IRE D1
Date: 8 p.m. July 12, 2013
Venue: Finn Park
Ref: Simon Rogers
Att:



Finn Harps 0 - 0 Longford Town

Fri, Jul 12 2013

Longford Town maintained their four-point lead at the top of the Airtricity League First Division after a scoreless draw in a drab affair in Ballybofey on Friday night.

 

The first half was devoid of entertainment with neither goalkeeper getting called into action at all. The closest either side came was when David O’Sullivan headed an early cross from William Tyrell wide of Ciaran Gallagher’s goal.

 

The league leaders have had problems seeing off the Ballybofey team in recent times with Peter Hutton’s team defeating the midlanders in both the previous meetings this season – 1-0 at home in March and the 3-2 away at Flancare Park in May.

 

But despite those good results, Harps’ recent form has been wretched with just one point picked up from the last five outings and that was in the demoralising 2-2 home draw with Cobh Ramblers seven nights’ beforehand when a two-goal lead was squandered.

 

Hutton made five changes from that team with Stephen O’Donnell making a first start in 15 months having recovered from a cruciate knee injury sustained in the opening weeks of last season. O’Donnell came in for top scorer Sean McCarron to play on the right of a 4-3-3 formation alongside Kevin McHugh and Gary Merritt, who replaced the hamstrung Michael Funston.

 

Keith Cowan, who scored in each of Harps’ last three outings, was suspended, while Thomas McMonagle missed out with a foot injury and they were replaced by Josh Mailey and Shaun McGowan. Johnny Bonner came in for Tommy Bonnar.

 

After their 2-1 win against Waterford United the previous weekend, Tony Cousins, the Longford Town manager, brought in Corie Tracey and Gary Shaw for match-winner Glen O’Connor and Daniel Purdy.

 

Harps began the second half positively with James Doherty breaking to the byline on the right and pulling back to McHugh 12 yards from goal. However, the Harps captain opened his body too much and lamely sidefooted wide.

 

The visitors felt they were deserving of a penalty on 57 minutes when Shaw appeared to be taken down by Gallagher in the Harps penalty area. However, the protestations came to nothing. O’Sullivan also put the ball into the Harps net but was ruled out for offside on 75 minutes.

 

Harps shaded the second half and substitute Michéal Doherty broke into space on the right but lifted over both Chris Bennion and the Longford crossbar. The home team did improve marginally in an attacking sense and had a couple of opportunities that came to nothing from placed balls.

 

But the lack of goalmouth action continued despite Longford introducing the recently recruited Dean Ebbe from Shamrock Rovers in the final quarter of an hour. A draw would’ve been of meek consolation to both managers. It was Harps’ first clean sheet in six in the league and Longford keep their noses in front of neighbours Athlone, who drew 0-0 with Cobh. But all in all, it was a forgettable match.




Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; James Doherty, Aaron O’Hagan, Josh Mailey, Ciaran Coll; Shaun McGowan, Mark Forker (Thomas Bonnar 89), Johnny Bonner; Stephen O’Donnell (Michéal Doherty 61), Kevin McHugh, Gary Merritt.
Subs not used: Shaun Patton, Hugh Carlin, Matt Harkin, Paul McVeigh, Sean McCarron.
 

Longford Town: Chris Bennion; Noel Haverty, Des Hope (Keith Gillespie 61), Corie Tracey, William Tyrell; David O’Neill, Rhys Gorman, Keith Quinn, Derek O’Brien; Gary Shaw (Dean Ebbe 76), David O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Paul Hunt, Brian McCarthy, Josh O'Hanlon, Gavin Doyle.
 

Referee: Simon Rogers.

Attendance: .

 



Finn Harps
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Aaron O'Hagan
Defender
Josh Mailey
Defender
James Doherty
Defender
Ciaran Coll
Defender
Gary Merritt
Midfielder
Shaun McGowan
Midfielder
Mark Forker
85Booked: 85'
89'
89Subbed Off: 89'
Midfielder
Jonny Bonner
Midfielder
Stephen O'Donnell
61'
61Subbed Off: 61'
Forward
Kevin McHugh
31Booked: 31'
Forward

Substitutes
Shaun Patton
Goalkeeper
Paul McVeigh
Forward
Sean McCarron
Forward
Matt Harkin
Forward
Michael Doherty
61'
61Subbed On: 61'
89Booked: 89'
Midfield
Hugh Carlin
Midfield
Thomas Bonner
89'
89Subbed On: 89'
Midfield
Longford Town
Chris Bennion
Goalkeeper
Willie Tyrell
Defender
Corie Tracey
Defender
Des Hope
Defender 61'
61Subbed Off: 61'
Noel Haverty
Defender
70Booked: 70'
Keith Quinn
Midfielder
David O'Neill
Midfielder
Derek O'Brien
Midfielder
Rhys Gorman
Midfielder
Gary Shaw
Forward 76'
76Subbed Off: 76'
David O'Sullivan
Forward

Substitutes
Daniel Purdy
Forward
Josh O'Hanlon
Midfield
Brian McCarthy
Defender
Paul Hunt
Goalkeeper
Keith Gillespie
Midfield
61Subbed On: 61'
61'
Dean Ebbe
Forward
76Subbed On: 76'
76'
Gavin Doyle
Forward


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