THE SON of a Finn Harps legend struck his first League of Ireland goal to condemn the Donegal side to a first defeat of 2021.
Sligo Rovers 1 Finn Harps 0
By Chris McNulty at The Showgrounds. Pictures by Joe Boland, North West Newspix
Johnny Kenny senior is fondly remembered at Finn Park after an excellent spell at the club from the summer of 1999.
The ‘Riverstown Flyer’ also turned out for his native Sligo and his son is one of the real bright sparks at the Showgrounds.
The 17-year-old Johnny Kenny profited from an error by Harps goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley – but the teenager won’t care too much as he celebrated his first senior goal.
McGinley dallied as he took a pass off Shane McEleney and the nippy Kenny seized the moment, tapping home to put Sligo in front.
Kenny was left out of the Sligo team by boss Liam Buckley, who preferred Ryan De Vries, but the youngster made an almost instant mark after being brought on at half-time.
The 51st minute strike maintains Sligo’s unbeaten start and elevates them above Ollie Horgan’s Harps, who rarely threatened Ed McGinty.
It took the evening some time to come to life, but Harps got a real scare late in the first half.
When a tame Ethan Boyle pass into the Sligo area was cut out, the home side went route one and almost made Harps pay. Romeo Parkes’ wonderful first touch took him goal-side of Kosovar Sadiki and, only for a vital touch from McGinley, Sligo would’ve been in front.
It was a warning shot across the Harps brows as the first half entered its final ten minutes.
It had been an evening of few chances until then, with Karl O’Sullivan failing to really test McGinty with a left-footed curler on 27 minutes.
Harps – energised by a dramatic late win over Waterford seven days ago – ventured over the N15 with their spirits high following an unbeaten opening to the year. Horgan’s own satisfaction with the upward graph is rarely evident, but he presented it here in his team selection which was unchanged for a fourth successive game.
Just before the teams parted for the interval, Jordan Gibson stung McGinley’s palms and it was a routine save for the visiting net-minder.
Parkes was denied by McGinley after meeting a Jordan Gibson cross with his head just after the changeover before Kenny broke the deadlock.
Kenny was buzzing and his dangerous ball across the face of the Harps goal on the hour yearned for a finishing touch that never arrived.
With Sligo beginning to press down their dominance, Parkes was denied by the feet of McGinley, who saved soon after from Robbie McCourt. McGinley smothered a snapshot from Walter Figueira as Sligo went in search of a second.
Gibson fizzed inches over ten minutes from the end and, while Harps went for broke, a repeat of last weekend’s late heroics never felt likely.
Harps have little time to lick their wounds with a trip to Longford next on the agenda on Tuesday night.
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, Garry Buckley, John Mahon, Robbie McCourt; Greg Bolger; Jordan Gibson, Niall Morahan, Walter Figueira, Romeo Parkes (David Cawley 78); Ryan De Vries (Johnny Kenny half-time).
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle (Stephen Doherty 70), Shane McEleney, Kosovar Sadiki, Dave Webster; Will Seymore (Sean Boyd 83), Mark Coyle; Karl O’Sullivan (Stephen Folan 83)), Mark Russell (Ryan Shanley 70), Barry McNamee; Adam Foley (Tunde Owolabi 55).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.Tags: