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Finn Harps 3-0 Wexford Youths
Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps took a massive step towards clinching a play-off place in the League of Ireland First Division after an impressive victory over Wexford Youths in Ballybofey last night. First half goals from Mikey Place and Jesse Devers and a killer 64th minute headed finish from Sam Todd sees Harps move clear into second spot – two points ahead of Drogheda who only drew at home against Galway Utd.

Horgan gave a debut to new signing Niall Logue while another recent recruit John Kavanagh got his first full start after coming on as. sub against Cobh the previous weekend. Mark Coyle also returned to the first eleven following suspension and injury. Out went Mark Timlin, Tommy McBride and the suspended Keith Cowan. Harps are now unbeaten in six games since the recommencement of the league after the midseason break. That includes five wins, a draw and no goals conceded in this superb run at just the right time in the campaign.

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Crucially Harps made an early breakthrough against Wexford with Place taking advantage of a defensive mix-up between keeper Keelan Gaffney and Ross Kenny, to nip in and steer the ball into the back of the net. The hosts doubled their advantage in the 24th minute when Devers turned the ball in at the back post following a super cross from Mark Coyle. Ciaran Gallagher’s only save of note in the first half was from a Mark Slater free-kick. However, it was the hosts who should have been further ahead at the break with Coyle, Timmie Sobowale and Ciaran Coll both shooting wide.

Harps almost made it 3-0 just after the restart when a John Kavanagh attempt was blocked by John Morgan. And the Cork man was then denied by keeper Gaffney. The closest the visitors came to a goal was a Slater header that came back off the crossbar following a corner. Horgan’s men got the decisive third goal on 64 minutes when Todd headed home a Gareth Harkin corner. Place somehow missed a gilt edged chance for a fourth goal but the hosts were still comfortable in the closing stages and now look forward to an FAI Cup tie against Bray Wanderers next Friday night. It’s then a league fixture away to Athlone Town seven days later. Their next home match is against Galway Utd on Friday the 31st August. There is just two games after that away to UCD and home to Cabinteely in the final match of the season.

Finn Harps – Ciaran Gallagher, Jacob Borg, Ciaran Coll, Sam Todd, Niall Logue, Gareth Harkin (Mark Hannon 81), John Kavanagh (Aidan Friel 70), Jesse Devers, Mikey Place, Mark Coyle (Niall McGinley 67), Oluwantunmise Sobowale. Subs not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Mark Timlin, Liam Walsh, Nathan Boyle.

Wexford FC – Kelan Gaffney, Liam McCartan,John Morgan, Ross Kenny (AJ Lehane 75), Owen McCormack, Conor Sutton, Mark Slater (Ryan Nolan 76), Adam Mylod, Paddy Cahill, Dean Walsh, Dean George (Danny Doyle 55).

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