Finn Harps in 2-0 victory over Derry City
Finn Harps inflicted more misery on Derry City on Friday night by picking up a famous win at Maginn Park.
Ollie Horgan’s side produced a very professional display as they frustrated Derry for long periods after star substitute BJ Banda had given them the lead on the stroke of half time.
Chances were few and far between for Derry who laboured until Michael Funston added a second late on to make it three defeats on the bounce for Kenny Shiels and his players.
Derry should have been ahead early on as Mikhail Kennedy’s ball over the top eluded Ciaran Coll and put Ronan Curtis in on goal. Curtis was up against Ciaran Gallagher from an angle and he went for a side-foot finish, but it was the wrong option, the ball rolling into the side netting.
Derry were playing a very makeshift defence and it was guilty of complacency on a few occasions in the opening stages, and it very nearly cost them on 19 minutes when Conor McDermott’s errant pass fell to the feet of McCourt, who drilled the ball just wide of goal from 20 yards.
Derry should have scored again on 38 minutes. Ronan Curtis showed superb skill to bring the ball under control and put the Harps defence on the back foot. Curtis cleverly played Mikhail Kennedy in on goal in an identical situation to the Curtis chance from earlier. But it was also an identical finish, with Kennedy rolling the ball wide of Gallagher and into the side netting.
Harps would have been content with their first half efforts, but they were in dreamland as they took the lead against the run of play in the first minute of added time. BJ Banda created space for himself with a brilliant turn 25 yards from goal, and his shot then took a massive deflection off Scott Whiteside to take it over Doherty and into the net to give the visitors the lead.
Harps could have finished Derry off 12 minutes from time when Banda capitalised on a mistake from Aaron Barry and after twisting and turning the Derry defender, he shot for the bottom corner, only to be denied by a magnificent one-handed save from Doherty.
But Harps continue to threaten and Banda again terrorise the Derry defence, racing into the box before bringing the best from Doherty again. The rebound fell to the feet of Dean Jarvis, who should have cleared, but he hesitated for a crucial moment, and Michael Funston was able to take the ball off his toe and poke the ball into the empty net.
Derry City: G Doherty, C McDermott, D Jarvis, A McEneff, N Low, R Curtis, J Daniels (B Doherty 78’), S Whiteside, L Schubert (M Timlin 55’), A Barry, M Kennedy (N Boyle 55’).
Finn Harps: C Gallagher, D McNulty, C Coll, K Cantwell, G Harkin, J Bonner (BJ Banda 22’), C McAleer, S Houston, B Molloy, P McCourt (M Funston 58’), E Boyle.
Referee: R Matthews.
Match Rating - 6