Ollie Horgan deployed three more trialists at The Showgrounds, but John Russell’s goal was enough for Sligo Rovers to take the win.
Sligo Rovers 1 Finn Harps 0
Russell struck on 62 minutes. Raffaele Cretaro made the chance, feeding Russell who curled beautifully past goalkeeper Harry Doherty.
Harps gave first runs out to three trialists, including former Celtic youth Ciaran Lafferty up front, but his evening lasted only 25 minutes, as injury forced him off with Michael Funston coming in.
Lafferty, a 19-year-old Scot, was also on the books of Dunfermline, but the frontman is on the lookout for a new club and Horgan seems likely to give him another go, fitness provided, when Harps face Cabinteely on Saturday in Dublin.
The names of Bobby White and Nathan Carter – not the Irish country singer – also appeared on the Harps team-sheet tonight, while Donegal men Shaun Patton and Kyle Callan-McFadden lined up for the Bit O’Red.
Callan-McFadden, who had been a closed-season target for Harps following his return from America, headed just wide on the half-hour.
Ciaran O’Connor has made a bright start to his loan spell from Dundalk and he forced a save from Patton early on before he was denied what looked a certain opener by Chris Kenny’s intervention later in the half.
Sligo began brightly in the second half and Harry Doherty – on for Ciaran Gallagher as a substitute at half-time – saved well from Russell before Ethan Boyle denied Matthew Stevens.
O’Connor drew a good save from Micheal Schlingermann with a testing free-kick with 20 minutes to go, while Sligo sub Mikey Place hit the post after being thwarted by Doherty, who also saved from Chris Kenny.
Sligo Rovers: Shaun Patton, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Regan Donelon, Mick Leahy, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Daniel Kearns, Kieran Sadlier, Chris Kenny, John Russell, Raffaele Cretaro, Matthew Stevens. Subs: Micheal Schlingermann for Patton (half-time), Jonah Ayunga for Stevens (60), Liam Martin for Sadlier (60), Gary Boylan for Leahy (74), Mikey Place for Cretaro (74).
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Ethan Boyle, Packie Mailey, Killian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll, Caolan McAleer, Jonny Bonner, Bobby White, Nathan Carter, Ciaran O’Connor, Ciaran Lafferty. Subs: Michael Funston for Lafferty (25), Dylan McCroary for McAleer (half-time), Harry Doherty for Gallagher (half-time), Gareth Doherty for Carter (68), BJ Banda for O’Connor (71), Jamie Dunne for White (80).