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Date Time League Season
5 August 2022 8:00 pm Premier Division 2022

Match Report

LOI PD Report: Finn Harps v Drogheda United

A penalty from Filip Mihaljevic and Eric McWood’s brace helped Finn Harps surge to a pivotal win in the relegation battle as they defeated Drogheda United 3-0.  The victory lifts them back above UCD into ninth place.

This was a huge game for the Ballybofey outfit as they came into it winless in seven and needing at least a point to overtake UCD following Drogheda’s draw with them on Monday.

The first half was a massively entertaining, end-to-end affair. Finn Harps were the better side in open play as McWoods, Mihaljevic and the workaholic Barry McNamee posed problems from the first whistle.

Yet defensive naivety threatened to undo this as the hosts were repeatedly undone by Drogheda’s rapid counterattacks, especially through Darragh Rooney down the left.

Colin McCabe had already been forced into two sharp saves and the home side’s pressure bore fruit in the twenty-third minute. Andrew Quinn hacked down McWoods after the American had sped into the box.  Mihaljevic converted a pinpoint penalty beyond McCabe and into the bottom corner.

Drogheda responded by applying fierce pressure of their own yet they themselves were, ironically given their main threat up to then, undone by a swift counterattack.

Conor Tourish originated it with a crunching but fair tackle to regain possession. Mihaljevic picked the run of McWoods and he was calmness personified, tucking the chance away ruthlessly.

Despite Ryan Brennan and Dean Williams being introduced, Finn Harps quelled Drogheda’s second half threat with relative comfort.

McWoods made the game safe with a flying header from Regan Donelon’s, typically dangerous, ball in. 3-0 ensured Finn Park, perhaps even all Ballybofey, was bouncing with upbeat buoyancy.

To their credit, the vusitors continued to make a game of it but Harps stood firm. McNamee and home keeper James McKeown were superb, calming figures.

Tonight, was a fine redemption for McKeown after an error-strewn debut in the FAI Cup last week. The goalkeeper was commanding and even better, a handy shot-stopper.

This victory will send Ollie Horgan’s men to the UCD Bowl, for next Friday’s relegation six-pointer, full of optimism as their winless run comes to an end. Drogheda host Shelbourne and will be keen for points to ensure they are not drawn into an increasingly engrossing relegation scrap.

  • Thanks for joining me tonight, see you again next time

  • 90'

    HUGE win that for Finn Harps, it ends 3-0

  • 90'

    The hosts seeing this out expertly, Mark Timlin is on for McNamee as we go into four minutes of added time

  • 88'

    Boyle has to go off with a knock, Jose Carrillo comes on for the closing stages. They'll hope its not serious

  • 78'

    McWoods in the book for slowing a free kick down

  • 75'

    Harps are managing the game extremely well as we enter the final fifteen minutes, this would be some win for them!

  • 75'

    Young Victor Arong is on for Lyons

  • 70'

    Ollie Horgan bolsters his midfield, Ryan Rainey replaces goal scorer Mihaljevic

  • 69'

    The away team have picked up the tempo and are zealously looking for an opening. Harps defending staunchly for now

  • 64'

    Drogheda's third change: Grimes on for Markey

  • 61'

    Dean Williams replaces former Harps forward Foley

  • 58'

    McWoods gets his second goal as Harps make it 3-0! Barnstorming play from Ethan Boyle, conducted by McNamee, allows Regan Donelon room to cross and the American thunders a terrific header beyond McCabe

  • 56'

    Dane Massey fires a fierce free kick in and McKeown shovels it out of play before the home keeper saves, again alertly, from Chris Lyons

  • 54'

    Harps utilising the speed of McWoods as a great outlet, Drogheda yet to fathom a clear-cut chance since half time

  • 45'

    Back underway, the experienced Ryan Brennan has come on for Darragh Nugent for the away side

  • 45'

    What an end to the half, 2-0 to Finn Harps at the break!

