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Finn Harps 0-0 Shelbourne

Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps stay third in the League of Ireland First Division despite only managing a draw at home to fellow promotion contenders Shelbourne in Ballybofey last night. While Harps do remain third, they are now two points behind Drogheda Utd who had a 2-1 home win over bottom of the table Athlone last night.

It was the third time for these two teams to share the spoils this season and the second occasion for the match to end scoreless. Apart from only handful of openings it was two of the meanest defences that reigned supreme at Finn Park.

With six games to go UCD are out on front, five points ahead of Drogheda and seven in front of Horgan’s men. Shels are fourth and two points behind Harps. Longford and Galway who lost to UCD last night are four points further adrift in fifth and sixth places respectively.

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The visitors came close to an early goal through a David O’Sullivan header but Ciaran Gallagher pushed the ball onto a post. Harps took time to settle and Gallagher was called into action again on 21 minutes to deal with Reece McEnteer’s strike from distance.

The home side finally created a decent attack in the 25th minute when Jacob Borg cut in from the right to arch in a left-foot shot forcing Dean Delaney to touch the ball over the bar for a corner at the town end of the ground. Then Mikey Place latched onto a clever Devers pass but the striker failed to test Delaney and the danger was cleared.

Place did get the ball past the Shels keeper on 31 minutes with his effort being cleared of the line by McEnteer. Nathan Boyle was forced of with a hamstring injury in the 62nd minute with Timmie Sobowale coming in for this second appearance after just being cleared to play for Harps a week earlier. In the second half visitors sub Gavin Boyne’s fine strike was stopped by Gallagher.

Horgan’s side did try to grab a winner but there were no clear-cut chances even though veteran striker John O’Flynn was sent on for the closing stages of the game.

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Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Jacob Borg, Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Tommy McBride, Jesse Devers, Gareth Harkin (John O’Flynn 80 mins), Mikey Place, Nathan Boyle (Oluwantunmise Sobowale 62 mins), Mark Timlin (Mark Coyle 65). Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Niall McGinley, Mark Hannon, Aidan Friel.

Shelbourne: Dean Delaney, John Wilson, Reece McEnteer, Aidan Collins, Derek Prendergast, Mark Hughes, Greg Moorehouse, Alan Byrne, David O’Sullivan (James English 69 mins), Cian Kavanagh (Gavin Boyne 65 mins), Adam Evans.

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