MATCH REPORT: Sligo Rovers 1-1 Shamrock Rovers

A second-half Jordan Hamilton header cancelled out Andy Lyons' first-half opener, as the sides share the spoils for the second time this season.

Liam Buckley made four changes to his starting-eleven from Monday evening's game against Drogheda United, with Nando Pijnaker, Lewis Banks, Adam McDonnell & Jordan Hamilton all coming into the side.

Stephen Bradley made just the sole change to his starting side from the one that defeated Bohemians 3-1 in the Dublin Derby last Friday, with Dylan Watts replacing Richie Towell - who took his place on the bench.

The first-half was a tight & cagey affair, with few chances falling between the sides. A fourth minute header from Shane Blaney from a David Cawley corner flew wide of Alan Mannus' front post was the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the opening twenty minutes.

On 22 minutes, the first real chance of the game fell to Danny Mandroiu, when he found himself with space in the box but McGinty got down well to palm Mandroiu's effort out for a corner. And from the resulting corner, Rovers found the break-through.

Jack Byrne delivered the corner-kick, and his delivery found the head of Andy Lyons who emphatically headed home to break the dead-lock - netting his fifth goal of the season.

After the goal, the intensity of the game rose, with the tackles beginning to fly in around the Showgrounds pitch. Danny Mandroiu and Garry Buckley both received yellow-cards in the closing minutes of the first-half, as the hoops went into the break leading by a goal-to-nil.

Mandroiu & Keena exchanged efforts in the opening ten minutes of the second-half in Sligo, before Dylan Watts forced Ed McGinty into a fantastic diving save on the hour-mark, to deny Watts' effort from the edge of the box.

And ten minutes later, the Sligo faithful were celebrating up the other end of the pitch, when Jordan Hamilton's looping header found the back of Alan Mannus' net following a deep cross into the box by David Cawley.

The equaliser really sparked life into the Sligo supporters, as they encouraged their team to look for a winning goal. But that changed with two minutes of normal time to play, when Garry Buckley was shown his marching orders after body-checking substitute Richie Towell, and referee Rob Harvey having no choice but to show the centre-half his second yellow-card of the game.

The away side piled on the pressure in the five minutes of injury time, and almost got their due reward when Sean Hoare had a headed effort cleared off the line in the 96th minute - in what proved to be the final action of the half, as the full-time whistle fell on the west coast.

A point for both sides leaves Sligo in fourth place, while the Hoops remain the closest challengers to Derry City - who lead the way at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table after 13 rounds of fixtures.

Next up for Liam Buckley's side is a trip to the capital next Friday, as they travel to Tolka Park to take on Damien Duff's Shelbourne (7:45pm kick-off). On the same night, Shamrock Rovers host Ollie Horgan's Finn Harps in Tallaght, in a slightly later kick-off of 8pm.

Sligo Rovers: McGinty; Banks, Buckley, Pijnaker, Blaney (57' McCourt); McDonnell, Cawley (C), Horgan, Bolger; Keena (66' Heaney), Hamilton (88' Kirk).

Shamrock Rovers: Mannus; Hoare, Lopes, Grace, Finn (C) (83' Farrugia), Watts (77' Towell), O'Neill (87' Burke), Lyons; Mandroiu (83' Emakhu), Gaffney (84' Greene), Byrne.

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