Finn Harps manager Peter Hutton has said he wanted to include on loan Derry City player Thomas McMonagle in his starting eleven for the F.A.I. Cup second round game against the Candy Stripes at the Brandywell on Friday evening.
Hutton, who made more than 500 appearances for Derry City before leaving the club to join Cliftonville in 2009, was forced to fill in for McMonagle who was on the Harps’ bench.
“I wanted Thomas [McMonagle] to start in the team tonight but that’s the way things go. I wasn’t too keen on playing myself and I am sure I will feel every bit of my 39 years when I wake up tomorrow morning.”
McMonagle, (21), joined Harps on loan from Derry City at the start of the season.
There was no clause written into the player’s contract stating that he could not play for Finn Harps against Derry City.
The Burnfoot born central defender did appear for Harps against Derry in last month’s league cup fixture at the Brandywell but Derry City boss Declan Devine said he was glad the player did not feature against the Candy Stripes on Friday.
“Thomas McMonagle is on loan from Derry City and we would have looked rather foolish had Thomas scored the winner or hurt one of our players - common sense prevailed,” said Devine after the game.
Derry progressed to the last 16 of the F.A.I. Cup courtesy of two goals from Stephen McLaughlin and one a piece from Rory Patterson and Barry Molloy.
“Stephen McLaughlin is just continuing to get better and better,” said Devine.
“The lad’s going from strength to strength. He’s taken a few games this season by the scruff of the neck and pulled us through.
“Stephen’s second goal was nothing short of out of this world for technical ability. He flicked the ball up and volleyed it into the top corner - you’d have to go a long way to see a better individual goal.
“But I thought that the standard of all our goals tonight was very good. I was really impressed with the build-up that led to Rory Patterson’s goal. I think there were 26 or 27 passes in the lead up to the goal. It was a fantastic pass forward and then a great finish by Rory.
“I also thought Barry Molloy’s goal was good too. It was a fantastic cross from Ruaidhri Higgins and a timed to perfection run and header from Barry.”
He added: “As much as Stephen’s two goals changed the direction of the game I believe that the team’s performance in the second half merited a 4-0 win.”
Owen Morrison started against Finn Harps and impressed with his ability to pick out a pass just outside of the Harps’ penalty area.
The 30 year-old attacking midfielder set-up McLaughlin for his second strike and his pass which led to Patterson’s goal was top class.
“Owen Morrison has been very good over the last few weeks. He had a good impact on the Setanta Sports Cup final as well as our three recent league wins.
“Owen changed the game when he came on against Bray Wanderers on Monday. Owen is a player that we all know what he is capable of and I think that he was technically superb tonight.
“Owen has bags of talent and he can be a tremendous asset to this football club. We are delighted to have him and we are also delighted that he’s getting an injury free run in the team. When Owen joined at the end of last season he was very unfortunate to pick up a calf injury and at the start of this season he was unlucky to miss games.
“As you can see from Owen at the minute he looks to be enjoying his football again and if Owen is fit, playing well and enjoying his football then he’s a major asset to this club.”