Date Time League Season
3 May 2021 7:45 pm LOI Men's Premier Division 2021

Match Report

Foley pulls off famous Harps win in Derry

Finn Harps recorded an historic victory against Derry City, beating the Candystripes for the first time in the league in their patch; thanks to Adam Foley’s late strike at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium tonight.

An early lead for City, created by James Akintunde, was cancelled out in the second-half by Karl O’Sullivan’s deflected half-volley.

The game had seemingly petered out, but a lovely reverse pass from Barry McNamee opened up a chance for Foley. The towering centre-forward blasted home to make history at the Brandywell.

Ollie Horgan’s men came into this game in poor form, but they dominated the chances from the off. Tunde Owolabi nearly opened the scoring as he nicked the ball away from a defender, his shot wasn’t good enough to beat Gartside in the Derry net.

It was the home side that would break the deadlock though. Against the run of play. Midfield orchestrator Will Patching played a pass down the channel for Akintunde to run onto. The quick striker cut inside, faked to shoot, sending the defender flying, and shipped the ball inside the back-post.

The visitors felt a bit hard done by at half-time. Will Seymore’s missile from forty yards just before the break was inches away from drawing the scores level.

Harps wouldn’t have too long to wait for their goal though, as a free-kick caused havoc in the City box. A half clearance wasn’t enough to get the ball out of the danger, and in steamed O’Sullivan to guide the ball, with the aid of a deflection, past Gartside.

A midfield battle then ensued, with few chances for either side. Cameron McJannett looked to add to his impressive goal tally with a strike from distance, but he could only find the gloves of the away side’s ‘keeper.

With chances few and far between in the closing stages, it seemed as if the focus from the managers was on the games ahead, with a host of substitutions.

Barry McNamee had other ideas though. The midfielder had been a nuisance all game, and broke free on the right-hand side. His well weighted pass was directly into Foley, and there wasn’t any doubt about whether he was going to score.

This victory is historic for Harps, but it also comes at an important time. Four games without a win, and a lack of goals have been put to bed with a good performance. For the Candystripes, their upturn in form after the appointment of Ruairdhri Higgins has been shattered late on.

Derry City

1Nathan Gartside Goalkeeper
4Ciaron Harkin 31 Midfielder
6Eoin Toal Defender
7Will Fitzgerald Midfielder
8Joe Thomson 29 Midfielder
10Will Patching Midfielder
11James Akintunde Forward 17'
15Ronan Boyce Defender
21Cameron McJannet Defender
24Danny Lafferty Defender
36Brendan Barr 9 Midfielder 36'
30Jack Lemoignan Goalkeeper
9David Parkhouse 36 Forward 73'
22Mark McFadden Midfielder
23Danny Lupano Defender
24Mark McChrystal Defender
29Jack Malone 8 Midfielder
31Patrick Ferry 4 Forward
32Caolan McLaughlin Forward
35Micheal Glynn Defender

Finn Harps

1Mark McGinley Goalkeeper
4Kosovar Sadiki Defender
5Dave Webster 24 Defender
7Karl O’Sullivan Forward 54'
11Barry McNamee 26 Midfielder
14Mark Coyle Midfielder
17Mark Russell Defender
19Adam Foley Forward 89'
28Will Seymore Midfielder
45Babatunde Owolabi 15 Forward 45'
57Stephen Folan Defender
16Luke McNicholas Goalkeeper
10Mark Timlin Midfielder
15Jamie Browne 45 Forward
18Niall McGinley Midfielder
21Stephen Doherty Midfielder
22Ryan Rainey Midfielder
23Joel Bradley-Walsh Defender
24Ethan Boyle 5 Defender
26Tony McNamee 11 Midfielder
  • 90'

    Full Time: Derry City 1 - 2 Finn Harps

  • 90'

    Derry hit the post in the dying seconds!!! Toal heads into the ground at the backpost and looked like he couldn't miss!

  • 90'

    The McNamee's change places for Harps.

  • 90'

    Ferry is on for Harkin for Derry.

  • 89'

    Lovely reverse pass from Barry McNamee. Foley takes a touch and bang! 1 - 2 to Harps!

  • 85'

    Jack Malone has a shot from the right side of the box. It hits the post! And Akintunde blazes the rebound over the bar.

  • 82'

    Jamie Browne is on for Harps.

  • 82'

    Tunde Owolabi is off for Harps.

  • 81'

    You shall not pass! Kosovar Sadiki with a lovely sliding tackle to prevent Will Patching from working any magic in the box.

  • 78'

    Lafferty lets fly from very far out, but it's easily past the left post. The best shot there's been in the past ten minutes.

