Sligo Rovers’ horrendous start to the new season continued with a 4-0 defeat to reigning champions Dundalk in their first home game on Saturday.
A miserable night for the Bit O’ Red was compounded by the sending-off of striker Jonah Ayunga.
Rovers manager Dave Robertson and Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny spoke to Ocean FM’s Darragh…
Sligo Rovers 0
(Ayunga S/O 66)
(McEleney 12, Duffy 35, Kilduff 76, Stewart 82)
Dundalk eased to another three points at the Showgrounds with a comfortable 4-0 win over under-pressure Sligo Rovers.
Patrick McEleney was outstanding, opening the scoring and them helping Dundalk power home with further goals from Michael Duffy, Ciaran Kilduff and substitute Tommy Stewart.
Stephen Kenny’s side took just 12 minutes to beat debutant keeper Shaun Patton, who came in for the injured Micheál Schlingermann.
McEleney left the Donegal native stranded as he curled a free-kick from the edge of the box into the side of the net, after Craig Roddan had fouled Robbie Benson at the edge of the box.
Dundalk were without captain Stephen O’Donnell and Dane Massey, but they threatened to run riot immediately after the goal, as McEleney and Ciaran Kilduff both had great chances to add further goals, but some last-ditch defending rescued Rovers.
John Russell, Raffaele Cretaro and Liam Martin showed some fight to try and get the home side going, but both Russell and Martin found themselves yellow-carded by referee Ben Connolly.
And at the other end, a lovely touch from Benson split the defence once, but his low effort was wide.
McEleney was involved with the second two on 35 minutes. His ball over the top found Michael Duffy in space, with the winger doing well to stay onside.
One-on-one with Patton, he kept his composure to give the keeper no chance, and leave Stephen Kenny’s side in cruise control.
Kenyan striker Jonah Ayunga was handed a first start, and looked Rovers’ only real threat, but their hopes of getting anything fell apart when he was harshly sent-off for picking up two second half yellow cards.
Kilduff secured the win with the third from a close-range header on 76 minutes, before Stewart put the icing on the cake with the fourth after a superb piece of skill from Duffy.
Sligo Rovers: Patton, Adebayo-Rowling, Leahy, Callan-McFadden, Donelon, Roddan, Russell, Kearns (Sadlier 62), Martin, Cretaro (Stevens 77), Ayunga.
Dundalk: Sava, Gannon, Gartland, Barrett, Vemmelund, Duffy (Kinsella 84), Mountney (McGrath 71), Clifford, McEleney, Benson, Kilduff (Stewart 82).
Ref: B Connolly.