Johnny Kenny netted a hat-trick and Ryan De Vries converted coolly to ensure Sligo Rovers took the chance to draw level with Shamrock Rovers and St Pats on top of the table with a 4-0 win in the Showgrounds on Saturday evening. The trouncing was a much-needed win for the Bit O’Red, being our first since the summer break.
Liam Buckley made no changes to the team which drew in Derry on Monday night, with the six academy graduates starting in the Ryan McBride Brandywell returning tonight. Bohemians and Keith Long would also remain with the same XI which started their match on Monday.
Rovers held the authority for the opening stages of the match and were able to make the breakthrough early on, with Jordan Gibson’s deflected free-kick coming back to him outside of the box, his second bite of the cherry getting parried out to Kenny who tapped into a virtually empty net. His, and our second would come in similar fashion with a low drive across the box from the right being bundled in by the 18-year-old.
The Bit O’Red continued to fight and showed good character throughout the second half, with Ryan De Vries battling to win back possession from Bohs’ defense near the halfway line, and remaining cool while bearing down on goal to score our 3rd goal of the match. Kenny completed his hat-trick on 80 minutes, collecting the ball inside the box and finishing with aplomb to Talbot’s left. He had a chance to make it four in added time with a spectacular first-time volley but his effort ran just past the post.
What a game!! Next up is Longford Town next Saturday. We’ll be back then with another report.
SLIGO ROVERS: E McGinty, L Banks, J Mahon, S Blaney, R Donelon (C Horgan 76), M Byrne, G Bolger (D Cawley 78), N Morahan, J Gibson, R De Vries, J Kenny.
BOHEMIANS: J Talbot, C Kelly, R Cornwall (A Lyons 46), R Feely (J Finnerty 61), T Wilson (A Breslin 46), R Tierney, K Buckley, A Coote, D Devoy, L Burt (K Ward 61), G Kelly.
REF: Damien McGrath
Ed McGinty: 7 – Could’ve been a tighter game without his saves.
Lewis Banks: 7 – Whipped in some venomous crosses from the right.
Shane Blaney: 6 – Played decent.
John Mahon: 7 – Calm and composed at all times.
Regan Donelon: 6 – A solid performer in McCourt’s absence. Taken off for Horgan late on.
Greg Bolger: 6 – Commanding in the middle. Replaced by Cawley with 10 minutes to go.
Niall Morahan: 6 – Nearly scored but his shot was blocked, compounding his good performance.
Jordan Gibson: 7 – Dangerous throughout the match.
Ryan De Vries: 8 – Converted his chance really well.
Johnny Kenny: 10 – He was the heart and soul of the team today and showed us what Rovers are all about (also he got a hat-trick so that’s pretty good I guess).
Mark Byrne: 7 – Quietly performing well up forward.
David Cawley: N/A – Was effective in his time on.
Colm Horgan: N/A – Only had 15 minutes when he replaced Donelon but he was tidy throughout his cameo.