Finn Harps U19s extended their unbeaten run to six games as they go joint top of the Northern Section.
Finn Harps 2 Shelbourne 0
By Chris McNulty at Finn Park
Michael Gallagher and Gabriel Aduaka netted as Joe Boyle’s men climbed above Shelbourne, who entered this weekend top of the pile.
The win – and a fifth successive clean sheet – means Harps join Bohemians at the summit.
Gallagher, fresh from his first Premier Division start in Monday night’s draw against Cork City at Turners Cross, put Harps in front just 58 seconds into the second half.
There was an anxious wait before Aduaka added the second with 15 minutes to play, but this was a deserved win for Harps whose goalkeeper Joe Boyle was a spectator for the most part.
After a first half that was limited on chances, Harps broke the deadlock in the opening minute of the second half as Gallagher brilliantly headed home a corner by Stephen Doherty.
Gallagher’s finish gave Jack Lydon in the Shels goal little chance and it allowed Harps a platform to build on.
Keelin McGill had worked Lydon early on from a set piece, while Gallagher riffled wide having been teed up by Doherty’s free.
Gallagher turned provider for Niall McGinley, but the Strabane man fired over. McGinley went close again, but didn’t get the desired connection on his attempt and the chance was gone.
Shels did fashion an opening for Franck Haba, but his tame shot failed to trouble Boyle.
Gallagher and Pat Loughrey had sights of the Shels goal without joy before the close of the opening period.
Gallagher set Harps on their way in double-quick time at the start of part two.
Substitute Ronan Gallagher tested Lydon twice after his introduction while Doherty shot over after good work down the left by Daragh Ellison and Aduaka.
Harps – still without Keenan Diver and with Jamie Browne absent – put the game beyond the reach of the visitors when Aduaka finished well to seal the deal.
Harps have a game in hand on Bohs and have two fewer games played than Shelbourne. The standings make for good reading ahead of next weekend’s trip to Longford.
Finn Harps: Joe Boyle, Michael Gallagher, Daragh Ellison, Keelin McGill, Lee McLaughlin, Jack Doherty, Corey McBride, Stephen Doherty, Gabriel Aduaka, Niall McGinley, Pat Loughrey. Subs: Ronan Gallagher for McBride (58), Darren McElwaine for Loughrey (83), Tom Mullen for Aduaka (86), Jack O’Donnell for Ellison (88), Joel Bradley-Walsh for McGinley (88).
Shelbourne: Jack Lydon, Charles Mutawe, Robert Lyons, Craig Giles, Kevin McEvoy, Aaron Connolly, Deiric Hyland, Franck Haba, Kevin Mare, Harry Groome, Oluwasegun Lawal. Subs: Callum Leonard for Haba (58), Alan Leonard for Lawal (58), Lee Raymond for Mare (73).
Referee: Garvan Taggart.Tags: