Partizan Shamrock Rovers

Sligo maintained their unbeaten record, but will be disappointed not to have gained all three points after being two goals up at the interval this evening before a second-half comeback gave Shamrock Rovers a merited point.

The visitors were on the back foot for the duration of the game, but they made full advantage of rare opportunities, with goals from Will Fitzgerald and ex-Ireland U21 international Aidan Keena giving them a two-goal lead.

However, a lot of attacking alterations aided Shamrock Rovers in turning the tide.

A much-improved second-half performance saw them increasingly force Sligo back into their own half, while a Graham Burke penalty and an Adam McDonnell own goal allowed them to earn a point that seemed unlikely at the break.

Sligo began this game in second place, one point ahead of the Hoops, who were in fourth place.

Story of the match

The Hoops got off to a good start as they looked for an early goal. A goalmouth scramble ensued after Roberto Lopes’ header, but Sligo was able to clear their lines.

Lopes threw in a wonderful cross for Rory Gaffney in the 12th minute, but his header went just wide of the post.

Sligo took the lead against the run of play as the game entered the 20th minute. Alan Mannus was helpless as Will Fitzgerald’s inch-perfect header into the bottom left corner put Liam Buckley’s men ahead.

Things became even worse for the Hoops when Sligo increased their lead 10 minutes later thanks to a superb finish from forward Aidan Keena.

Rovers knew they had a lot of work to do in the second half after falling behind 2-0 at halftime.

Bradley made several positive substitutions, with Jack Byrne and Neil Farrugia replacing Gary O’Neil and Barry-Cotter. Early in the second half, the Hoops pushed aggressively, and it eventually paid off.

After a wonderful run by Andy Lyons, he was fouled in the area, and Rovers were awarded a penalty, which Graham Burke easily dispatched past Ed McGinty.

Rovers equalized as the game reached the last ten minutes. Sean Hoare applied pressure to Sligo’s Adam McDonnell, who headed the ball into his own net to re-level the game.

Despite gaining momentum in the second half, the Hoops were unable to score the game-winning goal, and the game ended 2-2. Rovers will be unhappy not to have won all three points, but a remarkable second-half recovery will give the team confidence as they prepare to go to Donegal to face Finn Harps in two weeks.