Peter ‘Pizza’ Hutton may have been hoping for a slice of the action in his first game in charge for Finn Harps but he was left with egg on his chin as Wexford Youths pulled a victory of the bag with just minutes to go to Finn Park.
Danny Furlong’s goal four minutes from time was well-executed as the centre-forward was the only player on the pitch alive to Ben Ryan’s centre as Harps defenders stood and stared.
For Harps, it’s now five defeats in a row and they have yet to win in 10 games in all competitions this season.
The final whistle was greeted with silence. Harps’ performance was spirited and enthusiastic and the management team will have more than the one day to prepare for next weekend’s trip to Mervue United.
Both sides went into the game with just a solitary win between them all season – Wexford’s 1-0 win away against Limerick FC when Shane Nolan scored a last minute winner. And for a well-organised performance, they can be delighted to have doubled their wins for the term.
The first half was sparse on incident and if anything it was Wexford who shaded things and the closest either side came to scoring was when David Grincell smacked the base of the post when Keith Cowan stumbled over a routine centre.
It took all of 36 minutes for Harps to create an opening and from a well-constructed move down the right flank James Doherty and Christy Connaghan combined with the latter squaring to Kevin McHugh. The Harps skipper was just about to pull the trigger when Karl Keogh made an important block.
Aside that, there was scant else of notoriety and Harps’ 4-5-1 formation with McHugh the apex entailed that the new management team are trying to build from the back. But with only five league goals to their name in eight outings this term, Harps are far from prolific this term.
The trend of the first 45 minutes continued into the second and two minutes into part two, Harps goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher had to make a firm save following a fine strike from outside the area from Ryan, who pinched Cowan’s pockets to gain a sight at goal.
Three minutes before the hour-mark, the bedecked in pink Packie Holden in the Wexford goal was called into action for the first time when Tommy Bonner’s second bit of the cherry produced a save with his feet still planted in the ground. Marc Brolly blasted just over from a dropping ball soon after.
The best chance of the evening arrived on 70 minutes when a fine through ball from Danny Furlong caught the Harps’ defence as straight as a ruler and Grincell scampered into space. Gallagher instantly moved to close the angle and made a good save in what had developed into a potentially profitable one-on-one situation.
Harps’ backline was caught straight at the bitter end when Furlong scored the winner as Harps fans wondered when their luck is ever going to change.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; James Doherty, Packie Mailey, Keith Cowan, Ciaran Coll; Christy Connaghan, Mark Forker (Garbhan Friel 70), Paddy McLaughlin, Mark Brolly; Thomas Bonner, Kevin McHugh.
Wexford Youths: Packie Holden; Gareth McCurtin, Karl Keogh, Martin Kehoe, Dean Broaders; Craig Wall, Ben Ryan, Shane Nolan, Paul Malone; David Grincell (Darragh Walsh 90), Danny Furlong.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.