Sports

Harps lose ground against Drogheda

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Harps lose ground against Drogheda thumbnailPaddy McCourt of Finn Harps takes charge in midfield against Drogheda United.

FINN Harps suffered an untimely defeat at the hands of visitors Drogheda United at Finn Park last Friday night.

Finn Harps...0
Drogheda United ...2

Goals from Adam Wixted and Gavin Brennan did the trick for the team from County Louth, who won on the road for the first time since the opening day of the season.

Pete Mahon's side had suffered a desperate 3-0 defeat at the hands of Limerick last weekend but put things right in Ballybofey.

Wixted was in acres of space when he headed a Stephen Elliott cross past Harps goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher on the half-hour mark. It fashioned a deserved lead.

Then, the victory was assured when, on 79 minutes, the visitors quashed whatever hopes there were of a late reprieve from their hosts as Colm Deasy's centre was struck by Brennan and his shot took a deflection on its way into the net.

Harps looked jaded having been knocked out of the EA Sports Cup on Monday night when Sligo Rovers scored the only goal of the second round tie in the 25th minute of second half injury time following a nasty clash of heads between Harps duo Harry Doherty and Packie Mailey delayed the contest.

BJ Banda, who the season before last headed Harps into the top flight at Limerick's expense in the promotion-relegation play-off, was also carted away in an ambulance with a knee injury beforehand.

But the home team tonight did produce some fight at the start of the second half. Paddy McCourt manufactured space for himself in a way that only Paddy McCourt could, only to shoot wide from 18 yards.

Then Sean Houston was off target as he drove over the top following a pass from former Northern Ireland winger McCourt as Michael Funston also went close.

Drogheda had, though, certainly been value for their 1-0 interval lead and might've been awarded a penalty before taking the lead when Richie Purdy appeared to be upended by Damien McNulty.

Gareth McCafferty then almost got in on goal only for a vital touch from Harps' captain Ciaran Coll denied him.

Late on, Ethan Boyle headed wide from a position of promise for Harps as Drogheda left the Twin Towns with a useful three points.

Harps are away to Bohemians this coming Friday night and home again on Friday May 5 against runaway league leaders, Cork. Two difficult matches. They are next at home when another high flying side, Bray Wanderers come to Finn Park on Friday, May 12.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll; Ethan Boyle, Michael Funston (Eddie Dsane 63), Barry Molloy, Caolan McAleer, Gareth Harkin; Paddy McCourt (Simon McGlynn 80); Sean Houston.

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Luke Gallagher, Ciaran McGuigan, Conor Kane; Adam Wixted (Shane Elworthy 90), Sean Thornton, Richie Purdy, Gavin Brennan; Gareth McCaffrey (Ryan McEvoy 90), Stephen Elliott (Marc Griffin 75).

Referee: Rob Harvey.

 

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