herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

Sligo into semis as Doyle sinks Rovers

EOIN DOYLE once again came back to haunt his former club Shamrock Rovers and put Sligo Rovers into the FAI Cup semi-final for the third year in a row.

The two Rovers were meeting for the second time in 11 days in a rematch of last season's thrilling FAI Cup final but Paul Cook's men came out on top thanks to Doyle's 26th-minute goal.

Doyle left the Hoops and moved to Sligo in 2009 but he's enjoyed games against his former club, as last night was Doyle's fifth time to score for Sligo against Rovers in the last two seasons.

The Hoops started the livelier of the two teams, with Karl Sheppard getting in behind Jason McGuinness and forcing a diving save from Sligo 'keeper Brendan Clarke on five minutes.

The striker had an even better chance three minutes later, when he beat the offside trap.

Clarke came rushing out to save, but Sheppard took it round him, only to see Alan Keane race back to prevent his shot from crossing the line.

The home side soon rejigged their line-up to get a grip on proceedings.

They had a great chance to break the deadlock on 22 minutes, as Dan Murray's clearance dropped to John Russell and he released Doyle, but the striker's shot flew just past the far post.

But he made no mistake with his next chance, firing home from close range.

The holders had a moment of real anxiety in the four minutes of stoppage-time, however, as Stephen O'Donnell's free-kick looked to hit a Sligo player on the arm.

Referee Alan Kelly was unconvinced though, and maybe there was a little bit of justice for the home side, who also had strong calls for a handball in the area waved away by Kelly at the start of the second half.

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