\Finn Harps suffered a fifth consecutive Premier Division loss as Jake Walker broke Donegal hearts in Inchicore tonight.
St Patrick’s Athletic 1 Finn Harps 0
Under-19 attacker Walker came off the bench to net his first senior goal as St Patrick’s Athletic took a narrow win over Ollie Horgan’s men.
Walker’s goal, seven minutes from the end, consigned Harps to defeat after a decent display at Richmond Park.
Walker latched onto Dean Clarke’s pass and struck beyond Mark Anthony McGinley for the winner. The goal, and the win, gives Pat’s a big boost as they look forward to Tuesday’s Europa League draw in Nyon.
Harps had earned a 0-0 draw on their previous visit to Inchicore earlier in the season.
There were moments of panic early on when McGinley spilled a Simon Madden cross, but Ian Bermingham, Mikey Drennan and Gary Shaw all saw shots blocked.
Nathan Boyle (pictured) might have put Harps in front, but Brendan Clarke advanced to block with his feet.
Drennan headed at McGinley while Boyle fired over with a volley at the other end for the visitors.
Pat’s upped the ante after the break and McGinley brilliantly turned over from Kevin Toner.
Bermingham went close again, but his shot, from a Madden delivery, was too high.
Daniel O’Reilly had a half-chance for Harps, but Toner thwarted his efforts.
Just when it seemed as if Harps would hold on for a point, Walker struck gold for Pat’s and it might have been two only for McGinley saving superbly from Drennan in the last minute.
St Patrick’s Athletic: Brendan Clarke; Ciaran Kelly, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond; Simon Madden, Cian Coleman, Rhys McCabe (Conor Clifford 23), Chris Forrester (Dean Clarke 76), Ian Bermingham; Mikey Drennan, Gary Shaw (Jake Walker 61)
Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Daniel O’Reilly, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd; Colm Deasy, Gareth Harkin, Tony McNamee (Caolan McAleer 86),Raffaele Cretaro (Mark Timlin 71), Mark Russell; Mikey Place; Nathan Boyle (Sean Boyd 82).
Referee: Neil Doyle