Longford Town U15 1 Finn Harps U15 3
Harps traveled to Longford to play their last group game of the 1st section of the U15 national league . McBride's boys knew that a win would ensure Harps finished top of the group.
Harps started well and created a few chances which were not put to bed. Conor Campbell and Oisin McKelvey were controlling the midfield well, passing the ball about. Against the run of play Harps conceded the 1st goal of the game when a mistimed pass in the back line was intercepted by the Longford number 9 who put the ball low and hard into the net past the outstretching Fintan Doherty in the Harps goal.
Longford applied a lot of pressure to the young Harps team and looked like the only team interested in scoring, however the Harps rearguard stood firm and saw the game out to half time.
McBride brought on U15 international Luke McGlynn who returned from injury and veteran centre back Cuan Lafferty at half time and their impact was instant as a McGlynn ball on the 41st minute was found by Campbell whose shot flew past the keeper into the net to make it 1-1.
On the 45th minute Harps struck again. Oisin McKelvey, who has been in great form recently, got his 3rd of the campaign when an attack down the right hand side was crossed in by Campbell who found McKelvey in space and he slotted past the Longford keeper.
Harps were in cruise control with Colin Mooney and Noah Barrett bombing up the pitch from full back, McGlynn marshalling the midfield and Josh Maxwell causing all sorts of problems. Harps truly should have scored a few more with Mark Mbuli and Cathal Campbell missing clear cut chances.
Harps were starting to Pay the price for their missed chances, Longford started to apply the pressure and should have scored 2 goals in the space of 5 minutes however Man of the match Fintan Doherty was in inspirational form to keep out the efforts of the Longford attackers .
Longfords striker saw red when he was blown up for foul language towards the ref and Harps capitalized. Substitute Jamie Harris played a great ball over the top to Maxwell who unleashed a powerful shot from 25 yards high into the top right corner on the 65th minute.
Harps pushed for a 4th but found the Longford sub keeper hard to beat.
Paul McBrides lads now prepare for the 2nd phase of the campaign where they will meet the countries best teams from the 4 corners of Ireland.
MOM: Fintan Doherty
Harps: Fintan Doherty, Colin Mooney, Noah Barrett, Daniel Dalton, Jamie O Donnell, Oisin Lynch, Mark Mbuli, Conor Campbell (captain), Josh Maxwell, Oisin McKelvey, Aidan McCloskey
Subs: Eoin McGettigan, Luke McGlynn(Mbuli), Cuan Lafferty(Dalton), Jamie McKinney(Mooney), Ciaran Dalton(McCloskey), Jamie Harris(Lynch), Liam Donnelly, Ben O Donnell