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Three points for Harps at the RSC

Waterford Utd 0-1 Finn Harps

Two weeks of meticulous planning saw the Finn Harps players deliver a hugely important win over Waterford Utd at the RSC on Friday night. Striker Mikey Place scored the game’s only goal from the penalty spot with ten minutes remaining. Place had won the spot-kick after being taken down himself by Georgie Poynton. Horgan was relieved to get the three points which puts his side level with UCD at the foot of the table but the Students still have a game in hand and a significantly superior goal difference.

However, the Harps boss said that the team need more results like that if they are to stay in the battle to avoid the drop to Division 1. “We’re not going to get carried away with this result. We are still at the bottom of the table even after winning at the RSC. UCD are ahead of us with a far better goal difference and that’s as good as a point to them. Derry is next for us on Friday night at Finn Park. We have lost twice to them this season in the league and once in EA Sports Cup. Feeling good after the win against is a boost for everyone but it’ won’t get us a result against Derry. We’ll have to play a way better to get even a point because we will be coming up against a team that is fourth in the table and pushing for European football next season.” Horgan said.

When the two sides met at the RSC earlier in the season, Harps lost 4-0 but did play with ten men from the 26th minute. Horgan’s men did defeat Waterford at Finn Park back in May when Place scored twice.

In a relatively quiet first half, Waterford had the slight edge in terms of attacking incidents in the early stages with a Shane Duggan corner being headed over by Maxim Koughan in the seventh minute. Former Harps player Michael O’Connor was involved in another move that saw Duggan drag a shot wide. At the other, Sam Todd header over from a Harry Ascroft cross while Daniel O’Reilly shot straight at keeper Matthew Connor when in a very good scoring position. Just after the break another Duggan effort was saved by Mark Anthony McGinley.

The lively Raffaele Cretaro unleashed a terrific long range strike that went just inches over the bar. The visitors were coming more into the game and a diving O’Reilly header went just the wrong side of the upright. Place tried his luck with a 30-yard shot that Connor gathered at the second attempt.

The game’s only goal arrived with 10 minutes remaining when  Place latched onto a Cretaro pass. The striker took on Poynton inside the penalty area, slipping by the defender on the outside and forcing the foul. Referee Robert Hennessey had no hesitation in awarding the spot-kick. Place made no mistake from the resultant penalty. Harps right-back Jacob Borg tested Connor as gaps opened up in the Waterford defence. However, the visitors did also survive a couple of scary moments in their own goalmouth with McGinley acrobatically turning Kenny Browne’s close-range header over the bar. Waterford FC - Matthew Connor, George Poynton, Rob Slevin, Maxim Kouogan, Kenny Browne, Shane Duggan (Karolis Chvedukas 82), Tom Holland, JJ Lunney, Michael O'Connor, Cory Galvin (Will Fitzgerald 74), Dean O’Halloran (Dean Walsh 61).

Finn Harps - Mark Anthony McGinley, Jacob Borg, Mark Russell, Sam Todd, Keith Cowan, Daniel O’Reilly, Gareth Harkin, Harry Ascroft (Niall Logue 88), Mikey Place (Tony McNamee 91), Raffael Cretaro, Mark Timlin (Caolan McAleer 65). Not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Colm Deasy Joshua Smith

Ref: Robert Hennessy