.
But the opener came from the opposite wing. Ndo's initial 38th minute corner was cleared back out to him, but his second delivery picked out an unmarked Peers to finish from close range.
Ronan Finn saw a first time shot float too high just before the goal, and Kenny Browne headed wide from a corner soon after, but Fingal were dealt a second blow on the stroke of half-time.
Ryan was the architect, feeding Matthew Blinkhorn, who in turn released the lively Boco into the area, and the Benin international brilliantly lifted the ball over Quigley and into the net.
Williams covered a lot of ground for the Dubliners in the game, and made his way into the area seven minutes into the second half, only to see his header miss the target.
Ronan Finn also went close with a decent effort from distance, touched wide by Kelly, but Rovers claimed a third on the hour-mark, when Ndo's corner dropped to Boco at the back post, and he controlled it expertly before volleying home.
Blinkhorn and Kirby both had chances in the following minutes at either end, but on both occasions the keepers pulled off fine saves.
But Rovers showed their strength in depth by throwing on Gary McCabe and Eoin Doyle in the closing stages, and the pair combined for the fourth as McCabe crossed for Doyle to tap home.
But Fingal gave the home side a nervous closing few minutes, as Gary O'Neill slid the ball to the net from close range, and then defender Kenny Browne finished from close range after a corner.
But a third strike from Shaun Williams in injury-time came too late to deny Rovers the points.

Rovers now climb into 4th in the table, 1 point ahead of Fingal and 4 behind Pats.

Sligo Rovers: 1 Ciaran Kelly; 2 Alan Keane, 4 Gavin Peers, 20 Jim Lauchlan, 3 Iarfhlaith Davoren; 5 Danny Ventre (Captain), 6 Richie Ryan (21 Gary McCabe 61), 8 John Russell (12 Conor O'Grady 74); 15 Joseph Ndo, 18 Romuald Boco, 9 Matthew Blinkhorn (11 Eoin Doyle 68).
Subs not used: 16 Derek Foran, 19 John Gibson.

Sporting Fingal: 1 Darren Quigley; 2 Brian Gannon, 5 Shaun Maher, 6 Kenny Browne, 3 Lorcan Fitzgerald; 4 Shaun Williams (Captain), 10 Alan Kirby (11 Ollie Cahill 67), 8 Ronan Finn (14 Colm James 82); 7 Conan Byrne, 9 Gary O'Neill, 17 Eamon Zayed (15 Glen Crowe 67).
Subs not used: 12 John Frost, 16 Brendan Clarke.

Derek Tomney (Dublin).

Report courtesy of Rte

Sligo Rovers vs Sporting Fingal preview

Sligo Rovers will hand Romauld Boco a late fitness test ahead of the match after the Benin star picked up a knock on international duty.
Gary McCabe (hamstring) and John Dillon (lower back) are both doubts for Rovers.
Richie Ryan and Derek Foran return from suspension but Mauro Almeida and Richard Brush are out for the rest of the campaign because of injury.

As for Fingal Ger O'Brien misses out while Shane McFaul is doubtful.

The Bit o' Red have failed to beat any of the top four sides in the table in 13 attempts.
It has cost Rovers any chance of keeping up with Shams and they may have to end the run if European football is to come to the northwest in 2011.

KO is at 7:45 at the Showgrounds tonight.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Shamrock Rovers match report

