Sligo Rovers seal semi final spot

Sligo Rovers continued their quest to retain their FAI cup crown as they dumped last season’s runners up Shamrock Rovers out of the competition at the showgrounds.

Top scorer Eoin Doyle got the only goal of the game his 22nd minute effort sealed a third successive win over the champions and sent Paul Cook’s men into the semi finals.

Both sides made changes for the clash with Michael O’Neill making six changes to from the team that lost to Rubin in the Europa League.

Sean Gannon, Billy Dennehy, Karl Sheppard, Ciaran Kilduff, Richard Brush and Gary McCabe all came into starting eleven with Sligo Rovers bringing Aaron Greene and Raffaele Cretaro into their team.

Shamrock Rovers made the better start of the two sides with Sheppard testing Brendan Clarke inside the opening minutes and on 8 minutes the former Everton trainee went even closer when he got on the end of McCabe’s pass however Alan Keane cleared his goal bound effort after the striker had rounded Clarke.

Doyle went close to giving the hosts the lead with an effort that sailed wide however four minutes later the striker made no mistake slotting the ball home.

Sligo made a strong start to the second half with Keane’s cross causing problems in the Hoops penalty box penalty calls while Craig Sives had to be at his defensive best to cut out a dangerous cross from John Russell.

Shamrock Rovers boss O’Neill tried to rescue to the game for the Tallaght side brining on Ronan Finn, Gary Twigg and Rohan Ricketts however it was the Bit’ O’Red who nearly scored next, Richie Ryan crashing a free kick against the Woodwork.

Sligo held on in the end and keeps their double dreams alive while for Rovers the fight is now onto retain their league title.

Sligo Rovers: Brendan Clarke; Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Jason McGuinness (Derek Foran 42), Iarfhlaith Davoren; Richie Ryan, John Russell, Aaron Greene (Alan Kirby 80), Joseph Ndo, Raffaele Cretaro (Matthew Blinkhorn 80); Eoin Doyle.

Shamrock Rovers: Richard Brush; Sean Gannon, Craig Sives, Dan Murray, Enda Stevens; Billy Dennehy (Ronan Finn 57), Stephen O’Donnell, Conor McCormack (Rohan Ricketts 72), Gary McCabe; Karl Sheppard (Gary Twigg 62), Ciaran Kilduff.


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