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Sligo Rovers’ European dream continues after one other spectacular win over Motherwell

This was one of many nice nights for Sligo Rovers, a priceless expertise for the exuberant locals in a sell-out crowd and an extremely profitable one for a member-owned membership who will discover good use for the €850,000 coming their method from this journey.

ohn Russell’s facet have been irritated by the language popping out of Scotland after the primary leg of this tie, with references to ‘Irish minnows’ interpreted as insulting. Of their eyes, it exaggerated the gulf that was presupposed to exist between these sides.

There’s little question their progress right here was helped by the truth that Motherwell are solely coming opatut of pre-season, but it have to be confused that that is fairly a younger Rovers facet who’re going by way of a tough season. Rookie boss Russell is barely two months within the gig and has already overseen the best European run within the membership’s historical past.

It can proceed onto Norway subsequent week, and a gathering with Viking Stavenger. The one disappointment is that floor restrictions may forestall them from taking part in the house leg on their very own patch – though Sligo officers haven’t given up hope

Irish golf equipment have prevailed in all three conferences with Scottish sides in European competitors for the reason that flip of the century, however amenities is one space the place bragging rights can’t be loved.

They totally earned their development right here, with a aim at both finish of this recreation and a mature show in between to frustrate a median opponent.

After a nervy displaying within the earlier recreation right here in opposition to Bala, Sligo Rovers wanted to maintain their heads within the early minutes and use their one-goal result in their benefit. They did far more than that.

The Swedish match official was fairly whistle comfortable when it got here to plain challenges, a problem that may pose issues for the Bit’O’Purple afterward, however his choice to punish Bevis Mugabi for a shove on Aidan Keena 25 yards from aim would have optimistic implications for the natives.

Centre-half Shane Blaney fancies himself as a dead-ball specialist, talking within the preliminaries about how he would take them from anyplace, and he made good on these phrases with a left-footed thunderbolt which took flight after which dipped underneath the crossbar and into the highest nook to stun visiting keeper Liam Kelly. The approach was flawless.

All of a sudden, the League of Eire facet have been coping with an even bigger cushion. And it created a manic recreation which was extra like an old-school cup tie than a affected person European affair. Motherwell have been on a poor run since Christmas with supervisor Graham Alexander underneath strain they usually appeared like a group with points.

A willingness to shoot on sight within the early levels hinted at panic within the ranks. Whereas they did have a aim disallowed for offside within the quick aftermath, they grew to become more and more reliant on dead-ball conditions and the Bit’O’Purple did create pointless stress with the concession of a string of fouls that allowed Josh Morris to swing balls into the field. Nevertheless, they defended the world effectively, an enchancment from the earlier spherical, and deserved the benefit they dropped at the interval.

Certainly, they may have added to it with Aidan Keena denied from shut vary and, just like the primary recreation, Rovers grew in confidence as soon as they obtained previous a rocky patch which adopted their impasse breaker. They started to counter intelligently and preserve Motherwell on their toes, and clearly the half-time directions have been taken on board by winger Will Fitzgerald, who excelled in a spell after the restart. The sharpest transfer of the match was a Sligo break that ended with a shot from hard-working skipper David Cawley going behind for a nook.

It was inevitable that Motherwell would placed on extra strain because the minutes ticked by. And but, to explain it as a siege can be a dramatic exaggeration. They did have extra of the ball however struggled to translate that to clearcut possibilities with the travelling assist silenced by the inadequacy. There was a serious let-off for Rovers when unmarked centre half Ricki Lamie headed a nook over the bar from shut vary underneath minimal strain, and that was an indication defensive software ranges have been beginning to slip. The midfield wanted regeneration with Cawley and Adam McDonnell changed after emptying the tank.

And that paid off with Garry Buckley sprung ahead from the again to supply further chew in that space for the conclusion. Motherwell huffed and puffed with out going anyplace, and after a chant from ‘can we play you each week?’ from the Showgrounds natives, suspense was faraway from the conclusion. Sub Max Mata missed possibilities to place the consequence past doubt in Scotland seven days earlier. The Kiwi made no mistake when Keena put one other one on a plate, his calm end marking the official opening of an evening of celebration.

Sligo Rovers: McNicholas, Banks, Buckley, Blaney, Kirk; McDonnell (Pijnaker 80), Morahan (Mata 69); O’Sullivan, Cawley (Barlow 80), Fitzgerald (Liivak 89); Keena

Motherwell: Kelly, McGinn, Mugabi (Johansen 69), Lamie, Carroll; Slattery, Maguire (Goss 69), Spittal (Shields 45); Morris, Tierney (Efford 69), Van Veen

Referee: B Pandzic (Sweden)



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