Finn Harps 3 -
Waterford FC 2
The Blues team that lost out to Finn Harps in the Premier Division in Balleybrofey on Friday night.
SSE Airtricity Premier Division
Waterford FC crashed to another defeat on the road after the Blues conceded a 90th minute goal that gave Finn Harps back to back home wins in the league for the first time this season in their SSE Airtricity Premier Division clash played at Ballybofey on Friday night.
It looked as if the Blues were set to leave the Donegal venue with a share of the spoils after skipper Damien Delaney forced home a late equalising goal, but the hosts struck for the winner seconds later when Sean Boyd beat Matt Connor with an effort from inside the area.
After Alan Reynolds’ side beat Finn Harps earlier in the season 4-0 at the RSC, they went into the game as favourites against an Ollie Horgan outfit that were missing a number of key players through suspension and things seemed to be going to plan when the Blues struck for the lead goal inside four minutes.
Cory Galvin, who retained his place in the starting eleven despite coming off in the 3-3 draw against Sligo Rovers, was the man that did well to hold off the challenge of a Finn Harps before setting up Aaron Drinan and the striker fired home his seventh league goal of the season past Peter Burke.
HARPS IN FRONT
With the Blues having a lot of the possession early in the game, they were pegged back level on 24 minutes when Rory Feely was judged to have fouled Mikey Place 20-yards from goal and although Matt Connor got his hand to Place’s effort, he couldn’t stop the ball from finding the net.
Bastien Héry went close to putting the Blues back in front with 31 minutes on the clock when he cracked in a shot from the edge of the penalty area, but the ball flashed just inches wide of the far post guarded by Harps keeper Burke.
To the disbelief of the Waterford faithful, Finn Harps were awarded a penalty by referee Paul McLaughlin seven minutes later when the Monaghan official judged that Georgie Poynton had committed a foul on Liam Walsh near the endline. Mikey Place was the man that assumed responsibility from the spot and he gave Matt Connor no chance whatsoever with a spot-kick that found the top corner.
Things could have got even worse for the Blues on the stroke of the half-time whistle when Sean Boyd should have added a third goal for his side when he could free inside the penalty area, but he failed to hit the target as his free header went over the bar.
The same player should have wrapped up all three points for the home side with the first of a limited half for chances in the second period when he took a pass from Mikey Place on 48 minutes, but the on-loan centre forward could only blaze over the crossbar.
Shane Duggan went close to restoring parity for his side on the hour mark when he tried his luck with a cracking volley from the edge of the penalty area, but the ball went wide of Burke’s goal before a last-ditch Rory Feely tackle at the other end denied Sean Boyd a certain goal minutes later.
With time ticking down towards the 90th minute, Waterford scored what many felt would be an equalising goal when Georgie Poynton sent over a corner-kick that picked out the run of Izzy Akinade and after he sent the ball back across the face of goal, Damien Delaney was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.
But there was one final twist in the game in the final seconds as Finn Harps struck for the winner when the impressive Mikey Place slipped the ball into the path of Sean Boyd and after missing easier chances in the game, he kept his composure to fire the ball between Matt Connor’s legs.
FINN HARPS: Peter Burke, Niall Logue, Daniel O’Reilly, John Kavanagh; Michael Gallagher (Colm Deasy `8), Mark Russell; Tony McNamee, Jacob Borg; Mikey Place (Stephen Doherty `90), Liam Walsh (Nathan Boyle `63), Sean Boyd.
WATERFORD FC: Matt Connor, Georgie Poynton, Damien Delaney, Rory Feely, JJ Lunney, Karolis Chvedukas (Scott Twine `66), Shane Duggan; Cory Galvin (John Martin `88), Bastien Héry, Aaron Drinan, Izzy Akinade.
Referee: Paul McLaughlin (Monaghan).