Lee Toland covered at centre half after Keith Cowan went off

Shelbourne 0-0 Finn Harps 

Finn Harps extended their recent unbeaten run to five games with a well deserved draw against Shelbourne at Tolka Park. It’s the second time that the two teams have shared the spoils this season after the 1-1 draw at Finn Park in early March. Ollie Horgan’s side could have won right at the death when Michael O’Connor shot over from six yards.

Horgan had to plan without both regular full-backs Ciaran Coll and Aidan Friel while Keith Cowan was forced off with a hamstring injury just before half-time. Michael O’Connor and Sam Todd returned after suspension while Paddy McCourt started after coming on as a sub in the previous two games to such great effect.

Mark Coyle had to drop from midfield to fill in for Friel. Despite the defensive reshuffle Harps defended well but did find it difficult to test Shels keeper Dean Delaney. David O’Sullivan and James English had early opportunities for Shels but Harps keeper Ciaran Gallagher didn’t have a save to make on either occasion.

At the other Ciaran O’Connor could have done better but his effort went harmlessly wide.

Cowan’s injury led to the introduction of youngster Niall McGinley for only his second ever senior appearance having started against Galway on Bank Holiday Monday. The Strabane lad saw a long range strike go narrowly over the bar just before the interval.

Owen Heary’s side made a good start to the second half with Alan Evans and Mark Hughes coming close. Shelbourne then had a great chance to break the deadlock but James English’s header went the wrong side of the upright. Four minutes before the end of normal time O’Sullivan’s close range strike was deflected over the bar by a Harps defender. Then in the dying seconds Michael O’Connor missed that glorious late chance to win it for the visitors.

Shelbourne – Dean Delaney, James Browne, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Dave Mulcahy, Derek Prendergast, Alan Byrne, Mark Hughes, Cian Kavanagh (Dayle Rooney 72), James English, Alan Evans, David O’Sullivan.

Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Mark Coyle, Sam Todd, Keith Cowan (Niall McGinley 32), Lee Toland; Tommy McBride, Paddy McCourt, Ciaran O’Connor, John O’Flynn (BJ Banda 59), Jesse Devers (Mark Hannon 90) Michael O’Connor. Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Gareth Doherty, Ryan Finn, Mark Timlin.

Referee: Adriano Reale.

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