Sligo Rovers succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Derry City in their first game under new boss Ruaidhri Higgins. A Will Patching penalty from a John Mahon tackle early on in the second half secured victory for the boys from the Brandywell.
One change only today (who would’ve thought?), and it was an enforced one, with Liam Buckley choosing club captain David Cawley to replace Walter Figueira, who came off injured against Bohemians. A very familiar face round these parts will be returning to the Showgrounds, albeit in the Candystripes’ dugout, with Raf Cretaro being taken on by Ruaidhri Higgins for his coaching setup. The new man also made only one change, with Will Patching replacing Daniel Lafferty.
The first half of the match wasn’t packed with goalscoring chances in any means but it was an interesting affair all the same, with the best bit of play coming around half an hour in, with some beautiful interplay between Romeo Parkes, Johnny Kenny and Jordan Gibson leading to a chance which was smothered by Gartside in the Derry goal.
Robbie McCourt had to be replaced by Regan Donelon at half time due to a knock he suffered late in the first half, but the second half he entered was a poor showing for Rovers from start to finish, with a soft penalty given against John Mahon, who was adjudged by referee John McLaughlin to have tripped David Parkhouse in the box after a whipped free-kick. Will Will Patching score? The answer was yes, as he made no mistake from the spot, deceiving Ed McGinty during the runup to slot home. The Bit O’Red never looked like kicking on during the game, even after the concession of the goal, and with the substitutions of Mark Byrne, Darren Gibson and Ryan De Vries for Romeo Parkes, Jordan Gibson and Johnny Kenny respectively. In the end, Derry kept solid and only allowed a solitary effort on goal, a wild Mahon effort with about 3 minutes to go.
I think the only positive from that game was Joey N’Do on commentary if I’m honest. Anyways, next up is the fresh outta First Division Drogheda United next Friday. Join me then for another report.
SLIGO ROVERS: E McGinty, C Horgan, J Mahon, G Buckley, R McCourt (R Donelon 46), D Cawley, G Bolger, N Morahan (L Banks 67), J Gibson (D Collins 80), R Parkes (M Byrne 67), J Kenny (R De Vries 80).
DERRY CITY: N Gartside, R Boyce, E Toal, C McJannett, C Coll (D Lafferty 72), C Harkin, J Malone (J Thomson 62), W Patching, W Fitzgerald, J Akintunde, D Parkhouse (B Barr 80).
REF: John McLaughlin
Ed McGinty: 6 – Swept and distributed well. Unlucky with the penalty.
Colm Horgan: 6 – Wasn’t good, wasn’t bad.
Garry Buckley: 6 – Did ok in defence but wasn’t sure when he stepped into midfield, although that could’ve been because of the knock he got midway through the second half.
John Mahon: 5 – Conceded the penalty (which was harsh in my opinion) and didn’t inspire after that.
Robbie McCourt: 6 – Came off at half time, so he couldn’t stamp his authority on the match.
Greg Bolger: 6 – Did all he could but it wasn’t enough.
Niall Morahan: 6 – Was decent but not in any way terrific. Taken off for Banks halfway into the second half.
David Cawley: 6 – I haven’t seen him as the highest midfielder in the 3 long enough to form an opinion that isn’t reactionary, but I do think he and the team would be better served deeper.
Jordan Gibson: 5 – Couldn’t work his way through the Derry defence today. Replaced by Collins after 80 minutes.
Romeo Parkes: 6 – Didn’t get going today, I think he play better leading the line as opposed to out wide. Came off for Mark Byrne on 67 minutes.
Johnny Kenny: 6 – The ball wasn’t given to him at all really. Hooked for De Vries with 10 minutes to go.
Regan Donelon: 6 – His first competitive minutes this season were decent.
Lewis Banks: 6 – Don’t know why he was centre-back instead of full-back but I won’t complain since he had a serviceable cameo.
Mark Byrne: 6 – Wasn’t spotted at all on the left side.
Darren Collins: N/A – Didn’t get enough time for me to rate him.
Ryan De Vries: N/A – (ctrl+c, ctrl+v) Didn’t get enough time for me to rate him.