O’Connor Brace can’t save the “Partners” from an away day defeat to Sligo Rovers.
The partners travelled to Sligo on the back of a great win at home to Athlone the previous weekend. So it was with great anticipation that the “Partners” travelled to the Showgrounds in Sligo Town on Saturday afternoon to play the “Bit O’Red” in their latest fixture in the SSE Airtricity 17’s Northern Section of the National League.
Rovers started brightly and it was clear within the first few minutes that the “Partners” were in for a tough battle when a long throw-in from Sligo was volleyed off the Monaghan United / Cavan FP crossbar by Aaron Perry and scrambled out for a corner. The “Partners” struggled to clear the resulting cross and the ball landed at the feet of the Liam Kerrigan who made no mistake from 10 yards coolly finishing to the “Partners” net beyond the reach of Luke Perkins. The visitors rallied after this and created several half chances with Jerome Abekykamwale and Ify Nzewi going close to restoring parity for the visitors. The closest they came was in the 17th minute when they were awarded a free-kick some 25 yards from the Sligo Rovers goal. Last week’s 2 goal hero, Adam O’Connor came forward but saw his thunderous effort smash of the underside of the Rovers crossbar before being cleared from danger. The “Bit O’Red” began to dominate after that and they had the “Partners” on the back foot for most of the remainder of the 1st half though the “Partners” did threaten in the 26th minute following an excellent pass from right back Luke Donohoe which saw Nzewi burst through the Sligo defence but his resulting shot was well wide of the Sligo post. Sligo’s dominance eventually told and they extended their lead with goals from Ruadhan Feeney in the 37th minute and Perry in the 42nd minute. This left the “Partners” with a mountain to climb at half time.
Half-Time Sligo Rovers FC 3 Monaghan United / Cavan FP 0.
The “Partners” made an early substitution with the introduction of Calum Ross Lynch at the start of the second half for Seosamh Sheerin to add some fresh legs up front and within a minute had to make a further substitution when midfielder Shane Duffy was fouled and was unable to continue from his injury with Cianan Kelly introduced to replace him. The game became a bit stretched for the next period with both sides creating opportunities to score but it was the “Bit O’Red” who extended their lead after Dillon Munnelly advanced down the “Partners” right wing before flashing in a cross/shot which caught Perkins slightly off his line and ended up in the back of the net. It was all one way traffic at this point and the hosts should have extended their lead further in the 58th minute when they broke clear of the “Partners” defence and only for a last ditch well timed tackle from Cameron Dowd they would have added a fifth goal. Unfortunately Dowd had to retire shortly after this following a nasty clash from a Sligo Rovers kick-out. Sligo were dominating possession at this period and only for some terrific goalkeeping from Perkins the score might have been a lot more in their favour.
The “Partners” introduced Jordan Corraway for Karl Cosgrove and Aaron Reilly came in for Abekykamwale.
These replacements seemed to inspire the “Partners” for a while and with O’Connor pushed into a more advanced position they came more into the game. It was O’Connor who eventually bundled the ball across the Sligo goal-line in the 71st minute to put a better look to the score line. The “Bit O’Red” made 3 changes of their own now and this put them in control again. They began to knock the ball about again and this caused the visitors all sorts of problems with another coolly finished goal in the 85th minute from Dillon Munnelly resulting from their substantial pressure. This didn’t finish the scoring though when the “Partners” managed to add another goal to bring some respectability to the score. Substitute Dylan McMullan picked out Reilly’s run down the right wing and Reilly’s inviting cross was finished to the back of the Sligo net with a thumbing header from O’Connor. The final whistle blew as the ball was kicked off from the centre spot.
Final Score Sligo Rovers FC 5 Monaghan United / Cavan FP 2.
TEAM: Luke Perkins, Lorcan Murnaghan, Karl Cosgrove, Cameron Dowd, Luke Donohoe, Adam O’Connor, Dean Connolly, Shane Duffy, Seosamh Sheerin, Iffy Nzewi, Jerome Abekykamwale
Substitutes Used: Calum Ross Lynch for Seosamh Sherrin
Cianan Kelly for Shane Duffy
Dylan McMullen for Cameron Dowd
Jordan Corrway for Karl Cosgrove
Aaron Reilly for Abekykamwale.
Next up for the Monaghan United / Cavan FP is a home match to high flying Bohemians FC at 2pm next Saturday 17th September in Gortakeegan, Monaghan.