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First win of the season for Harps

Thursday, 16 March 2017

First win of the season for Harps thumbnailCiaran O’Connor celebrates scoring the Harps’ second goal against St Patrick’s on monday night.

FINN Harps secured their first win of the 2017 Premier Division campaign as they came from behind to defeat St Patrick's Athletic at Richmond Park on Monday night.

St Patrick's Athletic ...1
Finn Harps ...2

An early Graham Kelly goal was cancelled out by first-half Sean Houston and Ciaran O'Connor strikes, leaving the Dublin side without a win after four games.

In an eventful opening period it was the Saints who seized the initiative when in the third minute a sloppy sequence of errors between Caolan McAleer and Jonny Bonner allowed Kelly to go through on goal before prodding it beneath Ciaran Gallagher.

In the 19th minute, Harps were back on level terms from their first meaningful attack of the game. An Ethan Boyle cross was cleared into the path of Houston who rifled the ball deep into the bottom left corner.

Barely a minute on and Pat's were inches away from regaining the advantage. Billy Dennehy's whipped free-kick found the head of Gavin Peers but his effort cracked the crossbar before being hacked away.

With half time approaching, Harps took the lead. Michael Barker's poor back pass allowed McAleer to nick the ball before squaring it to O'Connor who had the simplest of tasks in knocking it into an idle net for his third goal in four games.

On 72 minutes, the hosts crafted together the first real chance of the second half. Conan Byrne fizzled the ball across the area where substitute Christy Fagan met it with a venomous header only for it to fall just wide of the mark.

With four minutes left on the clock, the Saints again came within a whisker of levelling.

Byrne sent in another dangerous ball but Peers could only divert it wide with the goal at his mercy.

In the closing stages Pat's sought desperately to grab a point from the game, however, the Ballyboffey side defended superbly and successfully sealed the win.

Now it's off to Limerick this coming Saturday night, March 18, for a tough encounter with high flying Limerick in what promises to be a game to test their character.

Meanwhile Sligo Rovers midfielder Pascal Millien has signed for Finn Harps subject to the club receiving a work permit for the 30-year-old Haitian born attacking midfielder. Millien had been playing for Florida State club, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, in the North American Soccer League. The news was confirmed by Harps manager, Ollie Horgan, who says Millien will provide invaluable extra cover and experience, that will be needed for the long season ahead.

St Patrick's Athletic: Barry Murphy; Michael Barker, Gavin Peers, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (c); Patrick Cregg, J.J Lunney, Graham Kelly (Kurtis Byrne, 61); Conan Byrne, Josh O'Hanlon (Christy Fagan, 67), Billy Dennehy (Alex O'Hanlon, 80)

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Ciaran Coll (c), Killian Cantwell, Gareth Harkin; Sean Houston, Ethan Boyle, Jonny Bonner (Paddy McCourt, 76), Caolan McAleer (Packie Mailey, 90); Danny Morrisey (Michael Funston, 83), Ciaran O'Connor

Referee: Ben Connolly.

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