By Diarmaid Doherty Sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Ollie Horgan challenged his players to 'man up' and move on from Friday night's defeat by Dundalk - and get back to picking up some much needed points.



The Harps boss had watched his team totally outclassed by the champions.

And he said the most disappointing aspect of his team's performance was their lack of hunger and desire from so early on.

“We didn’t perform,” he said.

“ Yes, we lacked quality compared to Dundalk. But we lacked work-rate, we lacked drive and hunger tonight, that we shouldn’t lack.

“We should be able to match Dundalk for work-rate and hunger and the will to try and win. I mean, normally, we do and have done before, but tonight we didn’t even match them for that.”

He added: “ There were so many people who let themselves down out there.

“We expected bad days, especially bad days on the road. I said that at the start of the season, that we would have many difficult days along the way.

“I probably didn’t see the difficult day at home coming, but it happened tonight and we’ve got to grin and bare it. The only positive side is that we’ve only lost one game. If we had played like that or anywhere near that poor standard we’d have lost four or five games.

“But we’ve got to get over it and deal with it. We need to be man enough to stand up, take that beating and move on physically and mentally, with the very quick turnaround to Pat’s on Tuesday night.”

It won't be easy for Harps to recover from what was a record league defeat. They'd lost 7-1 against Drogheda back in the 1977 season and that scoreline looked like being surpassed as Dundalk eased into a 4-0 half time lead.

They scored twice early on when former UCD man Robbie Benson struck for his first goals for Dundalk on 5 and then 20 minutes.

Daryl Horgan curled home a wonderful third on 36 minutes and right on half time, Ciaran Coll deflected in Ronan Finn's effort.

Harps just couldn't get going and perhaps the exertisions of Tuesday night's game at the Brandywell took their toll.

Sean Houston's performance in midfield was one of the only plus points on a sorry night for the Donegal club.

The visitors, who had won six away games on the bounce before Friday night, showed no signs of easing up after the break.

David McMillan added a fifth just before the hour and Andy Boyle's headed goal from a corner on 71 made it 6-0.

Then as the game entered injury time, Dundalk substitute Paddy Barrett stroked the ball home past the hapless Ciaran Gallagher to round off the win and consign Harps to a record loss.

“The only positive side is that we’ve only lost one game,” Horgan suggested after the game.

“ If we had played like that or anywhere near that poor standard recently, we’d have lost four or five games .”

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Damian McNulty, Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Packie Mailey, Gareth Harkin, Ryan Curran (Liam Flatley 75), Barry Molloy (Kevin McHugh 65), Sean Houston, Dave Scully (Ethan Boyle 46), Adam Hanlon.

Dundalk: Gary Rogers, Sean Gannon, Dane Massey, Brian Gartland, Andy Boyle, Chris Shiels (George Poynton 73), John Mountney, Ronan Finn (Darren Meenan 65), David McMillan (Paddy Barrett 59), Robbie Benson, Daryl Horgan.

Referee: Tomas Connolly.