O’Connor stoppage time penalty propels Harps to sixth

Connor McGinty

Ciaran O’Connor is very quickly becoming a fans favourite on the Ballybofey terraces despite only being on loan from Dundalk.

With another brilliant display and a goal to add to his current tally it’s evident why with a great energetic performance every game.

Sligo had the first real chance with Cretaro at the far post unlucky to not make anything of what to be fair to the Sligo stalwart was a very tight angle before Harkin cleared his lines.

A game with what I would describe as having more turnovers than a basketball game and for those of you un familiar of the sport that’s usually quite a lot a game. The 15th minute saw Jonah Ayunga set off on a run and drive into the box only to have a good shot deflected away for a corner by a brilliant sliding tackle from ‘The Harps’.

Ten minutes later Ayunga was through again this time being gifted the ball from a mis-placed Ciaran Coll pass unlike the St.Johnstone man. Ayunga found himself on the wing but eventually pulled the shot wide.

With shots off target left right and centre it was hard to see a victor in this tighly fought contest as many would of predicted but “with no two chapters the same” this Northwest derby certainly clarified the old wise tail.

With Ollie stating that it’s “crucial to get any points on the board” and when asked to recall last season’s start that may have saved their season “the run of eight games without a win” was the main talking point, one which “that won’t keep us in the division this year” it was clear that it was going to be a second half yet again echoing the old saying.

Both sides came out fighting; Jonny Bonner first of all with a pinpoint shot curling into the top corner calling Schlingermann into action but Sligo had the perfect response. Cretaro through on goal lifted the ball over Gallagher who dived too early to see the visitor’s one ahead.

With Sligo not keeping a clean sheet all season many were certain they wouldn’t tonight either and they were proved right when Cantwell in my opinion the man of the match was there to put away the rebound from some poor defending to level the scores and get the crowd on their feet for an exciting closing 20 minutes.
Harps had the momentum tank full to burst and Ciaran O’Connor curling a shot didn’t help Sligo’s case for a point being carved open at the back once again.

The board went up for three minutes additional time and with referee Arnold Hunter pointing to the spot in the third minute of added time the ground fell silent. ”A big call” in Robertson’s eyes for which Adebayo-Rowling brought down O’Connor and it was the striker who stepped up putting the ball to Schlingermann’s right who predicted the direction correctly but was un-able to deny the rebound to add another three points to the board for Harps.

In the post-match interviews Dave Robertson was keen to point out “they need to adapt to the weather and attend to the ugly side of the game.” “With opportunities to clear it and a heavy pitch” the Sligo coach described how “we needed to play some no risk football clearing our lines but that’s something we need to review and make sure we get right, an area in our previous games we’ve done quite well but it’s a bitter pill to swallow when you go one up to lose to a ninety-third minute penalty.”

On the other side of the emotions a delighted Ollie Horgan told how “both teams went out to win it and maybe a draw would have been a fair result but both teams certainly didn’t settle for that.”

“It’s Ironic how last season we went eight games without a win and Raff had the chance to win it up in Sligo but put the ball over the bar so maybe again that bit of luck has gone away against Sligo tonight”

The Harps Manager was full of praise for his players and rightly so after a great performance to now increase their total to 8 points after six games but was delighted how they’re able to adapt to the loss of players describing the league as “a marathon .”

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