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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 19 January 2021

'It looked like a poor tackle' - Harps boss Horgan reacts to horror challenge on Coll

Colm Deasy was shown a straight red card after his awful tackle on former Finn Harps skipper, Ciaran Coll.

Finn Harps boss, Ollie Horgan.
Finn Harps boss, Ollie Horgan.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

THE SSE AIRTRICITY League Premier Division is bookended by two sides who have played the most games of the campaign thus far.

And while Shamrock Rovers have used those extra two matches to help amass an eight-point lead over city rivals Bohemians, Finn Harps remain at the foot of the table with just two points from their opening 10 games.

The chance to make up ground on Sligo Rovers – who slipped to a 2-0 home defeat to Keith Long’s side – was missed as the Donegal outfit were beaten 3-2 at home to Ulster rivals, Derry City.

Speaking after Friday’s game, Harps boss Ollie Horgan bemoaned his side’s bad luck.

“I can’t fault the effort to be fair,” he said. “They gave everything, especially with 10 men.

But there’s something [every] week that has fallen against us – some of our own doing without doubt.”

The game was marred by Colm Deasy’s straight red card eight minutes before half-time for a terrible challenge on Ciaran Coll, the former Harps captain, who made the switch from Finn Park to the Brandywell over the winter.

Coll had suffered a suspected broken leg, but x-rays on Saturday found no signs of a fracture. The extent of the injury will not be known until the swelling subsides.

Ciaran Coll appeals for a free Derry City's Ciaran Coll sustained a serious leg injury during Friday's win over Finn Harps. Source: Evan Logan/INPHO

“It’s the sending off that cost us, without doubt,” Horgan continued. “There’s no guarantee we would have got anything out of the game, but we were right in it until that point.

“The complexion of the game changed after that, just like last week.

[The tackle] was at the far side of the pitch. It was the roar of the Derry fans and I’m sure they’re very honest with what they would say.

“Am I complaining? Not from my side, I didn’t see it from my side.

It looked like a poor tackle, yeah. We wish Ciaran the very best in his recovery.”

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Harps did have the chance to take the lead in the first half when Derry keeper Nathan Gartside appeared to have kicked the ball against Harps’ Sam Todd leaving the area.

The ball rebounded back into the box and Nathan Boyle poked it home from six yards.

The referee’s whistle had blown, however, ruling the game’s opening goal out.

“I watched the replay of the goal at 0-0. Do I blame the referee? No.

But he went and booked the wrong player that interfered and I’m thinking: ‘Well, he saw nothing.’

“Now I’ve looked at it again and I still want to know why it wasn’t allowed. But I’m not blaming the officials.

“Derry were the better side when it was 11 v 10, it was very even when it was 11 v 11.

We wish them well. They’ve celebrated like it was a cup final. Great credit to them. Declan [Devine] has put together a great management side.

“They’ll take some beating by anyone in the Brandywell. But this was our opportunity we felt. Someone somewhere has made a mad decision which has cost us.”

He added: “Would it have mattered?

Would Derry have gone on and won 3-2 or 4-3 anyway? Maybe they would. No one ever knows.”

Reporting by Alan Foley.

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