Finn Harps’ sudden slump in form continued on Saturday night when they were unceremoniously dumped out of the FAI Cup by non-league Crumlin United at Finn Park.
Finn Harps 0
Crumlin United 1
It left Ollie Horgan struggling to explain just what has happened to his team recently. And he said the challenge now for him and his squad of players is to deliver an improvement in fortunes as soon as they can.
“We need to dig our way out of this,” he said.
“That’s easier said than done but we’ll do our best to get it sorted.
“Crumlin are the best Intermediate side in the country. But at the same time, they are Intermediate and we are supposed to be the league side and it was difficult to distinguish that.
“They have a bit about them, we know that. But we didn’t score against them and this is us at home. It was going to be tight but we weren’t good enough tonight.”
Horgan had watched Crumlin cruise to a 5-0 win against Letterkenny Rovers in last Saturday night’s FAI Intermediate Cup Final. He knew all about the threat which they carried and in particular, Gregory Moorhouse, who grabbed a hat-trick at the Aviva Stadium.
The Crumlin striker gave another quality display against Harps and it was his goal after 48 minutes which decided this contest.
“Maybe the lack of confidence kicked in a bit in the second half when we went one down,” Horgan said.
“It was a poor goal to give away from the corner kick . We didn’t get two out when they went short. We didn’t deal with the initial shot and Greg Moorhouse finished it.
“After that we went down to ten men which made it more difficult. We showed a bit of character but not enough.”
He added: “They are a decent side we said that from the start. But at the same time, they are a non-league side and they shouldn’t turn us over here in Ballybofey.
“But they did and we’ve had a long look at ourselves after the last two games and now we’ll have a long look at ourselves here to try and turn this around.”
Horgan had tried to freshen things up by making three changes from the team that lost to St. Pat's earlier in the week.
Richard Brush came in for Ciaran Gallagher but the goalkeeper will have been disappointed with his role in the Crumlin goal. He could only parry Dean Hurley's shot and Moorhouse was on hand to turn the loose ball home.
Later in the second half, Harps went down to ten men when Barry Molloy picked up two yellow cards in the space of three minutes.
Horgan ran his bench as Harps sought a way back with Kevin McHugh, Dave Scully and Tony McNamee all introduced.
The Premier Divisi on side huffed and puffed in the closing stages and created a number of set piece situations. But former Ipswich Town keeper, Shane Supple, was rarely test in the Crumlin goal and his team were worthy winners.
Finn Harps: Richard Brush, Ethan Boyle (Tony McNamee 75), Ciaran Coll, Damian McNulty, Packie Mailey, Barry Molloy, Adam Hanlon (Kevin McHugh 67), Sean Houston, Gareth Harkin, Ryan Curran (Dave Scully 75), Liam Flatley.
Crumlin Utd.: Shane Supple, Jonathan Meleady, Daniel McGuinness, Noel Murray, Patrick Brophy, Luke Kelly, Carl Forsyth, James Lee, Gregory Moorhouse, Dean Hurley, Alan McGreal.
Referee: Ray Matthews.