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Cretaro rescues crucial point for Harps in basement battle with Cork City

Cork City still trail Finn Harps by a point at the bottom of the League of Ireland Premier Division table, but they have a game in hand over tonight’s hosts.

Finn Harps' Raffael Cretaro (file pic).
Finn Harps' Raffael Cretaro (file pic).
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

SECOND-HALF SUBSTITUTE Raffaele Cretaro came to the rescue for Finn Harps as he scored a 75th-minute leveller to give the hosts a share of the spoils in their League of Ireland Premier Division basement battle with Cork City.

Cretaro’s goal cancelled out the game’s only other; Dylan McGlade had opened the scoring 18 minutes prior for the visitors, victory for whom would have been a first away from home this season and lifted City above Harps in the table.

But a 1-1 draw means Cork still trail the Donegal men by a single point at the bottom of the table, albeit with a game in hand over tonight’s opponents in the race to avoid automatic relegation.

The game ebbed and flowed early doors — Barry McNamee and Kit Elliott causing trouble in Harps and City colours respectively — but it was the home side who mustered the first real sights at goal: Alexander Kogler had a glancing header and, moments later, a sliced shot from close range, both of which were sent wide of Mark McNulty’s goal.

City then fashioned a couple of chances of their own, Mark Anthony McGinley denying a Cian Coleman header and diverting a 20-yard McGlade effort out for a corner.

Five minutes before the break, Deshane Dalling flashed a headed effort just past McGinley’s post.

Harps’ keeper did well to keep the game scoreless minutes after the restart, denying Joseph Olowu from close range.

City, however, built upon their string of chances and went one better before the hour mark: Daire O’Connor showed fleet footwork to evade two defenders and his low cross towards the edge of the area was swept home by McGlade for the opener.

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Sensing they were heading for the foot of the table, Harps regained a foothold and struck the post through Adam Foley’s cross before digging themselves out of a hole a mere three minutes later: Cretaro, who had replaced Kogler at the break, placed his shot beyond the reach of McNulty from from the edge of the area for 1-1.

Harps pushed for a winner for a few minutes but Cork defended diligently before the game settled once more, with both sides trading possession without creating anything of note in the final 10 minutes.

Harps trail Shelbourne and Derry City by three points in the Premier Division table but Shels’ goal difference is six goals better off and Derry have a game in hand.

So too do Cork City, who are bottom by a point and are also two goals worse off than Harps in the goal-difference stakes.

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