Finn Harps decent away form in recent weeks came to an abrupt end when they were well beaten in Galway against Mervue United on Friday night in the Airtricity Leage First Division.
Mervue United 3
Finn Harps 0
There are no good times to concede goals but Harps, having let Mervue’s Alan Murphy in for an opener right on the stoke of half-time, then conceded twice in the last 11 minutes when Jason Molloy and Barry McEntee scored for the Fahy’s Field hosts.
The Ballybofey side had posted notable triumphs on the road against the prominently featured Waterford United and Longford Town in the last month and although they went down 3-1 against front-runners Limerick FC last weekend, were still confident on their way to the city of the tribes.
A bland first half took its time to come to life. Twentyfour minutes passed before either goalkeeper to be called into action when the recalled Blain Curtis warmed the hands of Mervue goalkeeper Ronan Forde. Then, two minutes later, the home side got in when Murphy held off Ciaran Coll but Rory Kelly, in only his third appearance for Harps, did well to save.
The Buncrana native was called into action again when Molloy made him save and then Curtis also went close on a couple of occasions.
However, with time thin on the ground in the first half, Mervue pressed ahead when Murphy stretched to steer a centre from Shane Keogh home.
With Thomas McBride following his straight red card against Limerick and Tommy Bonner dropping to the bench, Harps managing director Felix Healy and manager Peter Hutton brought in Curtis and Shane McGinty.
Harps came out after the interval intent on getting an equaliser but it was Johnny Glynn’s side that went the closest on two separate occasions. Firstly, following a pass from Alan Lee, Pat Holban shot over instead of under the crossbar and then Marc Ludden rounded Kelly but hit the sidenetting.
Kevin McHugh, the Harps captain, then had a couple of decent attempts to force a leveller but Forde was equal to the test on each occasion.
And 11 minutes from time, Molloy got on the end of a good move to stride away and slot past an advancing Kelly.
Then, in stoppage time McEntee twisted the knife when the substitute added a well-taken third.
Mervue United: Ronan Forde; Mike Elwood, Mark Ludden, Michael McSweeney, Damian O’Rourke; Gary Kelly (Barry McEntee 76), Shane Keogh, Alex Lee, Alan Murphy; Pat Hoban (Mike Collins 90), Jason Molloy.
Finn Harps: Rory Kelly; James Doherty , Peter Hutton, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Adam Clarke, Shane McGinty, Shaun McGowan, Paul Simon Treacy (Matthew Harkin 61); Blain Curtis, Kevin McHugh.
Referee: Paul Tuite.