Max Mata brace seals comeback victory for Sligo 

Looking to put their European disappointment behind them, Sligo made three changes from last Thursday’s game in Norway with Nando Pijnaker, Greg Bolger and Frank Liivak all drafted in.
Max Mata brace seals comeback victory for Sligo 

BRACE: Sligo’s Max Mata celebrates. ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Sligo Rovers 2 Bohemians 1

Max Mata struck a three-minute brace as Sligo Rovers came from behind to beat Bohemians at the Showgrounds.

John O’Sullivan had the Phibsboro boys in the lead on 54 minutes, but the Bit O’Red were left celebrating a first win in three at full-time after New Zealander Mata’s heroics in the 64th and 67th minutes.

Looking to put their European disappointment behind them, Sligo made three changes from last Thursday’s game in Norway with Nando Pijnaker, Greg Bolger and Frank Liivak all drafted in.

For their first league game since mid-July, Bohs boss Keith Long made just the one change from their FAI Cup success in Ballybofey last week, with Jordan Flores missing out in place of Ali Coote.

Without a win over Bohs in their last four attempts, Rovers did offer something through a few early corners but Tadhg Ryan in the visitor’s nets went the full first half without really being tested.

The Dubliners found themselves down to ten men for a short period when winger Liam Burt departed the pitch for a quick visit to the dressing room. Referee Ray Matthews flashing a yellow card to the Scot on his return after he failed to report his absence to the official.

Rovers’ top scorer Aidan Keena had two efforts from distance, the closest the hosts came to an opener. While McDaid’s next set piece flew narrowly wide after Shane Blaney had fouled James Clarke right on the edge of the box.

Bohs applied the pressure late on the first half with a series of corners. But the nearest they came to a goal was when Rovers net minder Luke McNicholas showed great reactions to get a hand to Junior’s snapshot from a corner after Sligo struggled to clear their lines.

O’Sullivan headed narrowly wide from another McDaid corner early in the second half. But the same player was celebrating on 54.

Both Clarke and Junior were involved as the latter teed up O’Sullivan who rifled the ball into the corner of the net from ten yards.

Sligo only had to wait until the 64th minute for parity. Keena playing the ball into the path of Mata who struck past Ryan from the angle for his seventh of the season.

The home support were on their feet again just three minutes later when Will Fitzgerald’s cross was cleared to the feet of Mata who swept the beyond the Gypsies goalkeeper for his second.

Keena nearly had Rovers’ third on 72 only for Ryan who got a strong hand to the Mullingar native’s powerful drive after trojan work from Paddy Kirk down the Sligo left.

Sligo Rovers: L McNicholas; K O’Sullivan, S Blaney, N Pijnaker, P Kirk; N Morahan, D Cawley (M Mata HT), G Bolger (R Burton HT); F Liivak, W Fitzgerald; A Keena.

Bohemians: T Ryan; J Doherty, J Kerr, C Kelly, R Burke (T Wilson 92); J Clarke (J Afolabi 80), J O’Sullivan, A Coote (C Levingston 74); L Burt (K Twardek 74), D McDaid; Junior (E Varian 74).

Referee: Ray Matthews.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox

Execution Time: 0.239 s