Rovers beaten by Harps

Finn Harps claimed their first win in six as they overcame Sligo Rovers at Finn Park.

Goals in either half from Nathan Boyle means the Ballybofey side take full advantage of UCD’s defeat to Pat’s, moving ahead of the Students although with three more games played.

Rovers produced their only shot on target of a poor opening half for Liam Buckley’s men, shortly after kick-off.

Harps net minder Mark McGinley keeping an eye on Sam Warde’s bending set-piece to push the ball to safety.

The home side went about their business with superior purpose and Boyle won’t be on the end of many better opportunities this season, as he was on seven minutes.  

Loose at the front post, he could only nod Raffaele Cretaro’s cross to the front post off the Sligo goal-frame with Ed McGinty well beaten.

The home side looked more likely to draw first blood and were just inches away from the lead on the quarter hour.

Cretaro picked Kyle Callan-McFadden’s pocket inside the Sligo half before sending a vicious shot towards goal which McGinty fumbled.

The Rovers goalkeeper recovering in time to keep the ball the safe side of his goal-line.

With just two wins to their name going into this tie, Ollie Horgan’s boys hit the lead on 28 and without much argument.

Boyle making no mistake this time as he placed Mark Russell’s cross from the left beyond McGinty at the first go.

Rovers did go close before the interval courtesy of Warde via a Kris Twardek lay-off.

While David Cawley could only watch on as his half-volley pulled wide of McGinley’s goal early in the second half.

Twardek’s leap then allowed him meet a Cawley corner mid-way through the second half, but the Canadian could only steer the ball over McGinley’s goal.

But Harps extinguished any potential comeback and effectively secured victory twelve minutes from time.

A mix up in the Rovers midfield allowing Cretaro break free.

The ex-Sligo attacker biding his time before squaring for Boyle who was left with a relatively simple finish.

Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Daniel O’Reilly, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Jacob Borg, Mark Russell; Mark Coyle, Gareth Harkin; Raff Cretaro (Tony McNamee 83), Caolan McAleer (Harry Ascroft 74); Nathan Boyle (Mikey Place 89).   

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Johnny Dunleavy, John Mahon, Dante Leverock, Lewis Banks; Kyle Callan-McFadden (John Russell HT); Sam Warde; David Cawley (Jack Keaney 71), Kris Twardek; Ronan Murray, Romeo Parkes. 

Referee: Tomas Connolly.