Having just made it in time for the game I had high hopes for the fixture after witnessing Limerick’s demolition of Drogheda last Saturday in the Markets Field.
Two early goals saw a poor Drogheda side unable to answer Limerick’s class on the night.
Making my journey home to Castlebar I recall chatting to my uncle about the game “how it should be an easy win for Finn Harps if their performance is anything like it was tonight”, how wrong was I?
Finn Harps having beat Derry City one week ago in what is always a great contest between two northwest rivals, were almost like a team who had won the league, still celebrating after a great win against Derry almost hung-over.
Drogheda had to regain pride and came out the better team with Stephen Elliot running from deep to be eventually dispossessed.
A game that had fans calling for the ball to be brought down and for the two clubs to play football but with Harps unable to find men from crosses or passes for that Drogheda capitalised.
Just on the half-hour mark Stephen Elliot crossed to Wixted who was free at the back post to head home with a rather vocal Hegarty expressing his frustration “I seen it coming a f*****g mile away”
heard in the stand, accepted in the stand and echoed by the stand.
Drogheda were the dominant side but McAleer gave harps a boost with a good shot at the edge of the box only rising, not testing the goalkeeper.
A poor first half concluded by referee Rob Harvey who had to be escorted off at halftime by the stewards, a rather rare sight to see an official escorted at the end of the first half.
Finn Harps had a determined look on their faces when they strolled onto the Finn Park pitch hoping to pick off where they left off in taking three points off local neighbours Derry City.
Chances galore for the home side but none found the back of the net, and very few found the target to add to that.
The first real opportunity was presented to Houston, playing at striker with BJ Banda, Morrissey and O’Connor all unavailable due to injury. Paddy McCourt picked out Houston with a great ball over the top but was unable to connect firing left and wide from close range.
McCourt was involved minutes later making his way into the box setting up Funston who blasted over from inches away to the disappointment of the supporters.
When your luck is out, your luck certainly is out however luck in my opinion isn’t an accurate description of the Harps performance.
Paddy McCourt yet again involved delivered a pass around the back of the Drogheda defence with McAleer sure to score but nothing was clicking for the Ballybofey side.
After a dominant spell of possession from Harps Drogheda didn’t relent, Wixted picking up a mis-placed McCourt pass beating his man with a lovely McGeady spin but only for a handball in the Harps box by a Drogheda player it was a three on two situation rather near that could have put the game to bed.
The game was put to bed minutes later; Gavin Brennan tapped home past Gallagher who had already made his move unable to stop the goal to put Drogheda in the driving seat after a pinpoint pass from Colm Deasy.
A disappointing loss for Harps who now travel to Bohemians on Friday the 28th in search of a much needed 3 points despite avoiding the drop zone with the Results in the Premier Division for this round going their way.
Image Credit: RTE.ie