  • 44'

    And as I say that, Finn Harps score again! McWoods tucks it away after a fine pass from Mihaljevic, the move started by Conor Tourish's thumping but fair tackle

  • 42'

    The hosts are really penned in now as hurried clearances are only finding Drogheda players- Harps will be delighted to make it to the interval ahead

  • 38'

    Markey and Adam Foley combine slickly as a fine cross in has nobody to attack it

  • 36'

    Drogheda apply pressure via Darragh Markey's set pieces but McKeown, in stark contrast to last week, is commanding coming to claim the ball

  • 28'

    The home side should be at least 2-0 up. First, Eric McWoods heads Slevin's cross over before Mihaljevic fluffs two headers, in quick succession, over the top. Ollie Horgan will be desperate for a second goal

  • 23'

    McWoods pace wins Finn Harps a penalty after Andrew Quinn pulls him down in the box. Mihaljevic is calm as you like and converts with ease from the spot! Big goal

  • 19'

    McCabe again with a smart stop, denying Mihaljevic from close range. Yet Drogheda counter-attack and Barry McNamee gets back well to mop up

  • From a home corner, Drogheda counter rapidly and Filap Mihaljevic halts it with a foul

  • 14'

    Darragh Nugent now hits the post for the visitors, end-to-end!

  • 12'

    Elie-Gael N'Zeyi does really well to slip in Eric McWoods on the left of the area but Colin McCabe stays sharp and saves with his feet

  • 10'

    Chance for Drogheda! Ryan Connolly dawdles at the back and Drogheda nip in but Adam Foley's shot is tame and easy for McKeown

  • 4'

    Good tempo early on as Rob Slevin powers a header over for Harps before Dayle Rooney's corner is confidently dealt with by home keeper, James McKeown

  • Underway!

  • Good evening and welcome to FinalWhistle.ie's coverage of Finn Harps vs Drogheda United in the Premier Division tonight. Kick off at Finn Park is in just over twenty minutes

Finn Harps

25James McKeown Goalkeeper
2Conor Tourish Defender
7Gary Boylan Defender
19Regan Donelon Defender
24Ethan Boyle 15 Defender
9Rob Slevin Defender
6Ryan Connolly Midfielder
8Eric McWoods Midfielder 44', 58'
79'
11Barry McNamee 10 Midfielder
17Elie-Gael N’Zeyi Midfielder
33Filip Mihaljevic 22 Forward 23'
16'
99Gavin Mulreany Goalkeeper
15Jose Carrillo 24 Defender
Adam McCaffrey Midfielder
20Shaun O’Donnell Midfielder
16Harry Nicolson Defender
22Ryan Rainey 33 Midfielder
10Mark Timlin 11 Midfielder
56Dylan Duncan Midfielder
18Robert Jones Forward

Drogheda Utd

1Colin McCabe Goalkeeper
3Evan Weir Defender
4Andrew Quinn Defender
14Dane Massey Defender
7Darragh Markey 10 Midfielder
8Gary Deegan Midfielder
16Dayle Rooney Midfielder
24Darragh Nugent 19 Midfielder
26George Poynton Midfielder
9Chris Lyons 29 Forward
11Adam Foley 17 Forward
1Lee Steacy Goalkeeper
10Dylan Grimes 7 Midfielder
17Dean Williams 11 Forward
19Ryan Brennan 24 Midfielder
20Emre Topcu
16Stevan Stanic-Floody Forward
28Evan Haddock Defender
10Darragh Noone Midfielder
29Victor Arong 9 Forward

Past Meetings

(Round 16)
3 - 1
Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Finn Harps

(Round 1)
2 - 2
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Drogheda United

(Series 30)
0 - 0
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Drogheda United

(Series 19)
3 - 1
Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Finn Harps

(Series 12)
0 - 1
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Drogheda United

3 - 2
eLOI Group D
Online Event

Finn Harps v Drogheda United

(Series 3)
1 - 1
Premier Division
United Park

Drogheda United v Finn Harps

Ground

Finn Park
Finn Park, Navenny Street, Stranorlar Electoral Division, Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District, County Donegal, F93 Y27K, Ireland

QUB Student, passion for Sports Journalism