Lewis Banks' injury time winner dragged Sligo Rovers across the line as the Bit O’Red claimed a huge three points in the race for European football.

Banks volleyed past Longford goalkeeper Mick Kelly in the 91st minute to finally see off a gallant Longford.

The win sees Rovers move seven points ahead of fourth placed Derry City as the north westerners face into their final three games of the season.

Looking to fasten their grip on third spot, Rovers manufactured the best of the first half opportunities after an unsure start.

Johnny Kenny's goalward flick was deflected away by a Longford defender on 16 minutes, while Town goalkeeper Mick Kelly comfortably saved Ryan De Vries’ side-footed effort five minutes later.

It remained all Sligo for the majority of the opening half.

Another Kenny flick teeing up Andre Wright whose crisp effort from 15 yards flew narrowly past Kelly’s post.

Kenny, who netted his tenth goal of the season against Drogheda last week, was just short of Adam

Longford reminded Rovers of their presence twice before the break. Sligo net minder Ed McGinty shuffling his feet in time to keep out a speculative Dervan drive, before Shamrock Rovers loanee Dean Williams could only strike McGinty’s side netting on the counter.

Dervan attempted another audacious effort from distance, this time from all of 35 yards eight minutes into the second half which McGinty managed to keep hold of. Sligo slow again to get going after the re-start.

Aaron Robinson fired over from the edge of the area on 73 while the same man flashed one onto the side netting minutes later as Sligo again switched off at the rear.

An anxious Sligo support had to wait until the very death for an eventual, if maybe undeserved winner when Banks blasted past Kelly after Melvyn Lorenzen’s initial cross was parried out to the former Stoke City man.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Lewis Banks, John Mahon (Niall Morahan 66), Garry Buckley, Robbie McCourt; Adam McDonnell, Walter Figueira (Mark Byrne 66), Greg Bolger; Ryan De Vries (Melvyn Lorenzen 78); Johnny Kenny, Andre Wright (Seamas Keogh 66).

Longford Town: Mick Kelly; Shane Elworthy, Mick McDonnell, Aaron O’Driscoll, Paddy Kirk; Aaron Robinson, Aodh Dervin; Conor Davis (Aaron McNally 87), Dylan Grimes (Rob Manley 81); Matthew O’Brien (Darragh Nugent 69); Dean Williams.

Referee: Ben Connolly

We need your consent to load this rte-player contentWe use rte-player to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Listen to the RTÉ Soccer podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts