Ollie Horgan said his team didn’t do enough to take anything from Friday night’s meeting with Wexford Youths in Ballybofey.
Finn Harps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Wexford Youths . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
A disappointed Harps boss said his team lacked hunger against the Premier Division strugglers, especially in the second half.
In the end Wexford took the points their positive approach deserved with Gary Delaney heading in a late winner with just five minutes to go.
“I don’t think we did enough, being blunt about it,” Horgan said.
“We didn’t take the few half chances that we had and to be fair to them, they probably wanted it more in the second half.
“There was a period there in the second half where they had us pinned back with free kicks, corner kicks and throw-ins and they scored from one of them.
“Fair play to them, well done to Wexford but from our own point of view, I just don’t think we had enough hunger out there, in particular in the second half.”
The result was a massive boost to Wexford’s prospects of avoiding automatic relegation from the Premier Division.
With Bray also drawing on Friday night, Harps remain well clear of the bottom three but suddenly the gap has closed ever so slightly. Harps are now six points clear of Bray and eight ahead of Wexford.
Horgan had said this was the biggest game of the season for his team and the fact that his team struggled was very frustrating.
“But we’ll have a hell of a lot more of these bigger games between now and the end of the season,” he pointed out.
“We were poor, in particular with second balls and the reaction to second balls.
“We looked a little bit dead on our feet. Was it the fact that we didn’t play last week? I don’t think so because in the second half we still didn’t win enough second balls.
“They picked up a lot of second balls all over the place and if you like, sealed us in where we couldn’t get out for long periods.”
Wexford’s winner, headed in by Delaney, came from a wonderful delivery from former Harps man, Jonny Bonner, who stood out in the centre of the Wexford midfield.
Bonner’s contribution, coupled with that of striker Danny Furlong and the ever-dangerous Andy Mulligan, caused Harps untold problems throughout.
The only real incident of note in a disappointing first half was an unfortunate collision involving Harps defender Damien McNulty and Wexford’s Danny Ledwith. The two players had challenged for a ball after only six minutes but both suffered injuries in the incident, bringing a very premature end to their involvement in the game.
Harps weren’t good over the first 45 minutes. They improved somewhat after the break and Sean Houston went close shortly after the restart when his shot was beaten away by Wexford keeper Graham Doyle.
The visitors however, soon began to gain the upperhand again and Mulligan saw a clever free kick pushed round the post by Richard Brush.
Michael Funston replaced Adam Hanlon as Harps tried to force an opening but if anything, Wexford looked the more likely to score. They eventually got what proved the winner when Delaney powered home a wonderful header on 85 minutes.
Ruairi Keating went close to an immediate response for Harps but his glancing header from a Kevin McHugh corner just evaded the inrushing Barry Molloy at the back post.
That said, a goal for Harps at that stage, would have been tough on a Wexford side who were impressive.
Finn Harps: Richard Brush, Damien McNulty (Ethan Boyle 7), Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Packie Mailey, Barry Molloy, Ryan Curran, Raymond Foy (Kevin McHugh 83), Ruairí Keating , Sean Houston, Adam Hanlon (Michael Funston 72).
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Lee Grace, Gary Delaney, Stephen Last, Chris Kenny, Andy Mulligan (Aidan Keenan 76), Jonny Bonner (Shane Dempsey 92), Danny Furlong, Shane Dunne, Danny Ledwith (Aidan Friel 7).
Referee: Ray Matthews.