Airtricity U-19 League
Finn Harps 3
Fanad United 0
Report: Alan Foley
Finn Harps moved to the top of the Airtricity U-19 League thanks to a 3-0 win over Fanad United at the Finn Valley Centre yesterday but only after the visitors had missed two penalties.
The Ballybofey team, who drew 2-2 away to Dundalk last weekend, knew three points would be enough to take them back to the top of the table as Derry City are in action this afternoon against a Monaghan United team who were beaten by Fanad last weekend.
In the end yesterday in Stranorlar though, it was the more experienced Harps team that kept on track, when three goals in the last 15 minutes, courtesy of Ryan Shields, Cathal McDaid and Martin Redmond. Chris Dillon and Brian McVeigh were the unlucky parties for Fanad in regards missing a penalty in each half.
Although the home side certainly bossed the play in the first half it was their visitors who had the best chance on goal. On 18 minutes Kyle Black was adjudged to have been fouled by Hugh McFadden. Referee Terence Moyne pointed to the spot but Dillon passed up on the opportunity to give Fanad the lead when he rolled the resultant penalty the wrong side of Sean Patton’s right hand post.
Until that point, it had been Sean McGowan’s team who had shown plenty of wizardry but couldn’t find the breakthrough. Fanad goalkeeper Shaun Black was sharp off his line to deny McDaid after he was played through by John McGarvey and moments later Gary Merritt skimmed the crossbar with a fizzing drive from just outside the area.
Fanad, who lost the corresponding fixture by a goal to nil at Triaghalough when Merritt scored the only goal from the penalty spot, did grow into the game somewhat the longer the half went on and McVeigh tested Patton with a daisycutter from outside of the penalty area.
Fanad’s second penalty came just shy of the hour when Harps defender William Lynch took down Kyle Black. This time McVeigh took responsibility but Patton got down low to save well.
Havin endured those near misses, Harps finally got the breakthrough on 75 minutes when a deep corner from McDaid was headed back by McFadden and Shiels half-volleyed the opener.
Then, six minutes later, McDaid got inside thanks to a pass from Ryan Shields and rounded Black to tuck from a second. In the 86th minute the result was finally confirmed when Redmond got free in the area after cutting inside himself. When the ball sat up nice he slammed home the goal that sends his side back to the top of the table.
Finn Harps: Sean Patton; Martin Redmond, William Lynch (Aaron Conroy 87), Hugh McFadden, Hugh McFadden; Gary Merritt, Dean Bonner, Ryan Shields, Cathal McDaid; Dean McConnell (Cillian Gallagher 79), John McGarvey (Jordan Duffy 70).
Fanad United: Shaun Black; Myles McBride (Kevin Murray 83), Lee McMonagle, Eoin Barrett, Darragh McDaid; Cathal McGettigan, Brian McVeigh, Ryan Toland, Aidan Sweeney; Kyle Black (Antony Brown 78), Chris Dillon.
Referee: Terence Moyne.