Fight for Survival

Finn Harps in better position to avoid relegation following draw with Wexford Youths

Harps need just one point from their final game, while Youths need two wins to stay up.

Wexford Youths 0
Finn Harps 0

IT’S AS IT was at the bottom of the Premier Division table after Wexford Youths and Finn Harps played out a 0-0 draw as both looked to take a step toward ensuring Premier Division football for 2017.

The result means that Harps just need one point from their final league game to ensure Premier Division football next season, or a defeat for Wexford Youths on Monday against Cork City will see a similar outcome.

For Wexford Youths, they need six points from six in their final two matches and a Harps defeat next weekend to move out of the relegation play-off position.

Ethan Boylle with Paul Murphy Ethan Boyle of Harps in action against Wexford Youth's Paul Murphy. Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Finn Harps were quickest out of the blocks and created the best of the early chances as Wexford Youths took time to get an early foothold in the game. Harps midfielder Adam Hanlon fired just wide before he forced Lee Grace into a good block early on.

Youths had a good chance past the quarter hour as Danny Furlong flicked to Paul Murphy who raced toward goal. The striker went down as Harps keeper Ciaran Gallagher challenged but referee Rob Harvey produced a yellow card for simulation.

Youths midfielder Jonny Bonner forced Harps keeper Gallagher into a smart low save from long-range free kick, before Harps should have taken the lead. Gareth Harkin curled in the corner from the right that saw Sean Houston head back across goal, but Packie Mailey fired over from close range with the goal at his mercy.

On the stroke of half time the visitors came close again. Youths midfielder Aidan Keenan gave away possession which allowed Harps to break. Doyle was forced into a low save from Houston but Ryan Curran couldn’t find the back of the net from a tight angle on the rebound.

Youths started the second half the brighter side and were unlucky not to take the lead. Lee Chin found Furlong but he couldn’t find the back of the net, before Conor Whittle almost grabbed the opener. Murphy found Chin who laid the ball off to Whittle and he forced Gallagher into a good save to push the ball over his crossbar.

At the other end Funston and Curran linked up but the latter could only find the sidenetting, before Murphy fired over after a superb ball from Lee Grace.

Curran had another good strike saved by Doyle, before Harps keeper Gallagher ensured a well-earned point with an excellent save from Chris Kenny’s close range strike deep into stoppage time.

Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Craig McCabe (Shane Dunne 81), Lee Grace, Chris Kenny, Andrew O’Connor; Conor Whittle (Shane Dempsey 90), Lee Chin, Jonny Bonner, Aidan Keenan; Paul Murphy, Danny Furlong

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Josh Mailey, Ethan Boyle, Packie Mailey, Ciaran Coll; Michael Funston (BJ Banda 73), Gareth Harkin, Barry Molloy, Adam Hanlon (Dave Scully 84); Sean Houstan; Ryan Curran.

Referee: Rob Harvey

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