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Point apiece as Drogheda bite back to hold high-flying Finn Harps

Karl O’Sullivan and Mark Doyle scored the goals at Drogheda’s Head in the Game Park.

The goal-scorers, Finn Harps' Karl O'Sullivan and Mark Doyle of Drogheda, in action.
The goal-scorers, Finn Harps' Karl O'Sullivan and Mark Doyle of Drogheda, in action.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Drogheda United 1

Finn Harps 1

FINN HARPS AND Drogheda United can both be content enough with a point apiece following their 1-1 draw at the Head in the Game Park this evening.

Having won two from two beforehand, the result leaves Harps level on points and goal difference with Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic at the summit of the Premier Division table, all three with identical records including goals scored. Having taken the lead, the Donegal team were pegged back.

Karl O’Sullivan scored a scrumptious opening goal in the 56th minute when he drove home from the edge of the penalty area as Drogheda struggled to clear a long throw-in from David Webster initially and then when Ethan Boyle headed back into the mix.

However, Mark Doyle was there to level it for Drogheda just six minutes later when he was on hand to tuck home from close range after James Brown had centered along the ground.

In the first meeting of the sides since the 2019 promotion-relegation play-off, which Harps edged on a 2-1 aggregate scoreline, Ollie Horgan’s team shaded the first half.

That said, they were always wary of the Co Louth outfit, who’d marked their return to the Premier Division with a 1-0 victory over Waterford two weeks’ ago.

Harps’ Adam Foley, fresh from three goals in his opening two fixtures, smashed a ball across the penalty area and David Odumosu’s six-yard line only for nobody to take up the invitation.

Odumosu was called into action for the first time on the half-hour when he got his hands behind a shot from Foley on the turn, with Barry McNamee having played the pass into the area.

From a Gary Deegan pass, Doyle, at the other end, got past Boyle, who lost his footing, to get away down the Drogheda inside-left channel and Mark Anthony McGinley in the Harps goal stood firm to save.

Former Harps full-back Daniel O’Reilly put his body on the line late to block from Shane McEleney late in the half, which ended 0-0.

Doyle came close again on 52 minutes when he headed right at McGinley from a Ronan Murray delivery.

drogheda-supporters-celebrate-their-side-scoring-a-goal Drogheda supporters celebrate their side scoring a goal. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

O’Sullivan then smashed Harps in front 11 minutes into the second half before Drogheda got back on terms when Doyle got off the mark for the season from close range.

With their sails bellowing, Tim Clancy’s team weren’t afraid to throw men forward, with the flat back four introduced at the break stiffening their numbers in the engine room.

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Harps squealed for a spot kick with six minutes left when Kosovar Sadiki appeared to be pulled by Hugh Douglas from Ryan Shanley’s free in. Referee Adriano Reale waved play on.

Poor set-piece deliveries hampered the chance of a winner for either team and the closest either came was when McEleney had to be alert in injury time, to divert away another dangerous ball from Brown.

Drogheda United: David Odumosu; James Brown, Hugh Douglas, Daniel O’Reilly, Dane Massey, Conor Kane; Gary Deegan, Jake Hyland (Darragh Markey 62), Ronan Murray (Luke Heeney 74); Dinny Corcoran, Mark Doyle. 

Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Kosovar Sadiki, Shane McEleney, Dave Webster; Mark Coyle, Will Seymore; Karl O’Sullivan (Sean Boyd 81), Mark Russell, Barry McNamee (Tony McNamee 89); Adam Foley (Ryan Shanley 81). 

Referee: Adriano Reale

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

About the author:

Alan Foley  / Reports from Head in the Game Park.

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