Finn Harps are still alive in the race to stay in the Premier Division after they recorded their first win over neighbours Derry City in two years.

Harry Ascroft's first goal for the Donegal side did all the damage in this derby, against a disappointing Candystripes outfit lacking that killer touch in front of goal.

Unbeaten in eight, Derry came into this game having already seen off their local rivals three times this season, netting nine times in the process.

But Harps were to deny their opponents throughout.

Gerardo Bruna’s set-piece from 25 yards flew over Mark McGinley’s crossbar without much worry. While Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe mistimed his jump when he nodded Jamie McDonagh’s cross wide of McGinley’s post on the half hour.

McDonagh found the net against Sligo last week and was somewhat unfortunate not to add another one at the end of the first half here.

His laced volley from the edge of the box racing past the post, although McGinley looked like he might have had it covered.

Junior, Derry’s top scorer this season, almost had his ninth goal of the year two minutes from the break as Declan Devine’s side looked the more likely to break the deadlock.

McGinley threw a quick foot towards the winger’s effort after some trickery from the young winger brought him past Jacob Borg’s challenge. The Harps 'keeper reacting in time to deny the effort from the angle.

City might have had a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

McGinley struggled to deal with Sam Todd’s back-pass as the ball spun into the air. David Parkhouse won the aerial battle, but seemed to take a punch in the face from McGinley for his endeavour.

Referee Neil Doyle promptly pointing for a goal-kick.

McGinley was involved again ten minutes into the re-start when he pulled off an impressive save to deny McDonagh. The ex-Sligo man almost making the most of a quick exchange between himself, Junior and Greg Sloggett.

Junior skied his first time effort from a Bruna corner seven minutes later as the visitors continued to probe.

But this game went in a different direction on 66 when Harps hit the lead.

Ollie Horgan had only introduced Tony McNamee, when his long throw was met by the head of Ascroft who out-jumped Sloggett to nod past Peter Cherrie for his maiden goal for the club.

Mikey Place almost had an unprecedented second for Harps on 73.

But Cherrie did just enough to keep out the angled effort after the striker’s neat turn past his marker.

Derry added Eoghan Stokes, Conor Davis and Michael McCrudden to the mix for the run-in, in an effort to pull something from Ballybofey.

Both McDonagh and McCrudden did have half chances but, the Donegal side held out for what could be a vital three points come the end of the season.

Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Daniel O’Reilly, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Jacob Borg, Mark Russell; Mark Timlin (Tony McNamee 64), Gareth Harkin, Harry Ascroft; Raff Cretaro (Shaun Doherty 83); Mikey Place (Liam Walsh 92).

Derry City: Peter Cherrie; Darren Cole, Eoin Toal (Michael McCrudden 77), Ally Gilchrist, Ciaran Coll; Greg Sloggett, Ciaron Harkin (Conor Davis 81), Gerardo Bruna; Jamie McDonagh, David Parkhouse, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (Eoghan Stokes 77).

Referee: Neil Doyle.

Attendance: 1,523