Greene and Mandroiu on target in accomplished victory for Hoops
Kilnamanagh’s Aaron Greene produced a player of the match performance at Tallaght Stadium last night as Shamrock Rovers recorded a 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
After the defending champions had broken the deadlock through Danny Mandroiu, Greene doubled the home team’s lead to ensure Sligo – the striker’s former club – were kept at bay.
For his overall contribution to the Hoops’ 20th league success of 2021, the 31-year-old was selected as the game’s star man by SRFC TV.
Thanks to this result – and a 1-0 defeat for St Patrick’s Athletic at the hands of Derry City – Stephen Bradley’s men are now a couple of steps closer in their quest to secure back-to-back league titles.
The holders are now 12 points clear at the summit with just six games remaining, which means they only require two wins and a draw (or its equivalent) in order to remain at the top of the domestic soccer ladder.
The runaway top-flight leaders were searching for a positive response to last week’s reversal to Dundalk and welcomed back Roberto Lopes following his recent international exploits with Cape Verde.
The aforementioned Greene held off the claims of Rory Gaffney to keep his place in attack, where he was supported by Richie Towell and Mandroiu.
The latter didn’t take long to make an impact as he rattled the net with just 10 minutes gone on the clock.
Having pressed the Sligo defence to good effect, he embarked on a mazy run and fired clinically beyond the reach of Sligo netminder Ed McGinty.
The visitors are managed by former Hoops player and manager Liam Buckley, but it was proving to be a difficult evening for the north-westerners.
A Lee Grace header shook the crossbar, before the Hoops finally increased their advantage just past the half-hour mark.
Mandroiu turned provider on this occasion, playing in Greene for a smooth finish past McGinty.
Two goals in front at the interval, the hosts continued to dictate proceedings when the action resumed.
Lopes was agonisingly close to securing a third goal on a couple of occasions, while Gaffney was denied by the woodwork off the bench.
They may not have been able to extend their cushion, but it was a minor inconvenience as Shamrock Rovers inched towards a 19th Premier Division crown.