Shamrock Rovers remain in very close proximity to Dundalk after both sides picked up the three points on Monday night. Both teams sit on 40 points, nine clear of Bohemians. Rovers earned their points with their second 3-0 win over Finn Harps this s
Shamrock Rovers remain in very close proximity to Dundalk after both sides picked up the three points on Monday night. Both teams sit on 40 points, nine clear of Bohemians.
Rovers earned their points with their second 3-0 win over Finn Harps this season. Ronan Finn got things started on the seventh minute with Dylan Watts adding a second from the penalty spot after the half hour.
Aaron Greene netted with a little over five minutes to go as Harps remain rooted to the danger zone of the league, level on points with UCD.
Fresh from their late winner against Waterford FC in their last outing, Harps fashioned the first chance of the match inside five minutes but Caolon McAleer hit high after a lay off in the area from Mark Russell.
The last meeting between the sides went 85 minutes without a goal, Greg Bolger scoring on that occasion, this encounter stayed scoreless for only seven minutes. Peter Burke failed to deal with a low cross from the left and it allowed Aaron Greene to tee up a close range shot for Ronan Finn who wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to put his side in the lead.
Harps made five changes to the team that won their last game, that squad had a good mix of youth and experience, but that galvanised look seemed to fade during the first half of this fixture. They struggled to get to grips the ability of the visitors and were limited to half chances, Sam Todd heading their best effort but it was straight at Alan Mannus in nets.
Just after the half hour mark, Rovers were given the chance to double their lead after being awarded a spot kick due to Burke bringing down Greene in the area. Dylan Watts stepped up and coolly slotted into the bottom left corner.
Greene had a late header in the half float over the bar as Roves led 2-0 at the interval.
Rovers continued their impressive play as the second half commenced, with Greene, Clarke and Watts all testing Burke in the early stages.
Watts fired a few at goal from range with Burke equal to them, Clarke also had a pop from distance as it stung the hands of the shot stopper.
Greene was determined to get on the scoresheet to add to his tally of four goals, he first few efforts were thwarted by Burke who was having a good second half but with a little under ten minutes to go, Greene got his goal.
A free kick from the right was lofted in by Jack Byrne and Greene rose well to finish at the far post.
Rovers remained vigilant and kept a clean sheet with the aggregate score against Harps this season standing at seven goals to zero.