New recruits Danny Morrissey and Ciaran O’Connor were on the mark again as Finn Harps overcame Institute in their latest pre-season game.
Institute 0 Finn Harps 2
The pair had also been on the mark seven days ago in a win over Inishowen and their goals, either side of half-time, warmed the Harps followers on a chilly night at the compact Riverside Stadium.
Ollie Horgan’s side took the lead on the stroke of half-time when Morrissey found the back of the net with a 25-yard free.
From the left-hand side of the ‘D’, Morrissey’s effort went through the ‘Stute wall and past Gareth Muldoon, the home goalkeeper.
Six minutes into the second half, O’Connor hit a brilliant second, cutting in from the left-hand side before curling into the top corner.
Harps entered on the back of a 2-0 away defeat by Longford Town on Saturday at the City Calling Stadium and had beaten the Inishowen League 2-1 last Tuesday in Buncrana.
Raphoe teenager Simon McGlynn made his first pre-season start while triallist Aizi Nahanod partnered Ciaran O’Connor in attack with Danny Morrissey stationed wide on the right.
O’Connor’s loan move, until the summer transfer window, was finally confirmed by Harps earlier today, the Dundalk man having been at the club for the last few weeks.
The home side went close when Gareth Brown was denied by Ciaran Gallagher before a dangerous ball across goal by Brown evaded a finishing touch in the penalty box.
Gallagher had to be alert to save at the feet of Jamie McIntyre as ‘Stute probed.
Nahanod had a header, from an Ethan Boyle cross, deflected off target, but the triallist’s involement was largely peripheral overall during the 90 minutes.
‘Stute, the third-placed team in the NIFL Championship – and still on course for the promotion places – hosted Linfield here in an Cup game on Saturday and battled gamely before losing 2-0.
Former Harps midfielder Raymond Foy started in the Instutute engine room. Foy’s departure last season from Finn Park came as a surpise given that he’d been the club’s player of the year in 2015.
Ex-Harps player Sean Roddy was at right-back for the hosts and another former Harps man, Paddy McLaughlin, is the number 2 at Drumahoe these days.
McGlynn was denied by Marty Gallagher in the ‘Stute goal, while Brown smashed over from a promising position.
Kevin Derry’s side went closer still when Sammy Morrow headed off the crossbar after getting on the end of a superb cross by Michael McCrudden, a player that counts Harps boss Horgan among his admirers.
From another McCrudden cross, Darryl McDermott looked set for a tap-in, but Gallagher somehow managed to get in the way and Harps substitute BJ Banda has a close-range effort thwarted by Gallagher.
Jamie Dunne, a former Institute player who recently left Cliftonville, was among those used by Harps in the second half, as his trial at the club continues.
Institute: Gareth Muldoon; Sean Roddy, Stephen O’Donnell, Darryl McDermott, Ryan Morrow; Kyle Friel, Raymond Foy, Aaron Jarvis, Gareth Brown; Alex Pomeroy, Jamie McIntyre. Subs: Marty Gallagher, Aaron Harkin, Mark Scoltock, Niall Grace, Michael McCrudden, Sammy Morrow for Gallagher, O’Donnell, Morrow, Friel, Pomeroy and McIntyre (all half-time).
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Ethan Boyle, Packie Mailey, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Danny Morrissey, Killian Cantwell, Jonny Bonner, Simon McGlynn; Aizi Nahanod, Ciaran O’Connor. Subs: Michael Funston for Cantwell (half-time), Jamie Dunne and BJ Banda for O’Connor and Morrissey (both 67), Gareth Doherty, Ciaran Kelly and Nathal Clifford for Boyle, Bonner and Coll (75).
Referee: Garvan Taggart.Tags: