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Bohs blues for Harps

Finn Harps 0-1 Bohemians Match Sponsor Harkin's Gala Ballybofey

Ollie Horgan is still looking for a first League of Ireland Premier Division win after Bohemians bagged all three points in Ballybofey on Friday night thanks to a 38th minute Daniel Grant goal. The result keeps Harps rooted to the bottom of the table while Bohs held on to second place in the top flight. From the night of the play-off win in Limerick, Horgan predicted that it was going to be a colossal battle for his side to compete against the quality of the other teams in the Premier and that has been borne out by a start to the season that has included nine defeats and just two draws.

Stephen Doherty

Despite the disappointing start Horgan and the players have vowed to keep the heads up as the battle continues for a first win of the season. “Look it’s a very challenging time for us all at the Club but this is also a time for us all to keep putting the shoulder to the wheel to try and turn things around. Maybe some people didn’t want to hear it but I said immediately after the win over Limerick at the Markets Field last November that right from that moment we were facing a monumental task to compete in the Premier Division with the resources we have compared to every other team. Listen, it’s still great to be playing against the top teams like Bohs and this is where our players want to be. They have worked so hard and deserve a change in fortunes and it won’t be for a lack of effort from them or myself and Paul Hegarty. This is time for everyone at Finn Harps to explore every avenue to try and get that positive result that will hopefully get us on track to have a good shot at staying in the Premier Division” Horgan said.

After Grant has put the visitors in front, Harps were fortunate not to fall further behind when a Dinny Corcoran effort came back off the base of a post and from the rebound Ciaran Gallagher did well to save from Keith Ward. In a low key opening to the game a Nathan Boyle strike forced Bohs keeper James Talbot into a decent save. Just before Keith Long’s side took the lead Gallagher also made a super stop from a rasping Kevin Devaney drive. Seven minutes before the interval the breakthrough came when Ward’ cross wasn’t dealt with by the home defence allowing Grant to strike into the ball into ground and beyond Gallagher.

The visitors were on top from there to the break and the game was scare of goalmouth incidents until nine minutes from the end of normal time when Corcoran’s close range attempt forced Gallagher into a good save. Harps had an 88th minute penalty appeal turned down by ref Damien McGrath after Bohs Aaron Barry appeared to have impeded sub Mikey Place.

In the fourth minute of injury time, Talbot saved from a Boyle shot following a Tony McNamee cross but it wasn’t to be for Harps in terms of even getting a share of the spoils.

Match Ball Sponsor: Holmes Service Station Donegal Town

Finn Harps - Ciaran Gallagher;  John Kavanagh, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Daniel O’Reilly (Mikey Place 68 mins); Jacob Borg, Mark Coyle, Mark Russell; Caolan McAleer; Nathan Boyle, Stephen Doherty (Tony McNamee h-t). Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Niall McGinley, Liam Walsh, Michael Gallagher, Raffaele Cretaro.

Bohemians - James Talbot; Derek Pender, James Finnerty, Aaron Barry, Darragh Leahy; Daniel Grant (Ali Reghba 80), Keith Buckley, Kevin Devaney, Conor Levingston; Dinny Corcoran (Ryan Swan 90), Keith Ward (Daniel Mandroiu 71).

Ref:Damien McGrath.