First win of the year at Finn Park

Liam Buckley picked up his first win in charge of Sligo Rovers as the Bit O’Red battled to beat Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

First goals for striker Romeo Parkes and winger Kris Twardek had Rovers in the driving seat.

The Donegal men however, never let their opponents out of sight and pulled one back through Daniel O’Reilly.

Sligo did create chances to put the game to bed, but didn’t require a third as Harps couldn’t fashion an equaliser.

With both sides looking for their first wins of the season, it was the away team who manufactured this contest’s first chance.

The industrious Liam Kerrigan turning his man before firing narrowly over Peter Burke’s goal.

Rovers, who lost skipper Kyle Callan-McFadden mid-way through the half, should have hit the lead on 19.

Parkes latched on to debutant Ronan Murray’s set piece from the wing, but could only nod wide despite finding himself unmarked four yards from goal.

Harps had a chance of their own just 60 seconds later.

Sligo centre half John Mahon allowed a ball bombed forward bounce at the edge of his own area.

Goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney arrived in an effort to salvage the situation but he was beaten to the ball by Nathan Boyle whose attempted lob ended up on the roof of the net.

Buckley’s charges recovered to hit the lead just short of the half hour.

Kris Twardek fed Parkes who timed his run to beat the high Harps line, before taking a touch past Burke and subsequently slotting home for his maiden goal for Rovers.

The second half was four minutes old when Sligo had their second.

Burke had pulled off a smart save to deny Murray’s snapshot but could do little about Twardek’s strike from the resulting corner, which looked to have taken a touch off a defender on its way in.

Ollie Horgan’s men didn’t lie down and halved the deficit on 56.

Loose at the back stick, O’Reilly powered his header past Beeney from a Caolan McAleer corner at the town end of the ground. 

Parkes went close from another headed effort from a Murray free-kick on 78.

While O’Reilly did just enough to divert Dante Leverock’s shot from close range after Jack Keaney’s corner caused trouble in the Harps box.

Finn Harps: Peter Burke; Daniel O’Reilly, Jacob Borg, Keith Cowan; John Kavanagh, Mark Russell (Caolan McAleer 55); Gareth Harkin, Mark Coyle (Niall McGinley 83); Raff Cretaro; Nathan Boyle, Sean Boyd (Mikey Place 79).

Sligo Rovers: Mitchell Beeney; Niall Morahan, John Mahon, Dante Leverock, Lewis Banks; Jack Keaney (David Cawley 87), Kyle Callan-McFadden (Sam Warde 24); Kris Twardek, Ronan Murray (Daryl Fordyce 93), Liam Kerrigan; Romeo Parkes.

Referee: Derek Tomney.