FINN HARPS SCORE FIRST AWAY WIN OF CAMPAIGN

AIRTRICITY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

FINN HARPS SCORE FIRST AWAY WIN OF CAMPAIGN

Longford Town remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier Division table following this defeat at the hands of Finn Harps last Friday night.

Longford Town . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0

Finn Harps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Deniese O’Flaherty reporting
from City Calling Stadium

The win moves Harps 12 points clear of the Town. At this stage it’s not a case of where Town will get their next point but worryingly where will they get their next goal from?

For Finn Harps it was the perfect conclusion after the summer break and maintains their great record against the teams at the bottom of the table.

It was also a special night for Josh Mailey and Tony McNamee who recorded their first goals of the season.

Speaking the game under pressure Longford Town boss Tony Cousins was disappointed with his side not scoring but happy with the way they played: “We dominated the game from the start; we had all the play. The first goal in the league is crucial. It was very disappointing from our point of view, it was second phase and nobody picked up the player. We gave him far too much space in the box. It was so frustrating because we played some really good stuff up to that.”

The small band of Town supporters who were at the game certainly wouldn’t agree with their manager’s views. Once again boos rang out at the end of the game and shouts were directed towards the Town dug-out. The way things are going at the moment it would test even the most ardent supporter. There are plans to organise a protest for this Saturday’s home game against Bohemians.

After a slow start Town created the first chance of the game in the 16th minute but Philip Gannon forced a save out of Harps keeper Richard Brush. Two minutes later and against the run of play Harps broke the deadlock; a corner was not dealt with by the Town, the ball was kept in by Ethan Boyle and Josh Mailey found the back of the net with a looping volley.

Boosted by that goal the Donegal side gradually began to come into the game and in the 34th minute they had a chance to get a second goal but Town netminder Paul Skinner saved at the feet of Sean Houston.

One minute and Town’s David O’Sullivan headed over from close range. The Town’s best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute but Lee Duffy’s low shot just went agonisingly wide.

Cousins was frustrated his side didn’t put away those chances: “For a team that is down the bottom to play the way we did and the football that we played, it is very frustrating. We had great chances but you have got to put them away.”

Seven minutes after the break Harps created another chance; Houston played the ball into Tony McNamee but Skinner did well to save with his feet.

Harps looked dangerous going forward and opened up the Town defence on numerous occasions. in the 74th minute they doubled their advantage when Town failed to clear a corner from McNamee, the ball eventually came back to the same player and he drilled past Skinner.

Town hit the bar near the end while in the 85th minute O’Sullivan shot wide when it was easier to score.

Although not happy with this side’s defending throughout Cousins once again bemoaned injuries and suspensions but admitted reinforcements could be coming in, in the July window: “We had to change things around; same thing that happened all season players injured. It has been a recurring thing for us we have got to try and make sure in the window we bring in a bit of quality. There are certain areas that we need to strengthen. We have got to work hard in the window to bring those players in. I don’t think we are playing that badly, a few players could make a difference.”

Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Daniel O’Reilly, Rhys Gorman, Mark Hughes, Conor Powell; Kealan Dillon, Philip Gannon, Kevin O’Connor, Peter McGlynn; Lee Duffy, David O’Sullivan.

Subs: Josh O’Hanlon for L Duffy 59mins, Don Cowan for P Gannon 72mins, Kaleem Simon for P McGlynn 78mins.

Finn Harps: Richard Brush; Josh Mailey, Ethan Boyle, Damien McNulty, Keith Cowan; Barry McNamee, Gareth Harkin, Barry Molloy, Ciaran Coll; Sean Houston, Ryan Curran.

Subs: Raymond Foy for G Harkin 16mins, Michael Funston for T McNamee 82mins, Liam Flatley for R Curran 89mins

Referee: Neil Doyle (Dublin)