New signing Timmie Sobowale goes past Longford's Shane Elworthy during Friday night's game in Ballybofey. Picture: Thomas Gallagher
New signing Timmie Sobowale was among the goals as Finn Harps produced a wonderful second half performance to seal another three points against Longford Town in Ballybofey on Friday night.
Finn Harps . . . 3
Longford Town . . . 0
The former Waterford United player was only cleared to play earlier in the day after Harps received his international clearance.
And it was a night to remember for the 19-year-old who scored the third as Harps claimed the points.
Recent signing Nathan Boyle also marked his home debut with a wonderful opening goal right on the stroke of half time.
And when Mikey Place added a second from the penalty spot on the hour, the task looked beyond Longford. Sobowale’s goal came on 77 minutes and killed off any chance of a comeback from the visitors.
This was another really impressive victory for the Donegal side. The first half might not have great in terms of entertainment, but in the second half, this new-look Harps side showed determination and real quality to run out deserving winners.
With Drogheda United winning at Shelbourne, this victory lifts Ollie Horgan’s team up to joint second in the table.
The Harps side also included another new signing, Jacob Borg, who played in midfield.
The former Maltese international also made a notable impact on his debut, delivering a delicious cross for Harps’ opening goal which was headed in by substitute Nathan Boyle.
It was the perfect way for Boyle to mark his return to Ballybofey as he made his first home appearance following his recent move from Derry City.
Longford came to Ballybofey having won there 4-2 back on the June Bank Holiday Monday, but still smarting from a surprise defeat at home to Cobh last weekend.
Horgan, who was in Longford to see that defeat, named a much-changed side from the team that beat Drogheda and the system deployed ensured that Longford never really threatened too much in the opening stages.
Harps had an early chance when Jesse Devers worked an opening before seeing his shot from a tight angle pushed wide by the keeper.
Unfortunately for Devers, he sustained a knock in the move and despite trying to run it off, he had to come off on 13 minutes, and was replaced by another new signing, Nathan Boyle.
Longford were neat in possession and Karl Chambers should have done better when his turn and shot inside the area went just over.
At the other end, the Longford defence failed to cut out a run by Mikey Place who set up Sobowale but keeper Kelly kept his effort out, saving with his legs.
The all-important opening goal arrived as the game entered first half stoppage time when Boyle glanced Borg’s inviting delivery over the reach of keeper Kelly.
Place could have made it 2-0 immediately after the restart when he failed to hit the target when played in on goal.
But he produced a classy finish from the penalty spot when Longford were penalised for a foul on Ciaran Coll at a corner-kick.
The striker set up Sobowale for the Harps third on 77 - working a short corner with Mark Timlin before squeezing the ball into the path of Sobowale who scored from close range.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Aidan Friel (Mark Coyle 72), Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Tommy McBride, Jesse Devers (Nathan Boyle 13), Jacob Borg, Mikey Place, Oluwatunmise Sobowale (John O’Flynn 80), Mark Timlin.
Longford Town: Mick Kelly, Shane Elworthy, Tristan Noack Hofmann, Mick McDonald, Daniel O’Reilly, Dean Zambra (Chris Mulhall 63), Karl Chambers, Aodh Dervin, Craig Walsh, Dean Dillon, Dylan McGlade.
Referee: Damien McGrath.