Shamrock Rovers come from quite unexpected, but also easier defeat than the final results shows last weekend, when the team suffered 2:1 defeat away to St Patricks. Start of the game was quite slow, but the hosts upped their tempo from 25th minute on, managing to secure the victory with two goals within five minutes.
They opened the lead in 32nd minute via Byrne, while McGuinness doubled up their lead just five minutes later. In the repetition, Shamrock pressed to reduce the deficit but all they could do was one goal six minutes before the full time whistle via McCabe. This was far from positive performance for Shamrock, team that got excluded already in 1/16 of the national Cup competition, also being their first defeat after sixteen matches, both friendly ones and regular. Coach Pat Fenlon has only one absentee for this game and that would be striker Danny North (7/1) who got injured and won’t be playing in next four months. Midfielder Patt Cregg (13/0) is suspended for tonight’s game after getting his fifth yellow card in the season.
Sligo Rovers, on the other side, had an modest game away to Derry City in the previous round of Premier League ending it as a 1:1 draw. Final result was completely fair to both sides, as Sligo looked maybe a bit more active from 50th minute on, when Puri opened the lead, but the hosts equalized in next attack via Clucas.
In 66th, hosts stood with a man less since Timlin (midfielder) got straight red card, while the visiting side had upper hand in the rest of the match, even missing a penalty near the end, but overall – the final result was fair since the hosts had domination in the first halftime. They are also coming from a 2:0 victory in Cup competition over Crumlin United, while coach Owen Heary remains under pressure since the team isn’t playing convincingly enough in Premier League. He won’t be able to count at back Jeff Henderson who anyway didn’t perform till now.
Shamrock Rovers are clear favorites to get all three points in this one, especially since Sligo plays very mediocre football all season long. Hosts are better in all areas and should easily get the victory here.
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