Despite taking two wins out of two from league newcomers Treaty Utd so far this season, lady luck deserted Finn Harps tonight as a single goal gave the visitors the win.
Finn Harps…0 Treaty Utd …1
Just two points separated these two teams before tonight’s game with Harps just ahead of the visitors, who do have a game in hand.
By Charlie Collins at Finn Park
After their excellent show against league leaders Galway Utd last Friday , Harps boss Dave Rodgers described Monday’s defeat in Athlone as his side’s poorest performance of the season and made four changes to his starting line-up with Rory Kelly, Caoimhin Porter, Ryan Rainey and Sean O Donnell all returning .
Harps had won the two previous meetings of the teams, 2-0 at home and 0-3 away and a third win would have kept them in touch with a play-off spot.
We had a lot of effort from both teams in the opening twenty minutes but very little goalmouth action , with Harps enjoying most of the possession but their final pass letting them down in some promising positions.
Treaty had taken time to settle into the game but the longer it went on the more they became a threat going forward , and a few dangerous crosses flew across the Harps box and several long range efforts were just off target.
In the 36th minute Stephen Doherty and B J Banda combined down the left side and the latter’s low cross produced an important and brave save from keeper Corey Chambers as Sean O Donnell arrived in the six yard box.
Banda and O Donnell combined again in the box as we entered injury time , but O Donnell’s shot was blocked and nothing came of the resulting corner.
It was not a surprise when we half-time with the sides scoreless.
It didn’t stay like that for long as just ninety seconds into the second-half the visitors took the lead.
They broke quickly from defence and Stephen Christopher slid a pass to Dean George who cut onto his right foot and his low drive beat Rory Kelly at his near post to make it 0-1 to Treaty Utd.
Two minutes later the Harps keeper’s attempted throw-out pass hit the head of Adam Lennon and went goalwards, just drifting wide.
Harps almost hit back soon afterwards, Stephen Doherty cushioned header finding Sean O Donnell who rounded a defender but couldn’t get enough power in his shot to beat Chambers.
In the 59th minute an excellent Ryan Flood cross was touched away by Chambers but only as far as Caoimhin Porter and his hooked goal-bound shot was headed off the line by Mark Walsh .
As we entered the final twenty minutes and both teams had already looked to the bench the visitors seemed content to hold what they had we Harps needing to up their game to get something from it.
Another Flood corner caused problems and Scott Wara’s header was cleared off the line and as they kept the pressure on Ryan Flood’s piledriver deflected off a defender and keeper Chambers did well to push it over his crossbar.
With luck abandoning Harps, it was beginning to look like it was going to be third time lucky for Treaty Utd in terms of the head to head between the clubs.
Four minutes of injury-time produced more Harps pressure but failed to produce that badly needed goal and Treaty Utd held on to win and move ahead of Harps in the table .
FINN HARPS ; Rory Kelly . Daithi McCallion , Semi Scott Wara , Matthew Makinson ( Ellis Farrar 78mins), Caoimhin Porter ( Aaron McLaughlin 65mins), , Ryan Rainey , Tony McNamee , Stephen Doherty ( Max Hutchison 60mins), Ryan Flood , Billy Banda , Sean O Donnell.
TREATY UTD ; Corey Chambers , Ben O Riordan , Marc Ludden , Lee Devitt , Conor Barry , Dean Geogre (Dean O Shea 70mins), Stephen Christopher ( Colin Conroy 89mins), Enda Curran ( Success Edogun 70mins), Jordan Tallon ( William Armshaw 78mins), Mark Walsh , Adam Lennon ( Darren Nwankwo 78mins).
Referee ; Daniel Murphy .