Goals by Mark Quigley and Pascal Millien late in the first half and a cracking third by Romauld Boco in the 76th minute powered Sligo Rovers to a convincing win at the Showgrounds last night.
Edinburgh native Liam Buchanan made his home debut for Rovers coming on in the 78th minute.
After three minutes a promising move involving Millien and Seamus Conneely came to nothing when Boco was unable to get a telling touch in front of the UCD goal.
Then Millien had a shot saved and a Ross Gaynor free kick was cleared as Rovers exerted a lot of early pressure.
Daniel Ledwith had a chance for the visitors early on but he failed to find the target from the edge of the box.
The students stepped up the pace with some clever touches by Ciaran Nangle, David McMillan and Ledwith causing problems for the league leaders on the 10 minute mark.
Sligo had the lion’s share of possession in the first half but their front men had difficulty getting shots on target with the hard working Millien often finding himself muscled off the ball by the hard-tackling UCD defenders.
McMillan forced Sligo keeper Gary Rogers into a smart save in the 28th minute after Ledwith set up the move.
Mark Quigley went close for the home side on the half-hour mark and UCD skipper Michael Leahy wasn’t too far off target with a good headed effort at the other end in the 37th minute following a Paul O’Connor corner conceded after Ledwith had raced in on an open goal before being denied.
Sligo’s pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute when Quigley broke the deadlock with a sweet finish and the students were left with a mountain to climb when Millien doubled the home side’s advantage a minute later.
Boco’s brilliant second-half strike ensured another good night for the Premier Division leaders as they close in on the title.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers, Conneely, Peers, McGuinness, Gaynor, Cawley (Connolly 83), Ndo, Lynch, Boco (Buchanan 78), Millien (Cretaro 44), Quigley.
UCD: McGinley, Douglas, Nangle, D, O’Connor, Leahy, P O’Connor, Corry (Boyle 88), Benson, Ledwith (Russell 46), McMillan, Clarke (Burke 64).
Referee: Paul McLoughlin, Donegal.
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