  • 73'

    Parkhouse puts his foot in the way as Boyle clears the ball. He catches the defender and it's a yellow for Parkhouse.

  • 72'

    If either team is going to break the deadlock, it looks like it'll be Harps. The visitors are really working hard and getting control of the possession.

  • 69'

    Malone is on for Derry.

  • 69'

    Thomson is off for Derry.

  • 66'

    Ethan Boyle comes on for Finn Harps.

  • 66'

    Dave Webster is off, looks like he took a knock on the head.

  • 59'

    Nearly another goal from McJannett as he comes forward from defence and shoots, forcing McGinley into a diving save.

  • 57'

    Webster gets free at the back post, but his header is just wide.

  • 55'

    Barr is off for Derry City

  • 55'

    Parkhouse is on for Derry City

  • 54'

    Karl O'Sullivan whallops the ball into the net as it drops after a free-kick! 1-1.

  • 47'

    Will Patching tries to pick out the top corner from the free-kick, McGinley was scrambling, but thankfully for him the ball clips the bar and goes out.

  • 46'

    The half starts with a free-kick in a great wide position for Derry.

  • 46'

    And we're back underway!

  • It's been a half in which Harps have dominated the chances, but have come out with nothing. Derry took their big chance when it came, the quick feet of Akintunde caused havoc in the visitor's backline. More cutting edge needed from Ollie Horgan's men in the second half.

  • Half Time: Derry City 1 - 0 Finn Harps

  • 45'

    Owolabi goes diving into a tackle as McJannett clears the ball. It's mistimed, Yellow Card.

  • 45'

    Will Seymour takes a punt from 40-yards! It travels like a missile, but pings off the bar and out for a goal kick.

  • 44'

    The game has been really poor quality over the past 15 minutes. The wind and rain aren't helping, but passes aren't connecting.

  • 36'

    A fifty-fifty challenge between Brendan Barr and Will Seymour. Barr ends up with a yellow card.

  • 30'

    Tunde Owolabi cuts inside from the left, takes a shot, but it's blocked. Finishing is proving to be a problem for Harps.

  • 27'

    Nathan Gartside just came out of his goal from a corner and unconvincingly flapped at the ball. He got just enough on it but it's a dangerous game to play. Just ask Mark McGinley.

  • 23'

    Barry McNamee is causing problems with his set-piece delivery. He just dragged one to the edge of the box, and the resulting shot was just wide.

  • 20'

    Will Patching is having a fantastic game, not only did he pick up his fifth assist of the season for the Akintunde goal, he just unleashed a shot that had the Harps 'keeper scrambling.

  • 17'

    Akintunde scores a beautiful goal! He darts down the left channel, picks up the ball mid stride, cuts inside, fakes to shoots and the curls a right-footed shot inside the far post.

  • 14'

    Seymour plays in Owolabi, who darts ahead of the Derry defender and takes a shot, but it's well saved by Gartside in the City net.

  • 7'

    First move forward for Derry City, but it ends in a free kick for Harps. The away side are having the better of the early stages.

  • 4'

    A cross from McNamee ends up coming back to O'Sullivan on the edge of the D. His half-volley is hit well, but deflects wide.

  • 2'

    Barry McNamee heads wide from an O'Sullivan cross, great early chance.

  • 1'

    And we're off! Finn Harps get us underway. They've only won once away against Derry City in their history.

  • Team news for Derry City: There's two changes to the side that beat Bohemians. Thomson and Barr replace Malone and Parkhouse.

  • Team news for Finn Harps: Ollie Horgan makes three changes to the team that lost to Shamrock Rovers. Russell, Owolabi and Folan are in. Doherty, Boyle and Dunleavy are out.

  • Welcome to Final Whistle's coverage of the Northwest Derby, Derry City vs Finn Harps. I'm Jon Parkin, and I will be covering this evening's game.

Past Meetings

(Series 11)
0 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps v Derry City

(Series 2)
1 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City v Finn Harps

4 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City FC v Finn Harps FC

1 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps FC v Derry City FC

4 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City FC v Finn Harps FC

2 - 3
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps FC v Derry City FC

3 - 0
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City FC v Finn Harps FC

0 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps FC v Derry City FC

0 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City FC v Finn Harps FC

LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps FC v Derry City FC

2 - 2
LOI Men's Premier Division
Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium

Derry City FC v Finn Harps FC

2 - 1
LOI Men's Premier Division
Finn Park

Finn Harps FC v Derry City FC


Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
Ryan McBride Brandywell, Derry, Northern Ireland, BT48 6NP, United Kingdom

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.