A penalty five minutes from time gave top of the table St. Patrick’s Athletic U17s victory over an unlucky Finn Harps 17s at a sunny Finn Park on Saturday.
Finn Harps U17s 0
St. Patrick’s Athletic 1
Pats came into the game as favourites looking to strengthen their top of table status but they were made to work very hard by an energetic home side who can consider themselves unlucky and who looked to have earned themselves at least a share of the spoils.
Declan Boyle’s boys started on the front foot creating two great chances - the recalled Luke Rudden shooting over the bar before Ipswich bound Conor Reilly warmed the hands of Pats netminder Aaron Davis with a great effort from edge of the box.
The visitors well regarded for their ability to play out from defence found themselves under pressure from a Harps side who pressed high up the pitch, and had only one first half chance of note when centre forward Brendan Bermingham was pushed wide after he broke through the home rearguard.
The hosts attacked with more purpose in the second half creating several chances but Pat’s were always a threat on the break. Captain Darragh Ellison, who scored a brace in the recent with against Derry, twice came close, first with a fine drive which was inches over and then a header from a corner which cannoned of the crossbar.
Further chances for the always hardworking Aduaka and sub Conor Black came to no avail while Hennessy came close for the visitors. It looked like it was going to end up scoreless but following a foul on Alex Aspil, the resulting spot kick was dispatched with confidence by Brandon Bermingham.
Harps battled on for the final minutes but despite a good performance they found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreline for the first time this season. Next up for Declan Boyle’s men is a cup tie versus neighbours Derry City this coming weekend.
FINN HARPS U17s - Adrian McLaughlin, Jack Doherty, Darragh Ellison, Lee McLaughlin, Stephen Black, Dylan Woods, Conor O’Reilly, Corey McBride, Ronan Gallagher, Luke Rudden, Gabriel Aduaka. Subs: Eoin McGing, Brendan Barr, Adam McCaffery, Conor Black, Charlie White, Jamie Doherty.