Derry City 0 Finn Harps 2
The Candystripes fell to their third consecutive defeat when Finn Harps recorded a first away league win against City. Goals in either half meant that Ollie Horgan’s side left Maginn Park with the three points and the bragging rights from the first North West derby of the season.
One again the sold out signs were up all around the Buncrana venues, as a capacity crowd packed in to see who would prevail. City opted to deploy Scott Whiteside in the heart of the defence with Gerard Doherty as City looked to arrest the slide which had seen them concede 6 goals in the previous two games. The home support were cheered with the news that Conor McDermott was cleared fit to play, although Barry McNamee was a continued absentee.
Horgan’s side had plenty of former Candystripes in their midst, with the midfield pairing of Molloy and McCourt the standout for the Donegal men. The first half was a very scrappy affair with passing football at a premium. McEneff was the main creator for City, with McCourt pulling the strings for the visitors. City missed good chances from both Curtis and Kennedy who both found space down the fight, but both players pulled their shots wide of Ciaran Gallaghers’ near post with only the keeper to beat.
Harps were forced into a first half change when Bonner was replaced by Banda and the youngster was to have a huge impact on the game. McEneff had a effort brilliantly saved by Gallagher before the visitors hit the front before the break. Banda latched onto a loose clearance and hit a shot from a 25 yards, which took a wicked deflection and beat a stranded Doherty to give the visitors the lead.
In the second half the home side were a little more direct, but rarely threatened the visiting keeper. Shiels, sensing that the 11 on the field were not going to make the break through tried a double sub with Timlin and Boyle entering the fray. However the new arrivals didn’t have much influence on the game as a solid Harps side continue to snuff out the chances from City. Indeed the visitors looked to capitalise
As City looked to push on in order to get back on level terms, Harps began to find space at the back. Banda had a effort well saved by Doherty and with less than ten minutes on the clock, the youngster tried again. His effort was blocked by Doherty but bounced out to Funston who cooly finished to consign City to their third consecutive defeat.