Man-of-the-match Blinkhorn gives Sligo the cup

Sligo Rovers 1 Monaghan United 0

Sligo Rovers 1 Monaghan United 0

Man-of-the-match Matthew Blinkhorn’s early goal won the EA Sports Cup for Sligo Rovers as First Division Monaghan saw their fairytale end to their marvellous cup run this season fall to pieces.

Having beaten them 3-0 in their FAI Ford Cup quarter-final at the same venue last week, not surprisingly, Sligo, the Premier Division side in front of a packed Showgrounds, took the game to Monaghan early on and got their reward with what would prove the only goal of the game on 14 minutes.

Alan Keane’s run from right-back wasn’t tracked and his cross picked out striker Blinkhorn who turned superbly to volley past Gabriel Sava from 14 yards.

A delightfully skillful run by John Russell almost doubled Sligo’s lead within four minutes. But Sava showed terrific agility to push away the midfielder's curling shot.

Sava continued to keep Monaghan in the match with a second super stop two minutes into the second half, again after Keane was allowed to run forward and set up Blinkhorn to shoot.

Monaghan enjoyed their best spell midway through the second half with Iarflaith Davoren making a last-ditch tackle on Philly Hughes before Brian Gartland’s towering header was cleared off the line by Eoin Doyle.

Sligo were deprived in similar fashion at the other end on 76 minutes with Monaghan defender Alan Byrne having to hack off the line from Russell after another incisive run and cross by the swashbuckling Keane. Russell miscued the rebound wide.

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