A 79th minute goal by super sub Damian Duffy following a cross by the highly impressive Sean O Donnell gave Finn Harps a hard-earned away victory against Longford Town tonight.
Longford Town 2
Finn Harps 3
By Charlie Collins
In what was a hugely entertaining encounter, the home side had the better of the early exchanges without really causing Harps too many problems apart from a Cristain Mageruson’s header which flew just over in the 10th minute. Harps settled after a shaky start and Sean O’Donnell was just too high with a fine floated effort in the 26th minute. After a foul on O’Donnell, the Longford wall did its job at the expense of a corner. Five minutes later, however, the home side took the lead. Harps didn’t deal with the situation well and were made to pay when Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh’s cross found Mageruson and he drilled the ball low to the corner of the net. Ryan Flood responded for Harps with a free-kick in the 39th minute but keeper Jack Brady read his intentions and saved well to leave it 1-0 to Longford Town at the break.
Things changed very quickly on the restart as Harps got the perfect start to the second-half with a super Sean O’Donnell equalizer in the 54th minute. And two minutes later, the visitors went ahead when Ryan Flood let fly with one of his long range free-kick specials which flew past keeper Brady, giving him no chance. Longford looked to their bench for some inspiration, sending on Jamal Ibrahim and Adam Verdon and they began to get a hold on the game again. That paid off in the 74th minute when Magerusan played Whitmarsh through with a super pass and he drilled the ball low under the diving Hiemer to make it 2-2 and set up an exciting last fifteen minutes.
However, Harps introduced Damian Duffy and what an impact he immediately made. The Inishowen youngster poked the ball to the net in the 79th minute after great work again from the outstanding O’Donnell down the right side. The home side pressed hard to get level again and thought they should have had a penalty when Josh Giurgi raced onto a ball inside the box, but the Referee wasn’t interested. Noe Baba had a half chance to extend Harps lead, getting on the end of a well worked set piece but he couldn’t keep the ball on target. Five added minutes failed to change anything and Harps held on to record an excellent victory and a super bounce-back from Monday’s heavy defeat in Galway. In tonight’s other Division One games, the top four all recorded victories, Galway beat Wexford Youths 0-2, Waterford had a 3-1 win over Bray Wanderers, Athlone beat Kerry FC 0-1 and Cobh Ramblers beat Treaty FC 0-1. Harps climb to a respectable seventh in the table as the League now takes a two-week break until Friday 23rd June when Dave Rogers’ side host Wexford Youths at Finn Park.
LONGFORD TOWN: Jack Brady , Aaron Walsh ( Adam Verdon 65mins), Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh , Josh Giurgi ,Cristain Mageruson , Cian Byrne, James Donna ( Jamal Ibrahim 60mins), Ciaran Hodanu , Aodh Dervin , Viktor Serdeniuk , Gavin Liam Brien.
FINN HARPS; Tim Hiemer , Caoimhin Porter , Daithi McCallion , Keith Cowan , Shane McMonagle , Kevin Jordan , Noe Baba , Ryan Flood, Michael Harris ( Damian Duffy 75mins ) , Filip Da Silva , Sean O Donnell.Tags: