Harps turn attentions to FAI Cup tie with Drogheda

LONGFORD TOWN . . . . . . . . . . . 3

FINN HARPS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Finn Harps manager, Peter Hutton will quickly turn his attentions towards this Friday night’s FAI Cup quarter-final clash with Drogheda United after a disappointing defeat to Longford Town.

While the weekend defeat will not give the Harps boss too many sleepless nights, it certainly wasn’t ideal preparation for this weekend’s crunch clash.

It was Longford’s first win over Harps this season at the third attempt.

And it was a comfortable win for the Midlanders but when they raced into a 3-0 lead, they sat back and invited Harps onto them and the Donegal side should’ve punished the home lot.

Harps pulled one back in the 70th minute through Sean McCarron and could have had a second seven minutes later, but Shane McGinty’s drive went wide.

It was McCarron who had the game’s first chance, but he blasted over from about 16 yards out in the 13th minute.

Six minutes later Longford opened the scoring; right-back Jamie Mulhall held off two challenges before putting a low ball into the box and Dean Ebbe finished from close range.

Longford should’ve doubled their lead in the 24th minute; David O’Sullivan went one-on-one with Harps’ keeper Ciaran Gallagher, but his shot was off target.

Harps had a chance to level in the 28th minute; McCarron played the ball to Lee Toland, but he blazed over.

Longford doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when after a number of thwarted efforts Rhys Gorman’s header was deemed to have crossed the line.

In the 60th minute, the unlucky O’Sullivan squandered another chance.

It was all Longford at this stage, and in the 68th minute they grabbed their third goal; Mulahall the provider for Josh O’Hanlon to finish to the net.

Longford sat back and allowed Harps to try and get back into the game.

They pulled a goal back in the 70th minute through McCarron, and minutes later, McGinty was unlucky with a powerful drive.

Longford sub Gary Shaw was guilty of a glaring miss in the 86th minute as his side held on for a much needed win.

Longford Town -Chris Bennion; Jamie Mulhall, Noel Haverty, Corie Tracey, Keith Quinn; Dean Ebbe, Ryan Connolly, Rhys Gorman, Derek O’Brien; Josh O’Hanlon, David O’Sullivan. Subs: Daniel Purdy for O’Brien, Keith Gillespie for O’Sullivan), Gary Shaw for O’Hanlon.

Finn Harps - Ciaran Gallagher; James Doherty, Josh Mailey, Keith Cowan, Ciaran Coll; Shaun McGowan, Shane McGinty, Pat McCann, Mark Forker; Sean McCarron, Lee Toland. Subs: Paul McVeigh for McGowan and Michael Doherty for Toland, Jordan Duffy for Forker (86 mins).