The Finn Harps U17 s had a 4-1 win over Longford Town at the Curragh with Corey McBride on the mark twice while Charlie White and Jamie Doherty were the other scorers for the hosts.
Finn Harps U17s 4
Longford Town U17s 1
Following their dramatic 5-4 victory over neighbours Sligo Rovers the previous week, Declan Boyle’s Harps U17 side were hoping for a more comfortable three points when they hosted Longford Town U17 at a sun-kissed Curragh on Saturday.
Coming into the match, Boyle’s charges were hoping to add to their four points from two games to date and while the Midlanders did offer stubborn resistance in the first half Harps eventually came out comfortable winners.
With just four minutes on the clock, centre back Charlie White, one of several graduates from last year’s U15 squad, opened the scoring when he drove home following a cross by Inishowen man Corey McBride, who was a constant threat from the right wing.
It was McBride who doubled the side’s lead on 24 minutes with a perfectly executed free kick from outside the box and it looked as if it could be a straightforward afternoon for the Donegal side who were making light of the warm conditions.
However Longford, to their credit, maintained their shape and work ethic and were rewarded shortly before half-time when defender David Dalton poked home following indecision in the home defence and the visitors were back in the match.
Harps came out after the break with a noticeably more determined mindset with Gallagher and Doherty controlling midfield. On 55 minutes the hosts extended their lead by two goals again. Full back Lee McLaughlin exchanged passes with Conor Black before delivering a dangerous ball into the advancing Jamie Doherty who finished with aplomb from inside the box.
McBride again took centre stage again on 59 minutes when he stepped up to curl another free from outside the box just inside the post and beyond the reach of the Longford keeper to put Harps 4-1 ahead.
The Finnsiders continued to create chances including a disallowed goal from Stephen Black on 75 minutes and two efforts from Ronan Gallagher both of which cleared the visitor’s crossbar.
While further efforts from replacements Dylan Woods and Luke Rudden didn’t add to the scoreline Harps finished the game with room to spare and now look forward to next Saturdays match against the Shelbourne FC U17s.
Declan Boyle and staff were also pleased to welcome back winger Jack O’Donnell who returned to action for the first time following a difficult recovery from a long-term injury.
Finn Harps U17s: Adrian McLaughlin, Lee McLaughlin, Darragh Ellison, Stephen Black, Charlie White, Jack Doherty, Cory McBride, Jamie Doherty, Conor Black, Ronan Gallagher, Gabriel Aluka. Subs: Eoin McGing, Keelan Collier, Luke Rudden, Dylan Woods, Jack O’Donnell, Adam McCaffery.
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