LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Place penalty hands Harps the points in Cobh

Donegal side back up to joint second

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Finn Harps beat Cobh Ramblers

Mikey Place - scored from the spot for Finn Harps in Cobh

For the second time this season, Finn Harps will make the long journey home from Cobh with all three points in the bag following this latest victory on Saturday night.


Cobh Ramblers . . . 0

Finn Harps  . . . 1

Mikey Place scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot on 66 minutes to ensure another valuable win for Ollie Horgan’s side.

It maintains their excellent run of results and with just five games left in the season, they are now in a great position to secure a play-off finish.

They are back up to joint second in the table, and more importantly, are now six points clear of Galway United and Longford in fifth and sixth place.

Without the injured John O’Flynn, Paddy McCourt and Mark Coyle, the team saw a return to the starting eleven of ‘Timmie’ Sobowale while former Cork City defender, John Kavanagh, was named among the subs after joining on loan on Friday.

Harps knew that a win in this game would lift them back into joint second along with Drogheda United who could only draw at Wexford on Friday night.

Horgan’s side started well and had early claims for a penalty when a goalbound effort appeared to strike the arm of Cobh’s Craig Donnellan, but referee Ray Matthews waved play on.

If anything it was the visitors who played the better football in the early stages, and Jesse Devers, looking bright early on, shot not too far wide. The same player was involved again soon after but disappointingly, no team-mate was able to react to get on the end of the Mayoman’s  dangerous cross from the right.

Cobh took a while to get into the game, but when they did find their rhythm they created the game’s best opportunity on 26 minutes. However, Ciaran Gallagher saved with his feet to deny Charlie Fleming.

At the other end, Harps had another decent opening when a Place cross was headed over by Devers.

Recent signings Jacob Borg and Sobowale both had efforts on goal but didn’t really trouble Cobh keeper Paul Hunt.

The Ramblers net-minder was however, breathing a sigh of relief immediately after the restart when he watched yet another Devers effort fly just past the post when the Harps man perhaps, should have found the target.

The Donegal side continued to press and that pressure paid dividends on 66 minutes when they went in front. Devers was upended inside the area by Hunt and Mikey Place stepped up to fire the resulting penalty to the back of the net.

It was another cool finish from the striker who had scored from the spot in the win over Longford two weeks ago.

After that, Harps did their best to manage the game and Kavanagh came off the bench to make his Harps debut, replacing Sobowale.

They could have made it two close to the end when Keith Cowan met a Mark Timlin free-kick but his downward header bounced up into the arms of Hunt.

Referee, Mr. Matthews, played four minutes of injury time at the finish, but Cobh couldn’t find an equaliser. there was however, time for a late red card, shown to Harps defender Cowan.

Harps won 2-0 at St. Colman's Park on St. Patrick's Day. This latest result means it’s five clean sheets on the bounce as the push for promotion remains firmly on track.

Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Kevin Taylor, Ben O’Riordan (Cian Leonard 69), James McSweeney, Craig Donnellan, Ian Mylod, Chris Hull (Jaze Kabia 83), Stephen Kenny, Gordon Walker (Dave Hurley 72), Shane O’Connor.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Jacob Borg, Ciaran Coll, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Tommy McBride, Jesse Devers (Niall McGinley 93), Gareth Harkin, Olunatunmise Sobowele (John Kavanagh 69), Mikey Place, Mark Timlin.