Finn Harps have retained second place in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, after a 3-1 away victory over Athlone Town. It leaves the Donegal side four points behind leaders UCD, although the Students do have a game in hand. In the opening f
Finn Harps have retained second place in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, after a 3-1 away victory over Athlone Town.
It leaves the Donegal side four points behind leaders UCD, although the Students do have a game in hand. In the opening few minutes Finn Harps had the majority of possession without ever really threatening the opposition goal, with most of the game being played in midfield.
Athlone took the lead in the lead in the 9th minute via a close range header from Nika Kalandarishvili, nodding home an excellent Shane Stokes free kick delivery. Kalandarishvili almost doubled his side’s lead on the half hour mark, with Harps ‘keeper Ciaran Gallagher forced into a smart save down low to prevent what would have been another goal against the run of play.
The Donegal side finally made their pressure pay in the 34th minute, when a scramble in the box resulting from a corner allowed Nathan Boyle to poke the ball home and draw the scores level.
They nearly took the lead five minutes after the interval after defender Jacob Borg was left unmarked in the box, but his glancing header was directed straight at Michael Fogarty in the Athlone goal.
Harps would finally take the lead a few moments later, when Boyle produced a great touch to control the ball after a long diagonal ball into the box. He was allowed far too much space by the Athlone defence before turning the ball home into the bottom corner for his second of the match.
The visitors looked comfortable form here on, with Mick Coyle almost doubling their lead with a good effort from the edge area which was turned away by Fogarty. They would find that insurance goal seven minutes from full time.
The ball fell to the feet of captain Keith Cowlan from a corner, with the defender turning and producing a stunning strike into the top corner of the net to seal the three points. Next up for Finn Harps is an FAI Cup fixture away to Dundalk, while Athlone will host Cobh Ramblers in the league.