Finn Harps 1 Derry City 2
City came from behind this afternoon in Finn Park to defeat the home side 2-1 and ensure their progression to the 3rd round of the EA Sports Cup.
The visitors fielded a strong side, with only two changes from Friday’s victory. Nicky Low returned after suspension and David Hopkirk made his first start for the Candystripes as manager Shiels made his intentions clear. Harps were looking to bounce back after their dropped points in Athlone on Friday and featured ex Candystripes Timlin and McBride.
In the arctic conditions in Ballybofey, a poor surface made it difficult for both sides to create much on the ground, but it was to the home side who would made the first break through. Timlin found Coll inside the box and with plenty of time, the defender took a touch and fired home high past Gerard Doherty.
The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession but Burke in the home goal was not tested at all, as City struggled to find their rhythm in the first quarter of the game. However the Candystripes were presented with a great opportunity to get in the game on 29 minutes when Hannon clipped the heels of a surging McEneff inside the area and the referee immediately pointed to the spot.
McEneff picked himself up and took the kick himself, sending the keeper the wrong way and ensuring it is 4 goals in 4 games from the midfielder who looks to have continued his good form from last year. Despite the goal, there was little else of note in the first half to warm those in attendance.
City started the second half much better and McEneff jinked into the area and saw his shot clip the base of the post. City introduced Patterson just after the hour mark and the Strabane man was to have an immediate impact when he finished first time after impressive direct running by Curtis.
The game petered out towards the end but McEneff and Curtis did have good opportunities to kill the game off at the death but were unable to finish.
Derry City: G Doherty, McDermott, Cole, Toal, Doyle (B Doherty 79; Low, Rory Hale, McEneff; Hopkirk (Patterson 60), Curtis, Ronan Hale (McDonagh 81).
Finn Harps: Burke, Friel, Coll, Cowan, Devers, McBride, Timlin (Toland 56), Coyle, Hannon (Duffy 68), Todd, M O’Connor (O’Flynn HT).