Goalscorer Ryan Rainey celebrates after giving Harps the lead at Bishopsgate (Pic Joe Boland, North West Newspix)
Ryan Rainey converted his third penalty in five games and in so doing earned his team a first victory of the new campaign as they got the better of Longford Town at Bishopsgate.
Longford Town . . . 0
Finn Harps . . . 1
Rainey’s goal, nine minutes from time, was the highlight of a dour league clash which did little to excite.
The game was decided by the penalty which came after Harps substitute Okwuy Okwute was bundled over inside the box by Kyle O’Connor.
Rainey, who also scored from the spot against Galway United and Athlone Town, kept his nerve to send the keeper the wrong way and seal a welcome first win for new manager Dave Rogers.
Up until Rainey’s strike it was difficult to see where a goal would come from as both sides struggled in the final third.
Neither keeper was really tested in a game lacking in quality.
Harps squandered an early opportunity when Ryan Flood shot over after Longford failed to deal with a Ryan Rainey ball into the area.
Frustratingly, Harps couldn’t build on that bright opening, Time and again a sloppy pass or wrong option saw them give the ball away cheaply and rarely did they look like causing the home defence any problems.
That said the home supporters were given little to be excited about by their team either.
Their best opening fell to Joshua Giurgi nine minutes in but after being picked out by a lovely pass from Aodh Dervin, Giurgi got his connection all wrong when he could so easily have scored.
Harps had captain Keith Cown back in the side after he missed the Wexford game through injury. However, clearly his hamstring problem is still an issue as he had to hobble off after 20 minutes and was replaced by Kevin Jordan.
The young Buncrana man slotted in at left back and can happy with his performance in what was only his second first team appearance.
In a poor first 45 minutes, Longford’s only other chance came the way of Francis Campbell but he blazed high and wide after being set up by Gary Armstrong.
It was a similar story after the break. Aodh Dervin went closest for the home side, firing just wide ten minutes in.
Both teams made changes and it was two of the Harps substitutes who combined for the penalty with Okwute running on to a lovely through ball from Seamus Keogh.
Up stepped Rainey to score the resulting penalty and seal a first win for Harps.
Longford Town: Brady, O’Brien, Elworthy, Serdeniuk, O’Connor, Byrne, Giurgi (Ibraham 66), Dervin, Armstrong (Fay 80), Meaney, Campbell (Boudiof 66).
Finn Harps: Hiemer, Porter, Farrar, McCallion, Cowan (Jordan 20), Rainey, Flood, Baba, Da Silva (O’Donnell 61), Lynch (Okwute 71), Harris (Keogh 71).
Referee: D Murphy.
Photos by Joe Boland (North West Newspix)