Letterkenny man Mikey Sweeney came off the bench to score the winner as Derry City Under-17s moved into the next round of the Mark Farren Cup at the expense of Finn Harps.
Finn Harps 0 Derry City 1
Pictures by Joe Boland, North West Newspix
Coláiste Ailigh student Sweeney, on as a substitute in the 57th minute, netted what proved to be the only goal of the game in the 70th minute, converting from close range after getting on the end of a Fionn McClure cross from the right.
It was a goal that came against the run of play and gave Gary Duffy’s Derry a real smash-and-grab win – the Candystripes’ first success of the U17 season.
Harps had enjoyed the better of the play and will have left The New Camp Complex wondering just how they didn’t manage to make their possession and chances count.
Once Derry got their noses in front, though, Derry held out well with Daniel Houghton commanding in goal and Ethan Harkin a tower at centre-back.
Just after falling behind, James Carolan came close to an equaliser, but the striker, after spinning well inside the area, riffled wide of the mark.
Harps had plenty of the ball, but didn’t make the most of it on a frustrating sort of a derby night for the hosts in Killygordon.
Derry’s Kieran Farren went close early on, denied by Harps net-minder Joe Boyle after getting free in the area, while Harkin headed over from a corner before Harps got into gear.
Odhrán McGuinness got a touch on a prodded shot by Corrie Lee Bogan, but Houghton held on and Niall McGinley’s powerful effort was held by Houghton soon after.
Houghton made two telling saves in quick succession to save headers from Keelan McGill and McGinley, whose effort was turned onto the crossbar. From the resulting corner, McGuinness headed wide.
Harps were in the ascendancy, but the ever-dangerous Carolan, after doing well to get a shot away, hit the base of the post from the edge of the penalty box.
Harps had a real let off ten minutes into the second half when, after captain Danny McGlynn picked up the ball from a clearance by McGill, Conor McGowan beat Boyle in a race for the ball.
Derry attacker McGowan rounded the Harps stopper, but saw Keenan Diver – who had another solid outing at the heart of the Harps rearguard – hook his shot off the goal-line.
Harps had won their last three games in the League, against Longford, Sligo and Monaghan/Cavan, but they bow out of the Cup having laid siege on the Derry defence without reward and they host Dundalk on Saturday at Finn Park as League action resumes.
Finn Harps: Joe Boyle, Keelan McGill, Odhrán McGuinness (Charlie White 80), Keenan Diver, Daragh Ellison, Corrie Lee Bogan, Conor O’Reilly, Stephen Doherty (Ryan Cunningham 57), Marc Walsh (Jamie Brown 80), James Carolan, Niall McGinley.
Derry City: Daniel Houghton, Dylan Sheerin, Callum Boyle, Ethan Harkin, Danny McGlynn, Jack Parke, Fionn McClure, Dan Ward, Kieran Farren (Mikey Sweeney 57), Caolan McLaughlin, Conor McGowan.
Referee: Marty QuinnTags: