Finn Harps were left to rue missed chances as they drew 2-2 with Drogheda United at Finn Park.
Drogheda took the lead after 5 minutes when James Clarke netted after a good one-two. But Harps grew into the game and were 2-1 up at half-time thanks to Eric McWoods and Yoyo Mahdy.
McWoods levelled after good play from Filip Mihaljević found Mahdy in the box.
The striker had a 1-on-1 with Sam Long but Long was equal to the shot but the ball came out to Barry McNamee who head to McWoods and the American got his second Finn Harps goal of the year.
Mahdy then made it 2-1 just before half-time after McNamee played it to McWoods again and his back post cross was headed across by Mihaljević to Mahdy who flicked the ball into the net.
Harps had many chances to make it 3-1 through Mahdy three occasions but they were left to regret the missed chances as Ryan Brennan’s deflected shot made it past Gavin Mulreany to make it 2-2 with 85 minutes gone.
Finn Harps were looking for their first home win but it was always going to be a tough task as Drogheda came in good form, having picked up four points from their last two games, beating Dundalk in the Louth derby at United Park before picking up a point away to St. Patrick’s Athletic.
Drogheda were also the only side that Finn Harps didn’t beat in the 2021 Premier Division.
Drogheda took the lead with their first real attack as James Clarke played a one-two with Darragh Nugent and Clarke poked the ball into the net past Mulreany.
Harps only had a couple of half chances in the first 20 minutes from Ethan Boyle long throws as Rob Slevin and Mahdy got their head on the ball but it came to nothing.
Harps did level in the 21st minute when Mihaljević found Mahdy on the left side of the box but his shot was saved by Long but it deflected to McNamee who quickly reacted to head the ball to McWoods to finish as Long was still out of his goal.
Harps were boosted by the goal as they enjoyed more chances as McNamee almost scored when Long couldn’t hold Slevin’s cross. The Ramelton mans shot was deflected into the grateful arms of Long.
Slevin then had a volley go narrowly over the bar from another Boyle long throw. Drogheda did threaten down the left on multiple occasions but the main Drogheda chance was from a Dayle Rooney shot outside the box but Mulreany saved well.
Harps would take the lead just before half-time as again the front 4 were all involved. McNamee found McWoods and his cross fell to Mihaljević at the back post. The Croatian headed the ball to Mahdy who poked the ball into the net.
Against the wind in the second half, Drogheda struggled to create chances while Harps had chances to extend their lead. Mahdy first treid to beat Long at the keepers side from a free kick but Long saved well and Rainey smashed the rebound over the bar.
Boyle and Mihaljević both had headers go narrowly wide within minutes of each other.
Ryan Connolly then went close after good play down the left by Slevin who found Mahdy in the box who laid it off to Connolly but his shot was well saved again and Mahdy couldn’t control the rebound.
Mahdy then looked to have made it 3-1 as he headed the ball to McWoods who tried to square it for Tourish but the ball fell to Mahdy in the 6 yard box and his header beat Sam Long but substitute Andrew Quinn headed it off the line with what may have been his first touch in the game.
Harps were then left ruing the missed chances as Drogheda levelled with 5 minutes to go.
A shot from outside the box by Ryan Brennan looked like it was blocked but the ball deflected towards goal and Mulreany couldn’t get down to keep it out.
Both sides looked for a winner and substitute Mark Timlin’s shot deflected just over the bar after great play by Ryan Connolly. Harps piled on the pressure and Hery found Mahdy in the box and the striker probably should have scored but Long made another great save.
Harps stay 9th with a North West derby against Derry up next Satuday at Finn Park.
Finn Harps: Gavin Mulreany; Ethan Boyle, Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin, Ryan Connolly, Élie-Gaël N’Zeyi, Barry McNamee, Ryan Rainey, Eric McWoods, Yoyo Mahdy, Filip Mihaljević.
Subs: Bastien Hery for Mihaljević (75 mins), Mark Timlin for McNamee
Drogheda United: Sam Long; Keith Cowan, Dane Massey, Evan Weir, Gary Deegan, Darragh Nugent, Dylan Grimes, Georgie Poynton, James Clarke, Dayle Rooney, Dean Williams.
Subs: Chris Lyons and Ryan Brennan for Williams and Grimes (67 mins), Luke Heeney for Nugent (70 mins)
Referee: Oliver Moran