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Honours even as Finn Harps and Cork City share drab draw

Frank Kelleher’s new side couldn’t find a breakthrough at Finn Park tonight.

Cork's John Cotter.
Cork's John Cotter.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Finn Harps 0

Cork City 0

 Alan Foley reports from Finn Park 

A DRAB draw in Ballybofey meant a point apiece that wasn’t the worst outcome for the predicaments of both Finn Harps and Cork City.

Mark Timlin fizzed a fabulous effort a matter of inches over the City crossbar with 11 minutes left as the home support drew its breath. Defeat would’ve been tough though on Cork, who had more of few chances there were. 

Harps trailed UCD at the bottom of the table by eight points at one stage this season, so tonight’s result has Ollie Horgan’s side four ahead – albeit with three matches more played – ahead of the Students. The teams meet on Friday at Belfield. 

Cork were smarting from their 4-1 hammering at home against Derry City on Friday night, while Harps, on the other hand, were looking to build on a decent 2-0 victory over Sligo Rovers.

With Frank Kelleher having been appointed first team manager at Turner’s Cross since then, working alongside John Cotter, the visitors would’ve been eager to keep things tight to begin with.

The changes were rung with Colm Horgan, Gary Boylan, Darragh Rainsworth and Ronan Hurley coming into the starting XI, although there was no place in the squad for Joel Coustrain – a loan signing from Shamrock Rovers – after Graham Cummins went the other way.

Chances were few and far between in the first half. Gearoid Morrissey was played into space by Garry Buckley on 16 minutes only for Daniel O’Reilly to deflect the ball wide.

Ten minutes before the break, Gary Boylan hook over what was no more than a half-chance from an acute angle when Conor McCormack’s delivery had caused some consternation in the Harps penalty area.

Caolan McAleer, so often Harps’ most creative player, completely overplayed a free-kick into the Cork box on 38 minutes and when Mark McNulty gathered it in simplistic fashion, was the first time either netminder was called into action.

It was scoreless at the break. The second half, though, opened with a couple of close things. Firstly, Morrissey drove not too far over the Harps crossbar before McAleer, who was found by Mark Coyle, placed a side-footed effort not too far wide of McNulty’s goal.

Cork then passed up on two opportunities in contrasting fashion. Morrissey nipped in ahead of Mark Anthony McGinley in the Harps goal to present Darragh Rainsford with a chance that he couldn’t keep down in from 15 yards of a relatively unguarded goal. An untimely bobble didn’t help matters.

Then, with an audacious belter on the hour mark from inside his own half, Conor McCarthy had McGinley under pressure with a long-ranger that wasn’t too far away as it fell to the left and wide.

FINN HARPS:Mark Anthony McGinley; Sam Todd, Niall Logue, Harry Ascroft (Mark Timlin half-time); Daniel O’Reilly, Jacob Borg, Mark Coyle, Gareth Harkin, Mark Russell; Caolan McAleer (Mikey Place 85); Nathan Boyle.

CORK CITY:Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Sean McLoughlin; Colm Horgan, Conor McCormack, Gary Boylan (Gary Comerford 67), Gearoid Morrissey, Ronan Hurley; Garry Buckley, Darragh Rainsford (Karl Sheppard 84).

Referee:John McLoughlin.

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About the author:

Alan Foley

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