Finn Harps followed up Friday’s draw with Dundalk by claiming another valuable point on the road – stopping St Patrick’s Athletic’s perfect start in the process.
St Patrick’s Athletic 0 Finn Harps 0
Wins over Cork City and Sligo Rovers had Harry Kenny’s Saints in flying form, but resolute Harps – in their first year back in the top flight – battled to a super point in Inchicore.
Both sides had their moments and Harps might have nicked a win here too – but the point was certainly well received by the noisy Harps support who ventured to the capital.
Ollie Horgan’s men were buoyed by Friday’s 1-1 draw against Dundalk in Ballybofey and young Niall McGinley was lifted into the starting XI here as the Harps boss made a slight change.
Peter Burke, the Harps keeper was tested by Rhys McCabe midway through the first half, but was equal to the effort.
McCabe flew another attempt over the top before Burke could be called into action.
Kevin Toner almost put Pat’s in front while Simon Madden saw a searching cross evade the attentions of the in-rushing Ciaran Kelly.
Harps went close when Nathan Boyle off-loaded for Sean Boyd, but the on-loan striker saw his effort blocked by Lee Desmond.
Early in the second half, Boyd headed inches wide for the visitors, for whom Sam Todd excelled in defence.
Mikey Drennan, who netted in each of the opening two wins for Pats, drilled into the side netting and there was still time for Todd to almost sneak it, but his header was saved by Pat’s keeper Brendan Clarke.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Simon Madden, David Webster, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ciaran Kelly (James Doona 82); Jamie Lennon, Conor Clifford, Rhys McCabe (Chris Forrester 71); Mikey Drennan, Gary Shaw (Brandon Miele 59)
Finn Harps: Peter Burke; Daniel O’Reilly, Sam Todd, Keith Cowan, Jacob Borg; Gareth Harkin, Mark Coyle, Niall McGinley (Caolan McAleer 79); John Kavanagh, Sean Boyd, Nathan Boyle (Raffaele Cretaro 61)
Referee: Graham Kelly