 Report courtesy of RTE

Billy Dennehy fired in a stunning second half free-kick to give Shamrock Rovers a 1-0 win over Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.
The winger produced a goal of the season contender as the ball flew past a helpless Ciaran Kelly from the corner of the box.
Ironically, it was Dennehy's goal for Cork City that ended Rovers' title hopes last year, but this time he was the hero for most of the 4,022 fans.
The result was harsh on Sligo as they were impressive in controlling the game for long spells, particularly in the first half.
However, they could not find the finish to match their approach play, with Paul Cook's side clearly missing recently-departed top scorer Padraig Amond.
The win puts the Hoops seven points clear at the top of the Premier Division and a step closer to their first title in 16 years. It win is of even more significance as Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic both dropped two points tonight.
Rovers' four-month unbeaten league run looked in real danger but they showed that they have the squad to pull them through rough patches.
Sligo Rovers played all the football in the opening half and were denied an opener by Danny Murphy's great block on Matthew Blinkhorn after nine minutes.
At the other end, a mistake by Gavin Peers saw the ball drop to Neale Fenn. He picked out Dennehy, but his looping header cleared the crossbar.
Sligo took control thereafter and had a penalty appeal turned down when Enda Stevens controlled John Russell's cross with his chest.
With the visitors now dominating possession, former Hoop Eoin Doyle wasted a great chance. Gary McCabe's scuffed shot dropped into Doyle's path, but Alan Mannus easily saved the tame effort.
Such was Sligo's start, that a stranger would have thought that the away side were five points clear at the top of the table. Shamrock Rovers did not help themselves by losing possession far too easily, but Sligo enhanced their reputation with some excellent moves.
The home side gave their fans something to get excited about on 30 minutes. Gary Twigg raced through on goal but Ciaran Kelly blocked the shot. The rebound dropped for Fenn but Jem Lauchlan was in the right place to get the block.
Robert Bayly gave a glimpse of Shamrock Rovers' frustration when he was booked for pulling back Russell by the shorts after losing the ball.
Minutes later, Gary McCabe's low free-kick skidded through and Mannus palmed across the box although the home side scrambled the ball clear.
The home side were much improved in the second half and both Dennehy and Chris Turner had shots that flew just over the bar.
However, Sligo should have gone ahead after a lapse in concentration in the home defence as McCabe failed to hit the target from inside ten yards.
There was a cracking atmosphere inside the Tallaght Stadium with the home fans responding to their players' renewed efforts. They nearly took the roof off when Dennehy drilled the opening goal past Kelly on 68 minutes.
Sligo were certainly not out of the game and another McCabe shot was blocked on the goalline. Craig Sives then produced a last-ditch tackle on Russell to force a corner.
Sives was involved at the other end as he headed Dennehy's corner back across goal, but Twigg could not apply the finishing touch.
Sligo pushed for the a deserved equaliser during four minutes of injury-time, but the home side held out to take a giant step towards the Premier Division title.
Shamrock Rovers: 1 Mannus; 19 Murphy, 4 Sives, 24 Murray, 13 Stevens; 8 Chambers, 18 Turner, 25 Bayly (17 O'Connor '44), 20 Dennehy; 9 Twigg, 11 Fenn (23 Stewart '73).
Subs not used: 16 Jennings, 15 Kavanagh, 21 McGuinness.
Booked: Bayly
Sligo Rovers: 1 Kelly; 2 Keane, 4 Peers, 20 Lauchlan, 3 Davoren; 5 Ventre, 15 N'do, 8 Russell, 11 Doyle (17 McGoldrick '83), 21 McCabe (7 Dillon '83); 9 Blinkhorn.
Subs not used: 19 Gibson, 6 O'Grady, 14 McCartney.
Booked: Ventre
Referee: Alan Kelly
Attendance: 4,022

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sligo Rovers vs. Shamrock Rovers team news

Sligo Rovers will be without several key players for their Airtricity Premier Division match with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght Stadium on Friday night.

Defender Derek Foran and midfielder Richie Ryan are absent due to suspension, while Romauld Boco is away on international duty with Benin.

Joesph N’do is a major doubt because of injury while Mauro Almeida and Richard Brush are long-term absentees.

Padraig Amond has left the club to join Portugese side Pacos Ferreira.

As for Shamrock Rovers Dan Murray and Tommy Stewart will come back into the squad after missing last week’s FAI Ford Cup game through injury. However, there is a slight doubt over Aidan Price (hamstring). Stephen Bradley, Stephen Rice and Pat Flynn are all suspended for the game (yellow cards).

Shamrock Rovers won the last meeting of the side in the Premier Division, a 2-1 win in The Showgrounds, but it was the Bit o' Red that came out on top in an EA Sports Cup semi-final last month.
The game will K.O.  @ 8pm in Talaght stadium tomorow night (Friday).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Padraig Amond transfer

After drawn out speculation Padraig Amond has moved to Portugese premier division club, Pacos Ferreira.
The bid (as far as I know) is beleived to be worth around €100,000 and wih 5% of that (€5000) of that due to go to Shamrock Rovers due to the fact that they trained the player before he was 18 and still played for them after. The deal went through on Tuesday morning after Amond passed his medical for the club. Amond was due to leave on Monday but faced a big scare when he could not find his passport but after ringing sevral T.D.s he got one just in time to get over before the transfer wndow closed.

My views on this transfer are very simple: Sligo Rovers should not have sold him at this point of the season as we do not have a recegnised goal scorer now. Blinkhorn and The King are not going to score to much between them!!