By Gerard Mulreaney (@gerardmulreaney)
Sligo Rovers came away from Oriel Park last night with a well deserved point, after a 1-1 draw with Champions Dundalk. A resolute display from Liam Buckley’s men help stop Vinny Perth’s side from starting off the season with a win in front of a full house, which also included Republic of Ireland Assistant Manager Terry Cooke.
New Sligo centre-back Dante Leverock played a vital role in the end result, especially after an early mistake had given Dundalk striker Patrick Hoban a great opportunity to score from the spot, after Robbie Benson was upended. The midfielder ended up with a fractured fibula, an injury that could keep him out of action for some time. Fortunately for Leverock goalkeeper Ed McGinty stepped up to brilliantly save the resulting penalty.
McGinty was named man-of-the-match following the game.
The Bermudan International was very thankful to the young goalkeeper when I spoke to him after the game. He said, “Massive credit to the boys for fighting in a hard fought match. And of course a massive thanks to the big man behind me. It was a great penalty save after a horrible lapse of concentration from myself.”
Baptism of fire. Not my best game by a long shot but credit to these Sligo boys for never giving up and fighting for the shirt. Massive point away from home. Bring on next week. #bitored
— Dante' Leverock (@LeverockD92) February 15, 2019
Following that dramatic start the centre-back showed real quality as the game settled down, showing the traveling supporters just why Liam Buckley signed him.
Leverock said, “It took me some time to find my feet and playing against such a good team. They don’t allow you that time to get a rhythm, but I’m happy for the Sligo team and a huge thanks to the traveling fans.”
And what did he think about the style of play, “It is a very physical league, which I expected. I am enjoying pushing myself everyday in training, as the demands are high, which is great for me as a player to improve.”
He’s enjoying his time working under Buckley, who it’s known likes to play good flowing football, “It’s great playing under Liam, he gives you confidence to go out play and to enjoy the game.”
“We aim to take it one game at a time and get as many positive results as possible. I hope to play in as many games as I can and gain as many clean sheets as possible, that’s my goal and hopefully that brings many wins for Sligo.”
He’s also delighted with how the people of Sligo have welcomed him into the community saying, “I am really enjoying my time in Sligo, everyone has welcomed me. I love it there and I’m ready to do my part and fight for this club for the rest of the season.”