And the local turn-out was pretty miserable too in Ballybofey with just 230 paying customers on a June night that felt more like November….despite the presence of former Man Utd player Keith Gillespie in the visiting line-up.
The visitors Karl Bermingham scored in the 15th minute from close range.
Matthew Harkin saw his brilliant effort at an equaliser turned around the post by the Longford keeper – and there howls as loud as the gale when the referee pointed for a kick-out.
To be fair Harps had the better of it after that.
But in the 33rd minute Shaw banged in Longford’s second.
Saw it was great to see Matthew Harkin pull one back when he beat former ManU man Gillespie in the air to power the ball home – and give the half-time scoreline a bit of credibility.
Harps pressed for an equaliser but when James made it 3-1 from the penalty spot with 20 minutes left on the clock it was all over for Harps.
It was a dodgy penalty in anyone’s book but referee Adriano Reale gave it; reminded us of some of the Euro 2012 decisions.
But it was last night’s attendance causing the most concern.
How can Harps survive financially with crowds so small?
Another bailout from the council is highly unlikely.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; James Doherty, Aaron O’Hagan, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Matthew Harkin (Keith Cowan 75), Thomas McBride (Jordan McBride 90), Sean McGowan, Gary Merritt; Thomas Bonner, Paul McVeigh (Shane McGinty 75)
Longford Town: Craig Hyland; Noel Haverty, Des Hope, Chris Deans, Michael Lee; Colm James, Craig Walsh (Jamie Duffy 63), Keith Gillespie; Thomas Crawley; Gary Shaw (Daniel Prunty 85), Karl Bermingham.
Referee: Adriano Reale