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Setanta Sports Cup: Rover and out as Sligo slay Portadown

By Victor Gordon

Portadown 0 Sligo Rovers 2 (Sligo win 5-0 on aggregate): Portadown's cause was hopeless even before the kick-off of this Setanta Sports Cup tie, with Sligo notching a 3-0 win a week ago and the Ports still suffering in the aftermath of Saturday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup final defeat by Distillery.

They were never in the race last night and the 2-0 scoreline reflected Sligo’s superiority, but at least it was good practice for the Ports’ Irish Cup semi-final against Crusaders on Saturday.

Sligo almost increased their aggregate lead on 28 minutes when Daryl Horgan set up Matthew Blinkhorn, but Ports’ centre-half Chris Ramsey managed to hack the ball off the line.

Then Ramsey almost created a goal for the Ports when he lobbed the ball forward, but striker Richard Lecky misdirected his header with goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly in no-man’s land.

The two-legged tie died its final death on 40 minutes when Sligo made it 4-0 on aggregate with Horgan (pictured) the assassin. John Russell was the creator when he ran through the inside-left channel and delivered a perfect pass for Horgan to drive the ball home hard and low, giving David Miskelly no chance.

Sligo should have added a second four minutes after the restart when Russell set up Danny Ventre, but he skied the ball over the top from just eight yards.

Alan Kirby had a golden opportunity on 66 minutes when he was through one-on-one with Miskelly, but the keeper spread himself brilliantly to save.

Sligo added a second on 75 minutes through substitute Joseph N’Do. He collected a loose ball at the edge of the box and brilliantly arched the ball over Miskelly and into the roof of the net.

Rovers could have mirrored their 3-0 home score-line when Eoin Doyle delivered a great pass into the centre, but Ramsey came to the rescue when he hooked the ball from under the crossbar.

PORTADOWN: Miskelly, Mackle, Ramsey, Boyle, Braniff, Teggart, Haire, Cawley, Lecky, Craig, Breen. Subs: Armstrong, Hogg, Redman (for Breen 73 mins), Tipton (for Braniff 67 mins), McCullough (for Cawley 67 mins).

SLIGO ROVERS: Kelly, Doyle, Blinkhorn, Kirby, Horgan, Davoren, Peers, Foran, Ventre, Russell. Subs: Kane, McGuiness, Dillon (for Horgan 77 mins), Ryan, N’Do (for Russell 70 mins), McGoldrick (for Blinkhorn 64 mins)

Referee: Raymond Crangle (Belfast).

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