KOSOVAR Sadiki bagged his first Finn Harps goal as the Donegal side scored a first Premier Division win in nine games.
Sligo Rovers 0 Finn Harps 1
By Chris McNulty at The Showgrounds
Sadiki’s 47th minute header earned Harps a derby win over Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds, condemning Sligo to a fifth successive defeat in all competitions.
After playing second fiddle for much of the first half, Harps took the lead two minutes into the second half.
Karl O’Sullivan’s free kick from the left-hand side hung invitingly and Sadiki nodded past Ed McGinty.
The 22-year-old, signed from Hibernian, has been a real rock at the heart of the Harps rearguard, His first goal in Harps colours could hardly have come at a better time.
After Waterford overcame Bohemians to move five points clear of Harps – who are currently in the relegation play-off spot – the pressure ratcheted up a notch for Ollie Horgan’s side.
.@FinnHarpsFC take the lead through Kosovar Sadiki! 😲
It's the big centre back's first goal for the club! 😎
— SSE Airtricity League (@SSEAirtricityLg) August 7, 2021
Goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley came to the rescue five minutes into added time at the end with a stunning reaction save to claw away from Mark Byrne as Sligo pushed hard in search of a leveller.
Harps had been reduced to ten men when Mark Coyle was given his second booking for a foul on Greg Bolger in the closing stages, but Adam McDonnell’s drilled free kick was held by McGinley.
In the third minute of added time, Sligo sub Byrne was eyeing up an equaliser, but Barry McNamee took the ball from his toe.
Buoyed by an 800-strong support – the first time the venue has seen such numbers since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 – Sligo were on the front foot from the off.
Johnny Kenny, son of the former Harps star of the same name, forced McGinley into a strong save at his near post after only eight minutes. Kenny profited when Kosovar Sadiki lost his footing, but McGinley did well to save.
Niall Morahan might have put the hosts in front soon after, but he couldn’t get the necessary purchase when he met Jordan Gibson’s ball in.
There was a first League start for recent recruit Hawkins as Harps sought a first Premier Division win since May, their winless streak having stretched to eight games.
Horgan’s men went to Yeats country with one League win in 12, but the mood will have been lifted by the FAI Cup win at Fairview Rangers a fortnight ago, albeit after extra time.
Their first foray saw Mark Coyle’s attempt blocked by Niall Morahan while Ed McGinty saved from Dave Webster when the Harps captain connected with a Hawkins free.
A combination of McGinley and Ethan Boyle kept the sheet clean in the 22nd minute. Walter Figueira went to ground under the challenge of Jordan Mustoe. After getting to his feet swiftly, Figueira was denied by McGinley. Just when Kenny looked set to break the deadlock with the rebound, Boyle intervened at the vital moment on the goal line.
The lively Kenny beat the offside trap but opted to shoot with Jordan Gibson scampering in at the far post. McGinley, again, made the save and Harps survived.
They were emboldened when Sadiki opened the scoring. Harps might have had a second but, after Dan Hawkins and Ryan Rainey, who was just in for the injured O’Sullivan, combined well on the right, Rainey’s cross was headed over by Tunde Owolabi.
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Colm Horgan, Garry Buckley. John Mahon (Shane Blaney 85), Lewis Banks; Greg Bolger, Niall Morahan (Adam McDonnell 85); Jordan Gibson (Ryan De Vries 70), Walter Figueira, Romeo Parkes; Johnny Kenny (Mark Byrne 60).
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Dave Webster, Kosovar Sadiki, Jordan Mustoe; Will Seymore, Mark Coyle; Karl O’Sullivan (Ryan Rainey 59), Barry McNamee, Dan Hawkins (Ryan Connolly 86); Tunde Owolabi (Sean Boyd 83).
Referee: Adriano Reale.Tags: