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St Pat's scrape a win at home...

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St Pat's scrape a win at home to Finn Harps

Enda Coll
Enda Coll

10:05 14 Jun 2019


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St Patrick's Athletic scored late on to earn a hard-fought win at home to Finn Harps.

Substitute Jake Walker got the only goal of a dull game in Inchicore with seven minutes left on the clock.

A long ball was played in behind the Finn Harps defense - who worked hard throughout - to Lee Desmond down the right-hand side. He squared to Walker whose shot went past McGinley in goal, hitting the post on the way in.

Finn Harps came into this game off the back of five straight defeats, including a 5-3 defeat to Bohemians last time they visited Dublin and listening to Ollie Horgan coming into this game, limiting the amount of goal-scoring opportunities would be a priority for his team.

That almost went out the window just three minutes into the game when Mark Anthony McGinley let a relatively easy cross slip through his fingers, Mikey Drennan pounced, but Keith Cowen threw his body in the way of his shot. It took two more attempts before the ball was cleared out for a corner.

Harps made five changes from the 3-0 loss to Dundalk last week with Mark Coyle suspended, Nathan Boyle came back into the starting line up and, Caolan McAleer returned to the bench after serving a one-match ban.

Boyle had the best chance of the opening stages of the first half and really should have put Harps 1-0 up against the run of play. Raff Cretaro slipped a lovely defense-splitting pass through to Boyle, one-on-one with the keeper. But he hit it straight at Brendan Clarke in goal.

Frustrated Figure

Harry Kenny cut a frustrated figure at the side of the Richmond Park pitch and that was mainly down to his side's lack of goal-scoring opportunities despite controlling the majority of possession.

Ollie Horgan was not his usual animated self in the dugout, a sign that he was content with his team's shape up until that point.

A big issue Finn Harps have had is their slowness off the mark, and again they coughed up a few really easy chances early on, the first coming less than a minute in when Chris Forrester flashed a header wide.

St Pat's had started much the brighter and had another shot saved by Mark Anthony McGinley eight minutes later when a deflected free-kick fell to Kevin Toner at the edge of the box who caught his volley nicely but it was hit straight at McGinley.

Toner came close again 20 minutes but his shot from 25 yards out was saved again by McGinley, who recovered well from his first-half mistake to pull off a few good saves.

Despite the slow start, Finn Harps again could have taken the lead when they got in behind the St Pat's defense. Nathan Boyle had two shots in the space of two minutes blocked from inside the box.

It wasn't pretty, but Ollie Horgan won't care as they get points for the first time in five league game.

TEAMS:
St Pats: Brendan Clarke, Ian Birmingham, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Gary Shaw, Mikey Drennan, Ciaran Kelly, Simon Madden, Chris Forrester Cian Coleman, Rhys McCabe

Finn Harps: Mark McGinley, Colm Deasy, Daniel O'Reilly, Keith Cowan, Gareth Harkin, Nathan Boyle, Raffaele Cretaro, Mark Russell, Michael Place, Tony McNamee, Sam Todd.

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