Finn Harps produced a brave fight-back but just fell short as they lost to Galway United in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division on Saturday night.
Galway United 3
Finn Harps 2
Harps were 2-0 down after only ten minutes and then 3-0 behind a minute into the second half.
However, goals from Ruairi Keating (59) and substitute Adam Hanlon (75) got them back into the game and ensured an exciting finish.
Harps had failed to score in any of their previous eight games but unfortunately the goals were not enough to avoid another defeat.
That’s nine straight league defeats for the Ballybofey side who remain perilously close to the drop zone.
Harps gave a first start of the season to BJ Banda while Damien McNulty made a welcome return from his injury absence.
However, they couldn’t have got off to a more disappointing start at Eamonn Deacy Park, falling behind after only six minutes. Vinny Faherty’s initial effort from a Ryan Connolly free kick is well saved by Ciaran Gallagher but Faherty is able to turn home the rebound.
Four minutes later it was 2-0 when Enda Curran found the bottom corner with a terrific effort.
Galway had parted company with their manager Tommy Dunne in mid-week, and the Tribesmen were obviously eager to put on a good show following his departure. Marc Ludden and Gary Shanahan both went close to scoring again while at the other end, Banda and Ruairi Keating had good chances for Ollie Horgan’s side.
As the half progressed, Harps continued to create openings with Sean Houston flashing a shot just over and Tony McNamee also going close.
But just a minute after the restart, Harps conceded a third when Colm Horgan’s header beat Gallagher.
Harps made a double change with Adam Hanlon and Michael Funston coming on for Banda and McNamee and just before the hour, Harps finally find the net when Keating ran onto Houston’s pass to shoot into the far corner past Kevin Horgan.
It was Harps’ first goal in almost 800 minutes of football and they were right back in the contest on 75 minutes when Hanlon scored their second with a tidy finish.
Horgan introduced Dave Scully for the closing period but despite their best efforts, Harps just couldn’t find an equaliser and Galway held on for a narrow win.
Galway Utd: Kevin Horgan, Colm Horgan, Marc Ludden, Paul Sinnott (Alex Byrne 63), Stephen Walsh, Enda Curran (Padraic Cunningham 53), Ryan Connolly, Vinny Faherty, Gary Shanahan, Armin Arganovic, Stephen Folan.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Damien McNulty, Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Tommy McMonagle (Dave Scully 75), Gareth Harkin, Tony McNamee (Michael Funston 51), Sean Houston, Ethan Boyle, BJ Banda (Adam Hanlon 51) , Ruairí Keating.