Date Time League Season
19 November 2021 7:45 pm Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Harps avoid relegation

Finn Harps avoided the relegation play-off in style at Finn Park this evening, as a Ryan Connolly wonder goal was the highlight of a 5-0 victory against Longford Town.

After a scrappy opening 20 minutes, Harps composed themselves and found the back of the net via a Will Seymore header.

Then minutes later, Seymore flicked the ball on towards Connolly, who slammed the ball into the top corner from outside the box on the half-volley.

Karl O’Sullivan made it three just after half-time, before Tunde Owolabi’s cultured finish and Luke Rudden strike made the game a rout.

From early on, it was evident that 'de Town' were a team looking to move on from this season. They couldn’t string more than a couple of passes together, and barely made it to the Harps box.

Ollie Horgan’s men made the most of this with a tirade of shots on Lee Steacy’s goal, before a controversial opener from Will Seymore was tucked into the net after a short corner. There were calls for offside, but no flag came.

Five minutes later and there was no doubt as Connolly connected perfectly with the ball on the half-volley to nearly rip the net out of the ground. Longford heads dropped, and it wouldn’t get any easier for the visitors.

O’Sullivan’s third required a measure of luck as his strike looped into orbit before dipping over the helpless Steacy. There was nothing lucky about Owolabi’s goal though, as a mix up in midfield allowed the pacey forward to run through, open up his body and find the bottom corner.

Rudden capped off the win with a finish that overpowered the Longford keeper. It will be a goal to remember for the young forward, as it sent Finn Park into raptures, and fans rushed onto the pitch to celebrate as the final whistle went.

A fantastic end to an eventful season for Harps, while Longford will have to regroup, and possibly rebuild in the First Division next season.

  • Full-time: Finn Harps 5-0 Longford Town

  • 90'

    5-0! Luke Rudden turns in the box after recieving an O'Sullivan pass and fires home.

  • 89'

    Tunde Owolabi gets a standing ovation as he leaves the field.

  • 89'

    Luke Rudden is on for Harps.

  • 86'

    The oles from the crowd have started. It's cruise control for Harps, and there's a relaxed but energetic atmosphere at Finn Park.

  • 83'

    Dan Hawkins is on for Harps.

  • 83'

    Will Seymore is off for Harps.

  • 77'

    Mark Timlin is on for the home side.

  • 77'

    Barry McNamee is off for the hosts.

  • 76'

    A stoppage as Barry McNamee is down injured.

  • 72'

    O'Sullivan breaks down the right and crosses for Owolabi who is free in the box. However, it's just too high for the striker to connect with.

  • 70'

    Aodh Dervin and Dean Williams are off for the visitors.

  • 70'

    Matt O'Brien and Aaron Dobbs are on for de Town.

  • 67'

    A Harps counter cuts through the Longford midfield and defence. Owolabi beats two, before being played in on goal, his shot is deflected wide.

  • 66'

    Harps are now stroking the ball around the pitch with ease. De Town look like they just want this game (and season) to end.

  • 63'

    Owolabi is free down the right, the Longford defence are all over the place. The Harps forward puts in a cross, but no one is there to meet it.

  • 61'

    Goal Harps! This is turning into a rout. Owolabi scores! He puts a cultured finish into the bottom corner after Michael McDonnell and Joe Manley missed an interception.

  • 57'

    Darragh Nugent and Conor Davis are off for Longford.

  • 57'

    Aaron McNally and Dean Zambra are on for de Town.

  • 53'

    Longford have been sloppy in possession, and it's showing, they haven't looked like threatening Harps at all.

  • 50'

    Goal Finn Harps! 3-0! Karl O'Sullivan scores as a breakdown in midfield from Longford leads to his shot. It deflects high into the air and over Steacy.

  • 46'

    Jordan Mustoe is off for the hosts.

  • 46'

    Johnny Dunleavy is on for Harps.

  • 46'

    Shane Elworthy is off for the visitors.

  • 46'

    Michael McDonnell is on for Longford.

  • 46'

    And it's back underway at Finn Park.

  • Half-time: Finn Harps 2-0 Longford Town

  • 40'

    The second goal has taken the heart of out Longford. Their defence is all at sea and it seems as if it could be four or five goals for Harps.

  • 39'

    Tunde Owolabi dances past several Longford defenders. Manley was beaten, Owolabi puts a low cross across the box, but no one is there for a tap in.

  • 33'

    Goal Harps! Connolly scores a ROCKET!!! Seymore flicked on a long throw from Boyle, and Connolly thumps the ball into the top corner. No doubt about that!

  • 29'

    Questions about offside from de Town. Even if the goal was chalked off, it doesn't change the pattern of the play, and how defeated Longford look.

