Sligo Rovers' Karl O’Sullivan scored the only goal of the game against his old club Finn Harps in this SSE Airtricity League Premier Division clash at Finn Park.
Sligo were comfortable for long spells in a contest that was pretty tepid with Ollie Horgan’s team looking out-of-sorts and patched up.
Harps might’ve been below par, but they nearly took something from the game when it was almost petering out with Mark Timlin missing a great chance to level with five minutes to go.
The former Derry City striker was 10 yards from goal and looked set to score only to see a combination of Colm Horgan and Adam McDonnell get in the way after Filip Mihaljevic had squared.
In the depths of injury time, Ed McGinty, the visiting goalkeeper, had to backpedal to smother as Harps belatedly kicked into life and in the 94th minute, with Mark Anthony McGinley in the Sligo box, there was a scramble but Sligo survived.
With Eric McWoods and Ryan Rainey having both been dismissed, while captain Dave Webster hobbled off in Friday's rather bizarre 2-2 draw at Bohemians, Horgan made five changes. He was forced into another change inside of 20 minutes when Ryan Connolly had to withdraw with a knock.
Meanwhile, Liam Buckley’s Sligo hadn’t won since their last meeting with Harps five weeks beforehand. Aidan Heena grabbed a hat-trick that night in a 3-1 success at the Showgrounds.
Harps had McGinley to thank for keeping their sheet clean early on, staying on his feet to stop David Cawley’s shot. The Harps net-minder followed that up with a top-class double save, firstly to deny Mark Byrne and then the follow-up from Max Mata.
Sligo were dominating the chances and went in front after 26 minutes, though it was as untidy a goal as you could imagine.
Cawley was played in by Byrne down the left and although the captain’s dink over the advancing goalkeeper was on target, it didn’t have the legs. However, Regan Donelon’s clearance hit a combination of Mata and O’Sullivan, allowing the later to score from six inches.
Six minutes later, Harps had another let-off when Shane Blaney - a native of Letterkenny - got around the back from an O’Sullivan corner only to head into the side-netting.
McGinty was having a trouble-free evening in the sunshine but was finally called into action to make a straightforward save from a Donelon free-kick after 33 minutes.
There was little goalmouth action until the final quarter-hour, when Harps finally began to press.
Paddy Kirk made a brave block as Ethan Boyle shot at goal and then McGinty and Blaney both got in the way of separate shots from Luke Rudden.
Another substitute, Rovers’ Jordan Hamilton, created space for himself with a precise drag back and McGinley had to go at full stretch to tip it wide of the post with ten minutes left to play.
Harps pushed for that elusive goal late on, but it never arrived.
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Erol Alkan, Rob Slevin, Regan Donelon; Bastien Hery, Ryan Connolly (Luke Rudden 19); Barry McNamee, Filip Mihaljevic, Mark Timlin; Yoyo Mahdy (Jesse Devers 70).
Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty; Paddy Kirk, Shane Blaney, Nando Pijnaker, Colm Horgan; Karl O'Sullivan, Niall Morahan, David Cawley (Greg Bolger 87), Adam McDonnell; Max Mata (Jordan Hamilton 60), Mark Byrne (Will Fitzgerald 76).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.