Drogheda United 0-1 Finn Harps
Finn Harps secured their second 1-0 away win in the space of seven days thanks to sub John O’Flynn’s dramatic 89th winner against Drogheda Utd last night. The result moved Harps up a place to fourth in the table. Ollie Horgan’s men are now just behind Drogheda on goal difference and a point adrift of second placed Shelbourne. Leaders UCD have a four-point advantage over Shels.
O’Flynn who scored a crucial goal down in Cobh back in March got the winner two minutes after coming on for Jesse Devers. The veteran striker steered the ball home after latching onto a super pass from new signing Nathan Boyle who had come on as a replacement for the injured Paddy McCourt just before half-time.
The visitors started brightly with a Mark Coyle effort forcing a fine save from Paul Skinner. For the hosts Gareth McCaffrey who scored from a penalty the last time the two teams met at United Park and Mark Doyle both had attempts that didn’t trouble Ciaran Gallagher. Coyle who was an injury doubt coming into the game was forced off after just 30 minutes with young Niall McGinley being introduced in midfield.
Drogheda had the upper hand at the start of the second half with McCaffrey shooting narrowly wide while Gallagher had to be alert to stop Sean Brennan’s free-kick. At the other end Harps came close to breaking the deadlock as Ciaran Kelly desperately cleared the ball off the line following a defensive mix-up.
However, in general the home side had the upper hand with skipper Jake Hyland, McCaffrey and Brennan all testing Gallagher.
He also produced a brilliant save to deny Mark Doyle. Horgan’s outfit came agonizingly close to taking the lead on 75 minutes when a Mikey Place strike rebounded off the crossbar.
Then came that late drama with O’Flynn displaying all his experience and composure to find the back of the net to give Harps a big boost ahead of two massive home games starting with Longford Town next Friday night. A week later Horgan’s men host Shelbourne.
Drogheda United – Paul Skinner, Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher, Luke Gallagher, Sean Brennan (Robert Manley 87), Chris Lyons, Gareth McCaffrey (Lee Duffy 72), Jake Hyland, Mark Doyle, Ciaran Kelly, Richie Purdy.
Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Aidan Friel, Lee Toland, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Gareth Harkin, Jesse Devers (John O’Flynn 87), Paddy McCourt (Nathan Boyle 45), Mikey Place, Mark Coyle (Niall McGinley 30), Mark Timlin. Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Mark Hannon, Adam Duffy.
Ref: Sean Grant.
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