  • 28'

    Goal Harps! Seymore scores! A McNamee shot from a short corner falls kindly onto the head of the midfielder to score.

  • 26'

    Harps are now dominating. De Town look like a team clinging on for dear life. Last ditch blocks and not pushing out.

  • 24'

    Barry McNamee takes a strike from outside the area, it deflects off Joe Manley and goes out for a corner.

  • 23'

    Jordan Mustoe has an ambitious strike at goal from distance, it fizzes wide.

  • 20'

    Harps are starting to up the pressure. A dangerous ball into the box was cleared by O'Driscoll, and the home side are controlling the possession.

  • 16'

    Fantastic from Steacy as he uses pure reflex to save a deflected strike off a long throw. McNamee had the shot after the ball was scrambled around in the box.

  • 15'

    Karl O'Sullivan turns in the midfield and hits a rocket. Steacy is beaten, it pings off the post and Manley clears.

  • 13'

    Boyle meets a loose ball after a defensive clearance, he aims for the top corner with a header. Instead he finds the crowd.

  • 11'

    Chance for Harps. Seymore tries to chip the ball towards the back post, it hits a Longford man, cries for hand ball, but referee McLoughlin is having none of it.

  • 10'

    Both sides not really settling into the game. The midfield play has been scrappy, and passes just seem a little forced.

  • 6'

    A long ball into Rob Manley causes a problem for Finn Harps. The striker can't quite control it, and the defenders clear, but a promising sign for the visitors.

  • 5'

    Ethan Boyle heads wide from a Harps corner. Longford have looked all over the place defending set-pieces so far.

  • 1'

    First minute and first chance. Ryan Connolly puts in a whipped free-kick from out wide. It evades everyone and Steacy has to get across quickly to palm it away.

  • 1'

    And it's underway at Finn Park.

  • While this match may just be the end of a painful season for Longford, Harps have everything to play for, and still desperately need points to avoid the relegation play off.

  • Longford Town team news: John Martin names an unchanged starting line up to the one that drew against Waterford. Shane Elworthy and Paddy Kirk take their places at the full-back positions, with the young Aodh Dervin looking to drive de Town forward in the centre of the park.

  • Finn Harps team news: there are four changes to the side that drew at St. Pat's last time out. Tunde Owolabi, Ryan Connoly, Shane McEleny and Gerard Doherty come in in place of Sean Boyd, Dan Hawkins, Kosovar Sadiki and Mark McGinley. The last two of which were forced due to an injury for McGinley and a suspension for Sadiki.

  • Hello and welcome to Final Whistle's coverage of Finn Harps vs Longford Town. I'm Jon Parkin, and I will be covering this evening's game.

Finn Harps

40Gerard Doherty Goalkeeper
3Jordan Mustoe 8 Defender
5Dave Webster Defender
6Ryan Connolly Midfielder 33'
7Karl O’Sullivan Forward 50'
11Barry McNamee 10 Midfielder
14Mark Coyle Midfielder
16Shane McEleney Defender
24Ethan Boyle Defender
28Will Seymore 17 Midfielder 28'
45Babatunde Owolabi Forward 61'
1Mark McGinley Goalkeeper
25Patrick McGarvey Goalkeeper
Luke Rudden 45 Forward 90'
8Johnny Dunleavy 3 Defender
10Mark Timlin 11 Midfielder
17Dan Hawkins 28 Forward
19Adam Foley Forward
20Niall Logue Defender
21Stephen Doherty Midfielder

Longford Town

1Lee Steacy Goalkeeper
2Shane Elworthy 5 Defender
3Paddy Kirk Defender
4Aaron Robinson Midfielder
8Rob Manley Forward
12Aaron O’Driscoll Defender
14Darragh Nugent 6 Midfielder
15Dean Williams 9 Forward
16Aodh Dervin 17 Midfielder
22Joseph Manley Defender
25Conor Davis 21 Forward
30Tommy Scahill Goalkeeper
5Michael McDonnell 2 Midfielder
6Dean Zambra 14 Midfielder
9Aaron Dobbs 15 Forward
11Jack Doyle
17Matthew O’Brien 16 Midfielder
21Aaron McNally 25 Defender

Past Meetings

(Series 24)
0 - 3
Premier Division
Bishopsgate, Longford

Longford Town v Finn Harps

(Series 18)
1 - 1
Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Longford Town

(Series 6)
0 - 0
Premier Division
Bishopsgate, Longford

Longford Town v Finn Harps


John McLoughlin


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

A master's journalism student at Birmingham City University. Jon Parkin has done interviews with numerous people from across the English football pyramid. He has also written for website My Old Man Said for over a year and a half.