Drogheda United went to the top of the First Division as ten-man Finn Harps fell to their first defeat of the season tonight at United Park.
Drogheda United 2 Finn Harps 1
Keith Cowan was sent off on a night when first-half goals by Gareth McCaffrey and Richie Purdy gave Drogs the win.
Cowan was given his marching orders when he was deemed to have handled the ball by referee Rob Harvey, but the decision to award Drogs a penalty and to dismiss Cowan irked the visitors in the 24th minute.
Their woe worsened when McCaffrey netted from the penalty.
Harps had had an earlier penalty call when Ciaran O’Connor went down under a challenge from Mark Doyle, but Harvey waved away the appeals.
Drogheda doubled their lead as Drogheda broke quickly with Purdy driving into the area before firing past Ciaran Gallagher.
Michael O’Connor had a big chance to score late in the half, but shot over as he stretched to reach a pass from Ciaran O’Connor.
Paddy McCourt returned for Harps despite a calf injury, while Eric Whelan also started, though there was no place in the squad for skipper Ciaran Coll. Whelan’s evening lasted only until half-time when Adam Duffy was sent into the fray.
Harps pulled a goal back late in the game, as sub John O’Flynn finished in a crowded goalmouth, but it was a case of too little, too late.
Drogheda United: Paul Skinner, Conor Kane, Kevin Farragher, Chris Lyons (Gareth McCaffrey 16), Jake Hyland, Luke Gallagher, Mark Doyle, Luke Rossiter, Ciaran Kelly, Richie Purdy (Kealan Dillon 76), Stephen Meaney.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher, Eric Whelan (Adam Duffy half-time), Sam Todd, Keith Cowan, Lee Toland; Aidan Friel, Mark Coyle, Paddy McCourt (Mark Hannon 70), Mark Timlin; Michael O’Connor, Ciaran O’Connor (John O’Flynn 79).
Referee: Robert Harvey.Tags: