SLIGO HAD to settle for a point from a match they could so easily have lost as their mid-season blip continued at Dalymount Park.
Though Bohemians shaded the first half, Sligo dominated much of the second, until that is, captain Jason McGuinness was sent off on 79 minutes.
McGuinness, received a second yellow card from referee Damien Hancock for a foul on Keith Buckley. That signalled a late charge from the home side who might well have won the game with two good chances.
Buckley threaded a ball through to Dave Mulcahy on 84 minutes. The midfielder turned well only to see his shot saved one-handed by Gary Rogers. Mulcahy then got his head to Ryan McEvoy’s free kick three minutes into stoppage time. This time his effort flew wide of Rogers’ left-hand upright.
The damage to Sligo’s quest for a first title since 1977 was minimal, however, as they are six points clear at the top of the table going into the break.
Down the likes of Alan Keane and Joseph Ndo, Danny Ventre cried off late with an injury, Sligo gave a first start to their Haitian international Pascal Millien on the right side of midfield.
Owen Heary managed the side from the dugout due to boss Aaron Callaghan’s suspension. Watching from the stand, Callaghan will have been pleased with the start his side made as Karl Moore rifled a left-foot drive just over the bar from 25 yards.
They may have been wounded from surprisingly having lost their last two games but Sligo were slow to start. It took Ian Baraclough‘s rejigged side 17 minutes to work Craig Sexton with Millien doing well to make room to drill a shot straight at the Bohs keeper.
Millien then showed clever feet to easily beat Roberto Lopes on the right from Ross Gaynor’s short corner. Danny North just failed to meet the inviting cross.
That lifted Sligo and they carved Bohemians open again within a minute. North’s delightful through ball put Millien in to bring a save at full stretch from Sexton.
But make no mistake, Bohemians were in this game, passing the ball with confidence, and they troubled Sligo when they got forward. Raff Cretaro was caught in possession in the Sligo box by Moore whose attempted lob was well read and saved by Rogers.
Moore then clipped over an inviting cross for Mulcahy who glanced a header just wide on the blow of the break.
Sligo upped the tempo from the start of the second half and created a string of early chances. Mark Quigley came alive to beat Derek Pender and drill a shot wide before missing a sitter when played in by John Dillon.
Quigley, anonymous in the first half, brought a save from Sexton with a first time shot minutes later. A sublime ball from Quigley then put Lee Lynch through with Kevin Feely making a last-ditched tackle to concede the corner as Sligo turned the screws.
BOHEMIANS: Sexton; Pender, McMillan, Feely, Lopes; Mulcahy; Buckley (Corcoran, 85 mins), Ward (Traynor, 56 mins), McEvoy, Moore (Mulligan, 71 mins); Scully.
SLIGO ROVERS: Rogers; Cretaro, Peers, McGuinness, Gaynor; Millien (Dykes, 83 mins), Cawley, Lynch, Quigley; Dillon (Owens, 90+2 mins); North.
Referee: D Hancock (Dublin). Irish Times