Shamrock Rovers 1 Sligo Rovers 0... Dan Carr scored the only goal of a dour game at Tallaght Stadium to get Shamrock Rovers back to winning ways.
A fourth straight home victory stretches the Hoops’ unbeaten league run in Dublin 24 to nine games as they remain fourth in the Premier Division.
Though the home side dominated possession from the off they struggled to bother Micheal Schlingermann in the Sligo goal, the only note in the opening quarter a yellow card for visiting skipper Kyle Callan-McFadden for a foul on Kavanagh 16 minutes in.
Sligo registered the first chance of the game seven minutes later. A loose pass from Hoops’ defender Lee Grace fell into the path of lone striker Adam Morgan, whose drive was deflected for Sligo’s first corner of the match.
With a grip of the game now, Sligo forced two further corners before half-time, a dreadfully poor 45 minutes of football in which neither side managed a shot on target.
Graham Burke did raise a roar of expectation in stoppage time from the otherwise muted home support as the midfielder’s right-foot shot from some distance flew wide.
Burke it was who finally delivered the game’s first shot on goal 10 minutes into the second half, though the left-foot dipping effort scarcely troubled Schlingermann.
The game finally sprung to life on the hour when Shamrock Rovers got their controversial winner.
Despite Sligo pleas for the game to be stopped after Rhys McCabe went down with a facial injury, Hoops played on.
Sean Kavanagh found space on the left flank to whip over a deep cross for Carr to arrive at the back post and stab the ball home for his second goal of the season.
Sligo worked hard to get back into the game.
Patrick McClean heeded over from a McCabe corner with Gary Boylan and substitute Greg Moorhouse having chances.
Sligo were further incensed on 83 minutes when Ethan Boyle appeared to handle a shot from David Cawley inside the area with nothing given.
The Bit o’ Red’s night of woe was completed in stoppage time when assistant manager Kevin Derry was sent to the stand for dissent.
Horgan; Boyle, Lopes, Grace, Byrne; G. Bolger; Coustrain (Miele, 70), Finn, Burke, Kavanagh (Bone, 81); Carr (Shaw, 70).
Schlingermann; Boylan, Callan-McFadden, McClean, Waters; McAleer (Cretaro, 87), Cawley, McCabe, Roy (Moorhouse, 71); Morrison (Wixted, 63); Morgan.
Neil Doyle (Dublin).
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