Sunday 17 November 2019

McCabe strike sees Sligo take 'massive' step towards safety

Finn Harps 1 Sligo Rovers 2

Lyttle: “It’s a massive win – there’s no denying that.
Lyttle: “It’s a massive win – there’s no denying that." Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Manager Gerard Lyttle believes Sligo Rovers took a "massive" step toward Premier Division survival as Rhys McCabe struck a 91st-minute winner against Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

Just when it seemed as if a magnificent Paddy McCourt goal had earned Harps a point, Sligo went for broke. Vinny Faherty flicked the ball on for McCabe, who fired home from 20 yards.

"We speak about that all the time - the winning mentality and never-say-die attitude - we have that in the team now," Lyttle said.

"It's a massive win - there's no denying that. A point mightn't have been the worst, but to come here and pull off a win is massive.

"The boys have a real togetherness now and we need that coming into the last part of the season."

Sligo took the lead when Faherty connected to Gary Boylan's whipped cross in the 16th minute.

Harps goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher was forced into a save by Daniel Kearns and Caolan McAleer drew a strong stop from Shaun Patton at the other end as the game ebbed and flowed.

Then, former Celtic star McCourt rolled back the years as he beat a handful of Sligo players before slipping the ball past Patton in the 82nd minute.

It was vintage McCourt and a stroke of genius on a heavy Finn Park surface, but his name was dramatically taken out of the lights when McCabe pounced for Sligo's winner.

"There will be twists and turns yet and there are 15 points still to play for," said Harps assistant Paul Hegarty.

"The margins are so tight. The break of a ball is the difference. It will be difficult, but we believe we have enough in that dressing room to see us through."

FINN HARPS - Gallagher; Boyle, McNulty, Coll, Harkin (Bonner 73); McAleer, McCourt, McBride (Morrissey 57), Timlin; Houston; Dsane (Keita 85).,

SLIGO ROVERS - Patton; Boylan, Sharkey, Callan-McFadden, Donelon; McDonagh (Igiehon 73), Kenny, McCabe, Kearns (Houghton 89); Moorhouse (Keaney h/t), Faherty.

REF - T Connolly (Dublin).


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