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Finn Harps set for promotion-relegation play-off following first win since August

The Donegal-based side overcame Waterford in Ballybofey tonight.

Ollie Horgan's side picked up all three points tonight (file pic).
Ollie Horgan's side picked up all three points tonight (file pic).
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Finn Harps 1

Waterford FC  0

Alan Foley reports from Finn Park

FINN HARPS’ place in the promotion-relegation play-off was secured with events elsewhere, but Ollie Horgan’s team would’ve been glad to get back to winning ways against Waterford FC in Ballybofey tonight.

The Donegal-based side hadn’t won since early August and picked up only two points in seven matches since, but, after a final Premier Division outing at Derry City next week, they have a double-header to survive in the top flight against Drogheda or Cabinteely to look forward to. 

Horgan has previously taken Harps to the Premier Division with wins over Limerick FC in play-offs in both 2015 and 2017. Now, his priority will be to ensure Harps’ safety, something that looked unlikely when they were 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table earlier in the campaign. 

The only goal of the match in Ballybofey tonight came on six minutes, when defender Joshua Smith headed home his first goal in a Harps shirt.

The hosts had a couple of chances to double their advantage in the first half against a weary Waterford. In the first minute Nathan Boyle broke free, as the visitors looked for a flag that never came only to see Matt Connor save his shot.

In first-half injury time, Jacob Borg, another defender, saw a shot go into the Waterford side-netting.  

The closest Waterford came to grabbing a point was with 14 minutes to go, when sub Dean Walsh saw a fine effort well saved by Mark Anthony McGinley in the Harps goal. Then, on 88 minutes, Michael O’Connor was also denied by the Harps netminder. 

Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Harry Ascroft, Joshua Smith, Sam Todd; Jacob Borg, Ruairi Harkin, Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin, Mark Russell; Raffaele Cretaro; Nathan Boyle. Subs: Stephen Doherty for Timlin (56), Daniel O’Reilly for R.Harkin (77), Niall Logue for Cretaro (81). 

Waterford: Matt Connor; Sam Bone, Rory Feely, Maxim Kouogun, Kevin Lynch; Shane Duggan, JJ Lunney, Tom Holland, Georgie Poynton; Michael O’Connor, Walter Figueira. Subs: Zach Elbouzedi for Bone (59), Rob Slevin for Feely (72), Dean Walsh for Holland (72).

Referee: Damien McGraith.

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About the author:

Alan Foley

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