Drogs book final slot despite spirited Sligo win

Sligo Rovers 1 Drogheda Utd 0 (Drogheda Utd win 2-1 on agg)

Leading 2-0 from the first leg, the Boynesiders had to withstand a spirited fight-back by Sligo Rovers but Mick Cooke’s side were delighted to keep their dreams of a third Setanta Cup well on track.

Drogheda came close to putting the tie out of Sligo’s reach four minutes after half-time when Paul O Connor’s rasping shot came back off the underside of the crossbar with Gary Rogers beaten.

Brian Gannon posed an early threat to the home side up front as Drogheda defended solidly, preventing the home side from setting up any forward momentum.

Joseph Ndo, making his long-awaited appearance for the home side following a lengthy absence, looked lively in the opening minutes of the first-half.

Gary Rogers had to come off his line quickly in the 13th minute as Gary O’Neill raced on to a long ball in by Drogheda.

Drogheda skipper Derek Prendergast saved his side’s blushes after 20 minutes with a superb last-ditch interception to deny Paschal Millien who had raced clear up the right wing in a defence-splitting move.

Sligo went ahead on the half-hour mark when David Cawley sent a blistering close-range shot past Gabriele Sava in the visitor’s goal.

Gary O’Neill, and Paul O’Connor with a long range effort, tested the Rovers’ defence but there was no end product for the visitors.

Drogheda had a chance a minute before half-time when they were awarded a free kick about 20 yards out from goal after Ryan Brennan was taken down but David Cassidy’s kick was cleared.

Drogheda played reasonably well during the opening 45 minutes but Sligo, following two defeats on the trot, were always up with the play as they sought to overturn the visitor’s two goal advantage from the first leg.

SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Keane, Peers, McMillan, Gaynor, Millien, Ndo, Lynch, Cawley, Greene, Elding.

Subs: Ventre for Ndo 65mins, Martin for Millien 81mins, Davoren for Gaynor 83mins.

DROGHEDA UTD: Sava, Prendergast, O’Connor, R Brennan, O’Neill, G Brennan, Grimes, Cassidy, Gannon, O’Brien, Byrne.

Subs: Rusk for O’Brien 72minms.

Referee: Arnie Hunter, Belfast.

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