Finn Harps 1-0 Bohemians
For the first time this season Finn Harps recorded a win over Bohemians and it was a significant result as it moves Ollie Horgan’s outfit six points ahead of UCD in the League of Ireland Premier Division table.
Report and images by Declan Kerr, Finn Harps Media Officer
It was a 1-0 victory for the third week in a row on Friday night at Finn Park with Harry Ascroft proving to be match winner for the second time in seven days. The Australian’s superb eighth minute strike proved to be the game’s only goal after Harps had lost their three previous league matches against Bohs this season.
Horgan said getting the first goal is always a huge advantage for his side. “When you get the first goal, you have something to hold on to and thankfully Harry [Ascroft] got us in front early. There was a long way to go but it put more pressure on Bohs who came to Finn Park for three points. If we had gone behind early on, then a team with their capabilities would really have stretched and exposed us. We went behind early against UCD and even though we played quite well for the rest of the game, it ended in defeat for us. The lads have done well since but there is huge amount of hard work ahead. We have Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght next Friday in the FAI Cup and then it’s Oriel Park to play Dundalk in the league in two weeks time. So must keep grounded and prepare as best we can now for the Rovers game” Horgan said.
Horgan made one enforced change from the win over Derry City with Tony McNamee coming in for the suspended Raffaele Cretaro.
With UCD losing to Derry City on Friday night, Harps now have that six-point cushion and a +6 goal difference but the Students do still have a game in hand. On Friday night the hosts started well and took the lead on eight minutes when Mark Timlin, Jacob Borg and Mikey Place combined to setup Ascroft whose 20 yard half volley flew past Bohs keeper James Talbot at the River End of the ground.
Harps, didn’t sit back and pressed for a second forcing a handful of corners and a couple of long throw-ins from Tony McNamee but Talbot wasn’t seriously tested as the men in front of him defended well. The visitors came more into the game and the home side survived an anxious moment on the half-hour mark before eventually clearing the danger. Still, Mark Anthony McGinley didn’t have a save of note to make in the first half.
Keith Long’s outfit were a bit more threatening in the second half with an Andre Wright effort going just wide but the hosts were also stringing together some nice passages of play. McNamee slipped Borg through on the right wing and his low cross saw Gareth Harkin slide in but the midfielder just didn’t get sufficient power in his shot to trouble Talbot on 57 minutes.
Harps continued to probe with Mark Russell and Timlin teeing up Ascroft whose 25 yard drive went narrowly wide. Timlin also had a deflected shot saved by Talbot. With 12 minutes of normal time remaining Horgan introduced new signing Ruairi Harkin in place of Timlin. Wright had an attempt comfortably saved while at the other end a McNamee drive flew well wide of the target.
Finn Harps - Mark Anthony McGinley; Jacob Borg, Daniel O’Reilly, Keith Cowan, Sam Todd, Mark Russell, Gareth Harkin, Harry Ascroft, Tony McNamee (Shaun Doherty 92), Mikey Place (Nathan Boyle 81) Mark Timlin (Ruairi Harkin 78). Subs not used: Peter Burke (Gk), Colm Deasy, Liam Walsh, Josh Smith
Bohemians - James Talbot, Michael Barker, Darragh Leahy, James Finnerty, Aaron Barry, Sam Allardice (Robby McCourt 58), Luke Wade Slater, Conor Levingston, Daniel Mandroiu (Ross Tierney 74), Andre Wright, Keith Ward (Danny Grant 46).
Referee: Damien McGrath.