Parkes scores and is sent off as Sligo Rovers go four points clear

In-form striker on target against Finn Harps in northwest derby on Friday night

Sligo Rovers fans outside Finn Park celebrate after Lewis Banks scored their second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Finn Harps.  Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Sligo Rovers fans outside Finn Park celebrate after Lewis Banks scored their second goal during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Finn Harps. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Finn Harps 1 Sligo Rovers 2

It was a case of mixed emotions for Romeo Parkes as he scored and was later sent off as SSE Airtricity League Premier Division leaders Sligo Rovers beat Finn Harps 2-1 in a very open northwest derby in Ballybofey on Friday evening.

Rovers went ahead after six minutes when from a corner after Mark Anthony McGinley’s fisted clearance fell into the path of Parkes – who got the match-winner against Shamrock Rovers in Sligo’s last outing – and he drove the ball from just inside the box through a crowd of players and into the back of the net.

But Harps responded straight away with Adam Foley galloping down the right flank and whipping in a cross to the far post where Belgian striker Tunde Owolabi was on hand to connect and score his first goal for the Donegal club.

Indeed, Owolabi – whose previous club was SPL side Hamilton – gave Rovers numerous headaches with his pace in the first half with a number of scoring opportunities, as well as having two goals disallowed.

Harps could have taken the lead on 54 minutes when Foley fired across the face of goal and just wide.

But Sligo took the lead on the hour as Harps struggled to defend a corner and Lewis Banks crashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-1.

Sligo Rovers’ Romeo Parkes scores the opening goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Finn Harps at Finn Park in Ballybofey. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Sligo Rovers’ Romeo Parkes scores the opening goal in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match against Finn Harps at Finn Park in Ballybofey. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

However, the Bit O’Red were then reduced to 10 men in the 62nd minute with Parkes – much to his frustration – being shown a straight red card after a flare-up near the corner flag.

Harps brought on five substitutes and pushed hard for an equaliser.

Sligo almost bagged a third on 81 minutes but McGinley got a touch to divert over a stinging Jordan Gibson effort.

At the other end, Seán Boyd almost equalised in injury time but his close-range effort was superbly tipped over by Ed McGinty.

FINN HARPS: McGinley; Boyle, McEleney, Sadiki, Webster; O’Sullivan, B. McNamee, Coyle, Seymour; Foley, Owolabi. Subs: Dunleavy for Webster (66 mins), Boyd for O’Sullivan, Connolly for Seymore (both 77 mins), T. McNamee for Sadiki, Russell for Foley (both 83 mins)

SLIGO ROVERS: McGinty: Banks, Buckley, Mahon, McCourt; Bolger; Byrne, Gibson, Morahan, Figueira; Parkes. Subs: Horgan for Banks (64 mins), Kenny for Figueira (77 mins).

Referee: P McLaughlin (Monaghan).

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