Finn Harps 0-1 Sligo Rovers (after extra-time)
A Matthew Stevens strike late in the second period of extra-time secured Sligo Rovers a place in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup in Ballybofey last night, but it was the hospitalization of Finn Harps players BJ Banda, goalkeeper Harry Doherty and Packie Mailey due to injuries that completely overshadowed the result.
On 27 minutes Banda was stretched off and taken away from the ground in an ambulance. Both Doherty and Mailey were involved in a clash of heads on 68 minutes. As a result the game was stopped for close to 25 minutes. Doherty and Mailey were subsequently transferred to Letterkenny University Hospital for medical assessment.
The Sligo winner came when Stevens got on the end of a Daniel Kearns cross to head home five minutes before the end of the second period of extra-time.
Harps manager Ollie Horgan gave debuts to former Bonagee player Dylan McCroary, ex-Letterkenny Rovers lad Ciaran Kelly and Derry native Kealan McDermott while Gareth Doherty made his first start for the home side. And Raphoe lad Simon McGlynn was in the first 11 for only second time having made his debut against Cockhill Celtic a couple of weeks ago. Banda was only starting his second match of the season also having scored and starred in the league win over Derry City in Buncrana on Friday night.
Former Harps player and goalkeeping coach Declan McIntyre was in temporary charge of the Sligo Rovers again following the departure of Dave Robertson. He included ex-Bonagee Utd player Shaun Patton in goals along with Ramelton’s Kyle Callan-McFadden at centre-half while Donegal Town youngster Jack Keaney made his debut in the middle of the park. Another Donegal Town man Liam Martin was among the subs for the visitors.
In the first half Simon McGlynn did have a decent chance for the hosts but the midfielder dragged his shot wide. McGlynn also had an effort saved by Patton. At the other end Tommy McMonagle’s brave intervention denied John Mahon the opportunity to test Harry Doherty.
The visitors twice came close to breaking the deadlock on 61 minutes when Chris Kenny headed wide and almost immediately Stevens should have scored from close-range.
Finn Harps – Harry Doherty; Damien McNulty, Packie Mailey, Tommy McMonagle; Michael Funston, Ethan Boyle, Gareth Doherty, Dylan McCroary, Ciaran Coll; Simon McGlynn, BJ Banda. Subs: Ciaran Gallagher for Doherty 95 mins. Ciaran Kelly for Coll h-t, Kealan McDermott for Banda 27 mins. Not used: Kilian Cantwell, Sean Houston, Gareth Harkin, Nathan Clifford.
Sligo Rovers – Shaun Patton; Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, Kyle Callan-McFadden, John Mahon, Paul Doyle; Jack Keaney, Craig Roddan, Chris Kenny; Daniel Kearns, Matthew Stevens, Regan Donelon (Kieran Sadlier 96).
Ref: John McLoughlin.
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