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McNamee-inspired Finn Harps hold firm to deny Dundalk winner as points shared in Ballybofey

Barry McNamee scored a stunning goal for the hosts, to which Ole Erik Midtskogen responded accordingly, and it finished 1-1.

barry-mcnamee-celebrates-scoring-a-goal-with-teammates Celebrations after Barry McNamee's goal. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

Finn Harps 1

Dundalk 1

Alan Foley at Finn Park

DUNDALK POUNDED FINN Harps late on in Ballybofey but couldn’t find a winner their second half performance probably merited.

Mark Anthony McGinley in the Harps goal was ultimately the reason for the share of the spoils, with a string of late saves to ensure a point for his team after Ole Erik Midtskogen’s header — his first goal for the club — on 48 minutes cancelled out a stunning opener from Barry McNamee:

Having controlled the third quarter, Dundalk’s Wilfried Zahibo just failed to get the sufficient purchase on a close-range header on 74 minutes and then, nine from time, Midtskogen was denied by McGinley’s tip over at full stretch.

Duffy got in one-on-one with McGinley, only to see the Harps goalkeeper win the dual with a vital stop before substitute Junior Ogedi Uzokwe was also thwarted by late on by McGinley, who touched his free onto the crossbar, in the 93rd minute.

Jam Magilton, the Dundalk caretaker manager and sporting director, had offered an apology this week with his player having broken government restrictions to travel to Belfast.

It was the latest chapter in a peculiar campaign for the Oriel Park side, Filippo Giovagnoli and Shane Keegan having left the club last month. Former Northern Ireland international Magilton saw his side outplayed for much of the first half then perform a bit more like themselves in the second. But no winner came.

Harps kept their guests to just a single opportunity in that opening 45 minutes – a wayward Duffy header, with the former Derry City player not so wasteful three minutes into the second half with his cross was headed down by Midtskogen and in for 1-1.

ollie-horgan-watches-the-game-from-outside-the-pitch Ollie Horgan watching on. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

With manager Ollie Horgan a lonely figure on an empty terrace serving the first of this three-match ban following a dismissal against Shamrock Rovers last month, Paul Hegarty in the dugout would’ve been encouraged early on.

The hosts strung together a number of neat phases of possession and 19 minutes in were rewarded with an opening goal from McNamee, who shot across goalkeeper Alessio Abibi into the top corner as he meandered in from the right.

Karl O’Sullivan almost made it two with a cross-cum-shot and there was plenty of menace about Harps in that opening 45 minutes. The tide turned in the second but not enough to produce a winner.

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Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Ethan Boyle, Shane McEleney, David Webster, Johnny Dunleavy (Conor Barry 65); Mark Coyle, Will Seymore, Karl O’Sullivan, Barry McNamee, Stephen Doherty (Mark Russell 73); Adam Foley (Babatunde Owolabi 86).

Dundalk: Alessio Abibi; Raivis Jurkovskis, Andy Boyle, Sonni Nattestad, Darragh Leahy; Michael Duffy, Wilfried Zahibo, Greg Sloggett, Sean Murray (Patrick McEleney 64), Han Jeong Woo (Ryan O’Kane 64); Ole Erik Midtskogen (Junior Ogedi Uzokwe 81).

Referee: Neil Doyle.

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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Alan Foley

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