Healy’s delight at home win over Waterford United

Finn Harps Director of Football Felix Healy said his players are now starting to show the hunger and desire needed to win football matches.

Finn Harps Director of Football Felix Healy said his players are now starting to show the hunger and desire needed to win football matches.

Healy said his players got the win their performance deserved on Saturday night - a result which lifts them three points clear of the bottom sides in Division One.

“I’m delighted with the three points and a clean-sheet, there hasn’t been too many of them this year,” he said.

“I thought in the first half we played really well, there was a lot of energy about us and we could possibly have gone in leading by two goals to nil.

“In the second half, the shape of the match went out of it a wee bit. The longer it went on, the more and more they just piled forward and it was about seeing the match out. We managed to do that, there were one or two scares at the end but you’re always going to get that.

“The guys have been under no illusion in terms of what Peter and I require of them. We require that right throughout the team in terms of the attitude in training and in matches. When we arrived here four or five weeks ago, it was a nice dressing room but nice dressing rooms don’t win you too many matches. You’ve got to have a hunger and a desire and an appetite.”

The winning goal from Kevin McHugh came shortly before half time and crowned a fine performance from the captain who returned to the starting eleven in one of three changes from Monday night’s game against Longford. He was joined in attack by young Blaine Curtis who made his first senior start and on this performance, he looks a real prospect. He almost scored a wonder strike – his curling effort in the first half going inches wide of the post.

And while McHugh and Curtis carried a real threat in the Harps attack, this was an overall fine team performance. They took the game to their opponents at every opportunity and once again, looked very well organised across the back and in midfield.

Indeed Waterford, without a manager since the recent sacking of Stephen Henderson, rarely looked like spoiling Harps’ night until the closing minutes. Willie John Kiely, playing as a lone frontman, flashed a close range header wide early in the second half and while they did force a string of corners late on, they couldn’t find an opening.

It was from one of those set-piece situations that they missed a glorious chance to earn a late point when right at the death Seamus Long wastefully shot over from close range after Kevin Murray’s header was scrambled off the line.

At the other end, Harps had asked all the questions before they lost their way a bit in the final quarter.

But in the end, McHugh’s brilliant strike on 33 minutes proved enough – the Harps captain burying the ball past the Waterford keeper after being set up by Aaron McElwee.

Waterford threw everything into attack towards the end - Harps even survived five minutes of injury time before securing another welcome win.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Paddy McLaughlin, Gareth Harkin (Ciaran Coll 90), Packie Mailey, Keith Cowan, Aaron McElwee, Michael Forker, Tommy Bonner, Kevin McHugh, Blaine Curtis (Garbhan Friel 84), Marc Brolly.

Waterford: Kevin Burns, Paul Carey (Adam McSharry 67), Seamus Long, Kevin Murray, Kenny Browne, Gary Dunphy (Dwayne Wilson 81), Paul Murphy, Conor Sinnott, David Breen (Shane Dempsey 55), Gary Keane, Willie John Kiely.

Referee: D. Coombes.