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Date Time League Season
19 August 2022 8:00 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2022

Match Report

Finn Harps beat Sligo Rovers in feisty affair

Finn Harps collected a much-needed three points in their relegation fight as they defeated Sligo Rovers 3-2 in a five-goal thriller at Finn Park.

Visiting manager, John Russell, was boosted by the availability of dangermen Aidan Keena and Karl O’Sullivan for this encounter.

However, the early drama was in the dugout as home manager Ollie Horgan was sent to the stands for sarcastically applauding the referee for booking Harps midfielder Ryan Connolly.

O’Sullivan then went close, but Barry McNamee opened the scoring with a thunderous, left-footed scorcher from range that gave Harps an invaluable lead.

Although Keena was denied by McNamee’s immense defensive recovery, James McKeown had to be alert as he repelled shots from Sligo’s Nando Pijnaker and Will Fitzgerald.

This profligacy was punished when Ryan Rainey bundled a header home from Gary Boylan’s dangerous delivery. Rob Slevin cheekily tried claiming it but the goal was Rainey’s. More importantly, Finn Harps were 2-0 up.

After the interval, Sligo swiftly scored. And it was their deadly duo at the heart of a ruthless counterattack, O’Sullivan playing through Keena who stayed calm and finished well.

As the action seesawed from end-to-end, Finn Park erupted into raucously sarcastic applause as Shane Blaney was booked, Sligo’s first of the night.

Rainey then was adjudged to have been tripped in the box. Despite, the soft nature, Connolly converted the penalty with ease, restoring Harp’s two-goal buffer.

Connolly soon went from hero to zero though as he received his second booking, puling back Max Mata, setting up a nervous final twenty minutes.

Harps were manging well until Ethan Boyle clumsily crashed into Keena, the striker dusted himself down and made it 3-2 with a well-taken spot kick.

Amidst a raft of substitutions, Mata and Blaney spurned glorious headed opportunities and Finn Park could breathe, cherishing a massive result.

With UCD’s loss, Finn Harps now move into the relegation playoff position and will be relieved to see out a frantic ending successfully. They have a break now before their next game against St Patrick’s Athletic on September 2nd.

Sligo host Dundalk next needing points if they are to revive their bid for Europe this season.

  • Thanks for joining me tonight for that five-goal thriller. Harps now off the bottom, crucially. See you again next time!

  • 90'

    Full Time: Harps hold on 3-2!

  • 90'

    Four minutes of added time

  • 89'

    Nearing injury time as Sligo stream forward, Max Mata plants a header wide

  • 81'

    Keena is fouled by a rampaging Boyle. The striker dusts himself down and converts confidently to set up a nervy ending

  • 71'

    Frank Liivak replaces Fitzgerald for Sligo, into the last 20 minutes now

  • 70'

    Hero to villain! Connolly picks up a second yellow and is sent off

  • 68'

    Ryan Connolly converts a penalty after Rainey was fouled, 3-1 Harps!

  • 63'

    Adam McDonnell lashes a shot over for Sligo before Keena joins Blaney in the ref's book

  • 54'

    Blaney booked which draws ironic cheers from the home crowd

  • 53'

    Harps create a few chances in response as Rainey and Ethan Boyle see headers go narrowly high and wide

  • 47'

    Keena reduces the deficit as the forward clinically finishes one-on-one from O'Sullivan's pass. 2-1 and game on!

  • 45'

    Back underway! Dylan Duncan has replaced the injured Mihaljevic for Finn Harps

  • 45'

    Half Time: 2-0 to Finn Harps

  • 40'

    A frankly ridiculous booking for Regan Donelon who is pulled back and then booked for protesting the decision. Blaney has also cleared another McNamee attempt off the line as we enter four minutes of first half added time

  • 36'

    2-0 to Finn Harps!! Rainey thunders a header home after Gary Boylan's pinpoint delivery! Rob Slevin ran off claiming it but the goal is Rainey's! And Harps won't care, they're 2-0 up either way!

