Harps progress to next round after St. Pats battle

Finn Harps 1 - 0 St. Patrick's Athletic

Finn Harps got their first win of the restart on Monday night in a hard-fought win over St. Patrick's Athletic. Harps took the lead early on after Ryan Connolly made the most of a defensive mixup. The win sees Harps progress through to the last 16 of the FAI Cup and will hopefully restore some confidence ahead of their next league game.

There were changes on both sides after St. Pats' comfortable 2-0 win on Friday night, with four new faces in the Harps lineup and five for the visitors.

Harps got off to a flier when after five minutes in Connolly put the hosts ahead. Karl O'Sullivan crossed for Connolly, who was on hand to stab home after a miscommunication between Pats 'keeper Kearns and defender Rory Feely left the midfielder with an open goal to aim for.

The lead was almost doubled a few minutes later. New signing Stephen Folan, making his home debut, went close with a free kick but Kearns did well to push the defender's effort around the post.

Chances were few and far between for the remainder of the half. Both sides played some good football at times but their efforts were thwarted in the final third by good defending at both ends.

The Saints could have levelled before the break, when Martin Rennie's layoff was met by Darragh Markey whose shot slipped wide of the Harps goal.

Ollie Horgan's side were once again the brighter after the restart, but failed to find that finishing touch as the move ended in a Sam Todd effort that flew over the crossbar.

The visitors began to turn the screw, with the introductions of Robbie Benson, Chris Forrester and Georgie Kelly helping them find their rhythm. It was the former who went closest to levelling for the Saints after a deflected effort struck Mark McGinley's post and went out for a corner.

Despite the pressure from St. Pats the Harps backline held firm for a well deserved win and first clean sheet since the opening game of the season vs Sligo Rovers.

Finn Harps: Mark Anthony McGinley; Dave Webster, Kosovar Sadiki, Leo Donnellan, Stephen Folan, Sam Todd; Ryan Connolly (Tony McNamee 86), Adrian Delap, Ruairi Harkin (Mark Coyle 78); Raff Cretaro (Mark Russell 69), Karl O’Sullivan.

Subs Not Used: Patrick McGarvey, Kieran Farren, Stephen Doherty, Alexander Kogler.

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