LETTERKENNY ROVERS KEPT their USL title hopes alive with victory over Swilly Rovers this afternoon in a game that was reversed to the Aura Centre.
Swilly Rovers 1-4 Letterkenny Rovers
Eamonn McConigley’s men (pictured above by Stephen Doherty) went into the game as massive favourites having defeated the Lennonsiders decisively twice already this season and once Paul ‘Yank’ Boyle headed home the opener on 28 minutes the result was never in doubt.
Swilly though did threaten in the opening minutes and had a big claim for a penalty on 11 minutes when Boyle appeared to foul Calvin Mooney after initially getting caught in possession but referee Marty McGarrigle waved away the protests.
It was the Cathedral Town men though who took over after that initial scare and Paul McVeigh came close on 24 minutes before the opener arrived on 28 minutes.
Swilly were penalised for a foul on Kevin McGrath and from the resulting free kick Conal McGonigle’s excellent delivery was well met by Boyle and his header gave goalkeeper Gareth Wade no chance.
The lead was doubled just six minutes later when after Christy Conaghan’s shot was well saved the rebound fell to Steve Okakpo-Emeka and his exceptional turn and shot crashed off the crossbar into the path of Darren McElwaine and he had the simple task of firing into the empty net.
Dylan Hegarty and Michael McHugh had efforts on goal but that was as close as the visitors got in a first half which was dominated by Letterkenny.
Swilly Rovers FC. Photo by Stephen Doherty
Any hopes Swilly had of a comeback were dashed on 48 minutes when an exquisite move involving David Shovlin and Conaghan led to Conaghan finding McVeigh at the far post and he had the simple task of firing home.
Things got tetchy after that and Swilly thought they ought to have a penalty after a Shovlin mistimed tackle in the box but play was again waved on much to the chagrin of their management team of Jason Gibson and Michael Deeney.
The Lennon men did get a goal back on 75 minutes when McHugh’s quickly taken free kick sent Marty McDaid clear and he fired home past Sean Friel and although it was nervous for a short period Rovers could have been further clear by that stage.
They had chanced from McVeigh and Okakpo-Emeka before goal number four arrived on 90 minutes courtesy of a McVeigh volley after a wonderful move which was assisted by a sublime Jonathan Minnock cross.
Letterkenny are back in action next weekend in the FAI Intermediate Cup last 16 against Midleton while Swilly are in league action against Derry City.
Letterkenny Rovers: Sean Friel, Conal McGonigle (Ryan Lonergan half-time), David Shovlin, Paul Boyle, Darek Frankowski (Jonathan Minnock half-time), Kevin McGrath, Paul McVeigh, Tommy Bonnar (Mark Forker 71), Darren McElwaine, Christy Conaghan, Steve Okakpo-Emeka.
Swilly Rovers: Gareth Wade, Dylan Hegarty, Adam Salhi, Ryan McDaid, Damien Friel, Shay Durning, Brandon Toye (Ronan Doherty 76), James McCahill, Dan O’Donnell, Calvin Mooney (Michael McHugh 36), Marty McDaid.
Referee: Marty McGarrigle.Tags: