Friday, August 5, 2011

Sligo Rovers Exit Europe

The man at the Sligo cafe checkout looked at me and made a choice. Here for the races? No, I told him, for the football, disappointed with his choice.

Yesterday Sligo town was busy. An evening race meeting (ladies' day), and a European soccer match.

The Showgrounds looked great, a new stand, fresh paint, a perfect pitch, flags, a full house, lots of excitement. Not many Vorskla Poltava supporters unfortunately but it's a long way from the Ukraine. There was a small group in the main stand who made lots of noise when they scored. We also had someone from there to read out their team list which was good. And there were commentators in the press box who got very excited I'm told.

It rained earlier but stayed dry for the match so neither Knocknarea nor Benbulben was visible both bundled up in clouds.

And the result. Two quick goals for the visitors after 15 minutes spoiled the party. There was a clear difference in class and Vorskla Poltava's quick crisp passing often left Sligo chasing shadows. Rovers did have chances and gave a good account of themselves after the two goals to keep the score respectable.

Vorskla Poltava's website is here, English version. No report from Sligo there yet but they have pictures here. Jessica's report is on

Top: Rovers welcomed on to the field.

1. Vorskla Poltava arrive at the grounds. Second from left is Sergei Zakarlyuka who scored their first goal.
2. Flags, including that of Ukraine, fly at the Showgrounds.
3. Manager Paul Cook relaxed before the match.

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