BJ Banda

BJ Banda

Derry City 0-2 Finn Harps 

It was a memorable night at Maginn Park as Finn Harps bagged three huge points against their arch North West rivals Derry City.  The game marked the first time Harps had scored away league win against the Candystripes.   And adding to the drama was the fact that it was two substitutes, B.J. Banda and Mickey Funston, who scored the priceless goals at the Buncrana venue.

With Eddie Dsane, Ciaran O’Connor and Danny Morrissey all absent due to injury Harps boss Ollie Horgan opted to go with the same 11 that started in the last game against Dundalk. Derry had the better of the scoring chances until Banda got the opener just before the break. Ronan Curtis should have done better after a defensive error but his effort failed to trouble keeper Ciaran Gallagher and likewise Mickhail Kennedy really should have tested the Harps keeper on 39 minutes.

But just a minute later Gallagher was called into action making a super save to tip over Aaron McEneff’s stinging long range drive. By that stage Harps had been forced into a personnel change with Banda replacing the injured Jonny Bonner.

The visitors took the lead almost on the stroke of half-time when Banda’s 25 yard deflected strike looped over Derry keeper Gerard Doherty. Early in the second half Banda saw another effort saved by Doherty. The youngster threatened again on 77 minutes. This time it was a shot with his weaker right foot that drew an excellent save from Doherty.

Michael Funston

Michael Funston

With nine minutes of normal time remaining Harps struck for a crucial second goal when another sub, Mickey Funston, reacted quickest to steer a rebound home after Banda’s initial strike was pushed out by Doherty.

Horgan’s side is now sixth in the Premier Division table ahead of the Limerick F.C. v Drogheda Utd game tonight.

Derry City – Gerard Doherty, Conor McDermott, Scott Whiteside, Aaron Barry, Dean Jarvis; Lucas Schubert (Mark Timlin 55), Aaron McEneff, Nicky Low, Joshua Daniels (Ben Doherty 78); Kennedy (Nathan Boyle 55), Curtis.

Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Damian McNulty, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll, Gareth Harkin; Nathan Boyle, Barry Molloy (Packie Mailey 90), Paddy McCourt (Mickey Funston 58), Jonny Bonner (B.J. Banda 22), Caolan McAleer; Sean Houston. Not used: Gareth Doherty, Simon McGlynn, Tommy McMonagle, Harry Doherty (Gk).

Referee: Mr Ray Matthews (Longford).

Magical night at Maginn for Harps

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