Finn Harps fell to ninth, and now just above the relegation marker, as goals early in each half gave Bohemians a comfortable win at Dalymount Park.
Bohemians 2 Finn Harps 0
An own goal six minutes into the match by Harps defender Damien and a powerful second, scored by Oscar Brennan four minutes after the break, condemned Harps to a sixth defeat of the season.
A considerable amount of Harps’ anger and frustration were directed in the direction of Graham Kelly, the referee, after a night that saw Harps finish with ten men following the 54th minute sending off of Barry Molloy (pictured).
Harps also saw manager Ollie Horgan banished to the stands in the first half as he challenged Kelly once too often for the official’s liking.
Although they’d be justified in feeling aggrieved about Molloy’s dismissal, the Derryman having been in receipt of two harsh yellows, Harps would – given they have games against leaders Cork and third-placed Bray in the next two weeks – be better served in examining their own shortcomings from this one.
Not for the first time this season, Harps aided in their own downfall here.
The opener is a goal that will have had Ollie Horgan pulling the hair from his scalp and certainly one that Ciaran Gallagher, the Harps goalkeeper, won’t be looking forward to seeing on Soccer Republic on Monday night.
It was from a wayward Gallagher kick-out that Simon took possession. Simon’s threaded pass put George Poynton in on goal, though it was the foot of Harps defender McNulty that ultimately directed the ball into the net.
Harps were still in the game at half-time, but Bohs doubled the lead just four minutes after the re-start.
With Harps’ defence in no man’s land, Simon and Brennan worked the chance with the latter drilling past Gallagher from 20 yards and, even at that stage, there was a feeling that the curtain could drop.
Harps didn’t give up the fight and Caolan McAleer bent just wide of the far post in the 82 minute, but Shane Supple, the Bohs ‘keeper, was untested in the second half.
Harps are already operating with a threadbare squad given a recent spate of injuries, but the situation worsened yesterday with confirmation that Thomas McMonagle, frustrated by a lack of first-team chances, had left the club.
Michael Funston was also absent here and it meant that there were two blank spaces on a Harps teamsheet that contained only 16 players, including three under-19s in Gareth Doherty, Simon McGlynn and Dylan McCroary.
Ciaran O’Connor, despite still being a little inhibited by a hamstring injury, returned to the side as Harps went in search of a first win in Phibsborough since a Jonathan Speak winner in 1999.
They looked nailed on to take the lead after just 80 seconds but the ball bobbled away from Barry Molloy, leaving the Harps player taking aim at thin air as he seemed set to open the scoring with the goal yawning after Ethan Boyle and McNulty helped created the chance.
Rocked by the early concession, Harps did manage to carve out a couple of openings. O’Connor blasted one effort into the Des Kelly Carpets Stand and McAleer shot tamely at Supple from 20 yards.
With things getting somewhat heated, Harps boss Horgan was banished to the stands by referee Kelly in the 37th minute – but it was only the beginning of the frustrations as Harps now ponder a daunting trip to Cork, who’ve won all of their opening 11 games.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Dan Byrne, Rob Cornwall, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Kaleem Simon (Steven Nolan 87), Oscar Brennan, Ian Morris, Paddy Kavanagh (Dylan Hayes 84); Georgie Poynton (Fuad Sule 90), Jamie Doyle.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Kilian Cantwell, Ciaran Coll; Caolan McAleer, Ethan Boyle, Barry Molloy, Sean Houston, Gareth Harkin; Paddy McCourt (Simon McGlynn 79); Ciaran O’Connor (Eddie Dsane 74).
Referee: Graham Kelly (Cork).Tags: