FINN HARPS CAME away from Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night with a one-all draw as Andy Mulligan cancelled out Ryan Curran’s first-half penalty.
The draw keeps Harps a handful of points above the drop zone. It was a game of two halves and one that could have gone either way.
- Another useful away point …
IT MIGHT only be the second point Harps have taken on the road this season, following the 1-1 draw against Sligo Rovers, but this represented another useful and profitable night’s work for Ollie Horgan’s team.
The draw keeps Harps five points ahead of Wexford. It wasn’t quite a game that was in ‘must win’ territory for Harps, but it was certainly in the ‘must not lose’ category, given that a Wexford victory would considerably have tightened things up as the season reaches the end of its first quarter.
And although Harps led, through Ryan Curran’s penalty, and might have had more, this remains a valuable point.
Horgan noted afterwards that it was one of those nights where Harps teams of old might have let slip.
The Harps manager said: “The difference, I feel, in now and two years ago is that back then we’d have sat in and tried to be defensively strong.”
Here, they went for broke, but still managed to hold their lot to preserve a five-point gap to the relegation zone they’re aiming to avoid between now and season’s end.[adrotate group=”43″]
- …but was it a case of two points dropped?
WHEN Horgan mentioned that ‘we we mightn’t get a better chance of three away points this season’ his regret was clear.
Harps were up against a fellow newly-promoted side that was without Danny Furlong, Aidan Keenan and Shane Dunne.
While any point on the road in this division is welcomed, there was the nagging sense for Harps on the bus back to Donegal that they could, and maybe should have had all three.
“Would I have taken a draw beforehand? Yes. At half-time, would I have taken a draw? No. When they hit the post at one-all, would I have taken a draw? Of course.”
That was the verdict from a confused and unsure Horgan as he assessed the game. Late in the night, Wexford’s Danny Ledwith hit the post and Packie Mailey made a goal-line intervention.
But with Ryan Curran having fired Harps in front and with Gareth Harkin, Keith Cowan, Adam Hanlon and Damien McNulty all going close, the feeling was that Harps could actually have had this one put to bed by half-time.
- Molloy makes a timely return
IT IS hard to quantify how big a loss Barry Molloy has been over the last two months, since he limped out of the opening night of the season after playing 78 minutes of the 2-1 win over Derry City.
Molloy was a real bluechip signing by Horgan, coming on the eve of that season-opening win over the Candystripes.
The former Derry City captain returned to Harps action on Friday night as a 55th minute substitute for Liam Flatley.
The change was made just after Wexford had leveled the game and the feeling within the Harps camp was that Molloy coming on a little earlier, perhaps even at half-time, might well have made a more telling impact.
Harps face a big few days now with Bohemians in Ballybofey on Friday before they head for Molloy’s old stomping ground, Brandywell Stadium, on Tuesday for another derby fixture.
It’s quite clear how valuable Horgan rates Molloy.
“We need Barry Molloy to stay fit,” the manager said. We will need Barry Molloy with us to survive. It was good that he got half-an-hour under his belt.”
- Curran’s goals making a difference
RYAN Curran signed for Finn Harps after failing to nail down a regular berth at Derry City and suggested on his arrival in Ballybofey that the move would give him the opportunity to ‘really make my mark in the League of Ireland.’
Harps haven’t been shooting the lights out with their goalscoring this season, but Curran’s goals have made a big difference so far.
The striker netted in the 2-1 win over Derry City and the 1-0 win over Longford Town as well as the opener on Friday night, meaning he’s contributed to seven of the 11 points claimed by Harps so far this season.
- Wexford without Furlong have a little less bite
ALL through last season, Ollie Horgan probably referenced Danny Furlong more than any of his own players.
Furlong was that important for Wexford Youths in their First Division-winning season.
Furlong netted the two goals in a 2-0 win over Harps in August that really gave Shane Keegan’s side a kick and he also netted in a 3-1 win at Finn Park.
In 28 League games last season, Furlong netted a First Division record of 30 goals.
His recent sending off against St Patrick’s Athletic meant that he was absent for the visit of Harps and Wexford badly missed their talisman, especially in a game that Keegan will have been targeting for maximum points.Tags: