Finn Harps got a confidence boosting win in the EA Sports League Cup against the Mayo League at Finn Park on Monday night.
Five minutes was all it took for the home team to hit the front and debutant Paul Simon Treacy was heavily involved. From Tracey's devilish delivery, central defender David Reilly bundled the ball past his own goalkeeper Alvin McCallig.
Then, two minutes into the second half, Kevin McHugh scored his third goal of the campaign when he was set free by James Doherty. The Harps skipper had the freedom of half the park as he strode through the finish well across McCallig for 2-0.
The Mayo League created a couple of openings midway through the half. First off, Enda Reilly tried to lob Ciaran Gallagher from 15 yards only for the Harps goalkeeper to backpedal and make a fine save leaning back just underneath the crossbar. Gallagher was called into action again when Keith Duffy had an effort saved after his original pop at goal from a free-kick hit the defensive wall.
The best move of the half came when Paul McVeigh couldn't convert a cross from Ciaran Coll after Kevin McHugh had chested a Thomas McMonagle ball into his path. The build-up certainly deserved a goal but former Fanad United midfielder McVeigh couldn't get over the ball and it skewed harmlessly off target.
Tommy McBride, who came off the bench, headed over from a Doherty cross approaching the hour. Then, Shane McGinty let fly from the edge of the penalty area only to see the ball whizz just off the mark.
Tracey then came within a whisker of adding a third when he latched onto an excellent cross-field pass by Barry O'Mahony, however, his prod at goal went just wide of the post.
Another substitute, Blain Curtis, really should've scored when he headed against the post from no more than six yards after a cross by McVeigh.
Harps fitness told approaching the end but even that wouldn't have spared the blushes of Keith Duffy, who almost lobbed his own goalkeeper with a sloppy sliced clearance, only for McCallig to scamper back to save. Then, in the last minute Treacy was unlucky to see his free-kick hit the crossbar.
Harps are back in action on Saturday when they travel to Waterford United.
Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; James Doherty, Peter Hutton, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Paul McVeigh (Gary Merritt '76), Shaun McGowan (Thomas McBride '46), Barry O'Mahony, Paul Simon Tracey, Shane McGinty; Kevin McHugh (Blain Curtis '50).
Subs Not Used: Shaun Patton, Aaron O'Hagan, Thomas Bonner.
Mayo League: Alvin McCallig; Matthew Hamilton (Danny Broderick '78), Keith Duffy, David Reilly, James Stretton; Paul Convey (Derek Glynn '78), Enda Reilly, Daniel Gorman (Brian McHale '84), Mick Duffy; Brian Gallagher, Brendan Lavelle.
Referee: Paul McLoughlin (Monaghan).