Derry City 3 - 0 Finn HarpsWed, Feb 08 2012
Derry City ran out comfortable winners against Finn Harps in Tuesday night’s pre-season friendly at a chilly Brandywell.
Harps made the worst possible start when, after 35 seconds, Ramelton native Barry McNamee headed home from close range after Ciaran Gallagher had spilled a corner from another man who used to ply his trade in Ballybofey, Stephen McLaughlin.
Then, on the hour-mark, Rory Patterson rolled home a penalty when Harps substitute Paul McVeigh was adjudged to have pushed McLaughlin.
Mark Farren came from the bench to add a third 19 minutes from time, when he and Patterson broke onto a pass from Thomas McMonagle, on loan at Harps from Derry, and squared to his strike partner to score.
The last 25 minutes or so were extremely patchy, as is the norm for pre-season friendlies, and Derry looked nearer fitness than their neighbours from across the border. Nevertheless, the resepective management teams of Declan Devine and Paul Hegarty in Derry and Peter Hutton and Felix Healy at Harps were all glad of the run-out.
Harps, who open their First Division campaign away to Limerick on Friday, March 2, would’ve liked to have tested Gerard Doherty or substitute goalkeeper Seamus Houghton from Glengad a bit more. As well as that they picked up a couple of early injuries.
Tommy Bonner, who started at right-back, was a forced withdrawal only seven minutes in with a head injury and Gary Whoriskey came on in his stead. There was a second switch just after the 20-minute mark when Stephen O’Donnell was taken off following a knock.
Despite that uneasy start, Harps got the ball down and more than matched their hosts for the remainder of the half, without ever really testing Gerard Doherty in the Derry goal. At the other end, Patrick McEleney, the outstanding player of the first half, almost swung in a second after Aaron O’Hagan lost possession.
Gallagher atoned for his previous error when he pushed McDaid’s attempted curler around the post, after Barry Molloy had laid on the opportunity. After the break, Harps’ McMonagle, almost got caught on
the ball in his own area but recovered well and Rory Patterson broke through the Harps defence but the second and third soon arrived as the temperature gauge, both on and off the pitch, gradually lessened.
Derry City: Gerard Doherty (Seamus Houghton 46); Simon Madden, Ryan McBride, Shane McEleney (Matthew Crossan 65), Barry McNamee; Barry Molloy, Patrick McEleney (Ryan Curran 75); Stephen McLaughlin (Mark Farren 65), Rory Patterson (Michael Barr 45), Nicolae Milinceanu; David McDaid (James Henry 54).
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher (Sean Patton 80); Tommy Bonner (Gary Merritt 7), Keith Cowan (Paul McVeigh 54), Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Greene (Adam Clarke 54); Hugh Carlin), Aaron O’Hagan (Ryan McGarvey 65), Barry O’Mahony (Shane McGinty 65), Ciaran Coll; Kevin McHugh (Daragh Healy 65), Stephen O’Donnell (Blain Curtis 21).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin