Sligo Rovers 2 Bray Wanderers 1
The Showgrounds, Premier Division, 6 October 2018
Wanderers made five changes to the starting team that were defeated by Limerick FC in wanderers last outing. Sean Heaney missed out through suspension while Sean Harding and Jake Kelly missed out through injury. Jamie Crilly and Rhys Gorman dropped to the bench. John Sullivan started for the first time since April having recovered from his long-term injury. Dylan Hayes, Cian Walsh, Ger Pender and Darragh Gibbons all same into the starting team.
President Michael D. Higgins was the special guest of honour at the game as Sligo Rovers celebrated 90 years of existence. Wanderers suffered a blow after just eight minutes when Dylan Hayes was forced off having suffered an injury.
Sligo had plenty of possession in the first half but Wanderers defence held firm. Drennan went close early on but chested past the goal after just two minutes. Rhys McCabe then headed just wide. Mark O’Connor pushed away a Lee Lynch effort on the quarter hour.
On 31 minutes, Kevin Lynch broke down the left flank and delivered a great cross which just evaded Ger Pender in front of the Sligo goal.
Five minutes into the second half, McGinty tipped Ger Pender’s effort over his crossbar five minutes into the second half. The home side took the lead on 55 minutes. Caolan McAleer headed Lee Lynch’s cross past O’Connor. Wanderers responded three minutes later. Jake Ellis slotted past McGinty from the right for his first senior goal for the club.
Wanderers joy was short lived as Sligo regained the lead straight from the kick off. Lynch’s cross from the right evaded Mark O’Connor and Mikey Drennan headed home the winner.
Defeat condemns Wanderers to the First division after fourteen seasons in the premier division.
Sligo Rovers: 1 Ed McGinty; 2 Kyle Callan-McFadden, 5 John Mahon, 6 Patrick McClean, 3 Regan Donelon; 4 David Cawley, 8 Rhys McCabe; 7 Caolan McAleer, 11 Lee Lynch, 10 Lewis Morrison; 9 Mikey Drennan.
Subs: 12 Liam Kerrigan (for McAleer 81), 13 Adam Wixted, 14 Darren Collins (for Morrison 62), 16 Mitchell Beeney, 17 Kris Twardek, 18 Seamus Sharkey, 18 Raff Cretaro (for Lynch 88).
Bray Wanderes 40 Mark O’Connor; 4 Conor Kenna, 15 Darragh Gibbons, 25 Cian Walsh, 3 Kevin Lynch; 12 Dylan Hayes, 6 Paul O’Conor, 8 John Sullivan, 22 Darragh Noone; 24 Jake Ellis, 8 Ger Pender
Subs: 14 Rhys Gorman, 16 Glen Hollywood, 26 Byron O’Gorman (for Pender 85), 27 Dragos Mamaliga (for Hayes 8), 29 Evan Moran (gk), 30 Jamie Crilly
Referee: John McLoughlin
Match Report: Michael Duffy