The only thing lacking tonight was a goal - Gavin Cullen

The only thing lacking tonight was a goal - Gavin Cullen

Gavin Cullen, the Cockhill Celtic player-manager, has enjoyed many memorable outings in a Harps shirt in his career.

And he was a proud man when he summed up his team's performance against his former club on Tuesday night.

“Everything but a goal was there,” he said.

“Energy levels, the commitment, the quality, everything.

“The game-plan went well and we stepped it up in the second half. We were probably every bit as good, every bit as quality and every bit as fit as Finn Harps, which was surprising.”

Just to underline the fact that Harps struggled to create any chances of note, Cullen said, “I was a spectator for most of the game. The goal and Raymond Foy had a one-on-one and that was it.

“You couldn’t really ask for more than that, an intermediate side coming to a Premier Division side like Finn Harps.

“We set out a game-plan, we did a few sessions on it and the boys did it to a tee.

“The only disappointment was probably the goal that we gave away. There were probably four or five individual errors within that goal that you’d probably get away with in the Ulster Senior League but here you get punished.

“Ethan Boyle scored and I thought he was their best player on the night.”

Cullen's team continue to lead the way in the USl and he said he has been encouraging his players to pass the ball a bit more this season.

“ I know the surface didn’t suit that but we have good players, good ball players.

“Ronan Doherty ‘Ollie’ has come into the side, he is only 19.

“Jason Breslin, he’s only 19 along with Gerry Gill, James Bradley – those guys can play.

“I like to encourage that and you could see in spells in the second half that they do like to get the ball down, they do want to create chances and with Garbhan back it gives us a real focal point, a real energy up front and that really plays into the way we are trying to play.”