  • 33'

    Good chance for the away side as Shane Blaney's long ball sets Keena scampering away and he tees up Will Fitzgerald who shoots straight at McKeown. Max Mata is then sprung free and his teasing cross is just about scrambled behind

  • 30'

    Pjnaker shoots from range but James McKeown gets down quickly to save the well-struck attempt

  • 19'

    Another yellow card for Finn Harps but this looks really harsh as Eric McWoods is penalised for overzealous pressing on Nando Pijnaker

  • 18'

    Barry McNamee scorches a strike into the top corner and Finn Harps lead! What a belter from the home captain!

  • 12'

    Another booking for the hosts, Ryan Connolly harshly booked. Ollie Horgan, the home manager, sarcastically applauds and is sent off for his troubles! Drama in the dugouts

  • 9'

    After a few let-offs, a Finn Harps player is finally booked. Its Rainey who is shown the yellow card for a foul on Keena

  • 8'

    Good start by Sligo here, ex-Harps man O'Sullivan looks in the mood as he whistles a tantalising cross into the box to no avail

  • Underway!

  • Sligo make two alterations: dangerous attacking duo Aidan Keena and Karl O'Sullivan, both scorers when these sides last met, are fit to start

  • For the hosts, just one change. Ryan Rainey replaces the injured Conor Tourish

  • Good evening and welcome to FinalWhistle.ie's coverage of Finn Harps vs Sligo Rovers in the Premier Division tonight. Kick off at Finn Park is at 8pm and team news is coming shortly

Finn Harps

25James McKeown Goalkeeper
19Regan Donelon Defender 40'
9Rob Slevin Defender
7Gary Boylan Defender
24Ethan Boyle Defender
6Ryan Connolly Midfielder 68'
12'
70'
8Eric McWoods 10 Midfielder 19'
11Barry McNamee 23 Midfielder 18'
17Elie-Gael N’Zeyi Midfielder 90'
22Ryan Rainey Midfielder 36'
9'
33Filip Mihaljevic 55 Forward
99Gavin Mulreany Goalkeeper
15Jose Carrillo Defender
Adam McCaffrey Midfielder
12Luke Rudden Forward
16Harry Nicolson Defender
23Liam McGing 11 Defender
10Mark Timlin 8 Midfielder
55Dylan Duncan 33 Midfielder
18Robert Jones Forward

Sligo Rovers

16Luke McNicholas Goalkeeper
2Lewis Banks 34 Defender
4Shane Blaney Defender 54'
19Paddy Kirk Defender
28Nando Pijnaker Defender
7Will Fitzgerald 10 Midfielder
17Adam McDonnell 22 Midfielder
18Robbie Burton Midfielder
9Aidan Keena Forward 47', 81'
62'
14Karl O’Sullivan Forward
27Max Mata Forward
30Richard Brush Goalkeeper
5Cameron Evans Defender
6Greg Bolger Midfielder
8Niall Morahan Midfielder
10Frank Liivak 7 Forward
22David Cawley 17 Midfielder
25Cillian Heaney Forward
34Kailin Barlow 2 Midfielder
41Eanna Clancy Defender

Past Meetings

(Round 20)
3 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps

(Round 11)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Sligo Rovers

(Round 6)
3 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps

(Series 32)
2 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Sligo Rovers

(Series 23)
0 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps

(Series 14)
1 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Sligo Rovers

(Series 5)
1 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps

(Series 10)
3 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
The Showgrounds

Sligo Rovers v Finn Harps

(Series 1)
1 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Sligo Rovers

Officials

Referee
Rob Hennessy

Ground

Finn Park
Finn Park, Navenny Street, Stranorlar Electoral Division, Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, County Donegal, F93 Y27K, Ireland

QUB Student, passion for Sports Journalism Editor @ The Gown QUB Newspaper Reporter for @ FinalWhistle