Finn Harps U15 3 Sligo Rovers U15 1
Harps and Sligo played out an entertaining game at a blustery Diamond Park, Ballyare.
Sligo kicked off proceedings but it was Harps who started brighter. The 1st goal was scored on 4 minutes when Harps left back Oisin Lynch played a sublime pass down the touch line to Conor Campbell, Campbell’s shot was parried out and fell to Lynch who curled the ball into the right hand side of the net.
Sligo tried to get momentum going and had a lot of success down their left side as their big number 11 was causing all sorts of problems for the Harps rearguard . The centre back pairing of Cuan Lafferty and Daniel Dalton did well to snuff out any danger . Harps midfield of Jamie McKinney, Jamie Harris and Oisin McKelvey were controlling the Harps attack well, McKinney most notably was in fine form covering every blade of grass which we have become accustomed to.
Harps grabbed their 2nd on the 25th minute when an attack down the right side of midfield was finished off well by Ciaran Dalton, there was a mix up at the back with the Sligo defenders allowing the ball to roll across the box for Dalton to finish .
Harps pushes for a 3rd before half time however Sligo had a few chances between the 30th and 36th minute of the game however last ditch defending snuffed out the threat of a Sligo goal.
The 2nd half kicked off and was very similar to the 1st. Sligo showed signs of the quality they have however Harps looked like scoring every time they had the ball . On the 60th minute a badly timed back pass from the Sligo defender to his keeper was met by Harps striker Liam Donnelly who rounded the keeper and put the ball into the back of the Sligo net with his left foot.
Harps made 5 changes in the 2nd half, substitute Aidan McCloskey had a great chance to make it four, a Conor Campbell delivery across the box was met by McCloskey however he misconnected with the ball scuffing the shot wide.
Sligo desperately tried to grab a goal back sending attack after attack into the Harps box. The Harps netminder did well to pluck a few of these chances out of the air and into his safe grasp.
Sligo were gifted a lifeline in the 68th minute when skipper Cuan Lafferty handled the ball in the box, the ref pointed to the spot and the Sligo captain stepped up. The Irish U15 international made no mistake with his effort placing it past McGettigan.
Sligo found a new sense of belief and almost grabbed a 2nd when a through ball into the box was almost met by the Sligo striker however Harps skipper Lafferty showed his captain and centre back credentials by putting his body on the line to get back any make the clearance .
Harps almost grabbed a 4th in the dying minutes when another Harps sub , Josh Maxwell made a charging run down the right hand side of the pitch. He had the goal at his mercy but tried to pull the ball back across the box for team mate Jamie O Donnell however the Sligo captain intercepted.
Conor Campbell took the man of the match award with a fine display. He was central to most Harps attacks, however the young Harps winger showed today he isn’t shy of his defensive duties with a string of fine challenges.
Harps goalscorers were Oisin Lynch, Ciaran Dalton and Liam Donnelly.
This win puts Harps in a commanding position at the summit however, McBride's lads know nothing less than a win away to Longford next weekend at the City Calling Stadium is needed to ensure a 1st place finish.
Harps team: Eoin McGettigan Colin Mooney Cuan Lafferty (captain) Daniel Dalton Oisin Lynch Jamie McKinney Ciaran Dalton Jamie Harris Liam Donnelly Oisin McKelvey Conor Campbell
Subs Fintan Doherty Josh maxwell Jamie O Donnell Noah Barrett Mark Mbuli Aidan McCloskey
This win puts harps in a commanding position at the summit however Mcbrides lads know nothing less than a win away to Longford next weekend at the city calling stadium is needed to ensure a 1st place finish .