Australian Harry Ascroft bagged the winner for Finn Harps for the second successive week as the Donegal club overcame an out of sorts Bohemians at a balmy Finn Park.
It finished Finn Harps 1, Bohemians 0.
This was a costly defeat for Keith Ward’s side who missed the chance to close the gap on second placed Shamrock Rovers.
But the Harps mini-revival continues and they have now collected 13 points from their last six games are now six ahead of bottom club UCD, albeit with a game more played.
UCD lost 3-1 to Derry City.
Bohs, without suspended captain Derek Pender, went into the game having lost just once in their last eight league outings.
But the Gypsies fell behind after just eight minutes when midfielder Ascroft fired home from the edge of the box following a fine build up involving several players, notably Mark Timlin and Jacob Borg.
Ascroft, who scored the winner against Derry City last week, is suddenly becoming a real favourite on Finnside.
Bohs had to endure a sustained spell of pressure as Harps forced a series of corners shortly after the goal but without adding to their tally.
However, the visitors struggled to get into the game and it wasn’t until the 33rd minute that they had their first effort of note, a Keith Ward pot on goal – but it was well wide.
Moments later Mandriou, who enjoyed a couple of jinking forays, sent a free adrift of the target as Harps, with four clean sheets in their previous five outings, continued to repel the Bohs attack.
At the other end Tony McNamee’s long throw-ins deep into the Dubliners’ box were a feature of the home’s sides tactics.
Relegation threatened Harps were good value for their half-time lead against a Bohs side that simply never clicked into gear.
Striker Andre Wright shot shortly after the resumption but Harps then went close with Gareth Harkin stretching to meet a cross from Borg but James Talbot was well placed to avert the danger.
As the game entered the final quarter, Mark Anthony McGinley in the home goal had yet to be tested and when Mandriou turned only to balloon the ball high over the crossbar the travelling support must have sensed it was going to be a bad away day.
Harps finished the stronger with chances falling to Ascroft and McNamee while at the back the remained solid as they made it five clean sheets in their last six games.
Finn Harps: McGinley; O’Reilly, Cowan Todd; Borg, Ascroft, G. Harkin, Timlin (R. Harkin, 78 mins), Russell; McNamee (Doherty, 90+3); Place (Boyle, 81 mins).
Bohemians: Talbot; Barker, Finnerty, Barry, Leahy; Wade-Slater, Allardice (McCourt, 58 mins), Levingston, Mandroiu (Tierney, 74 mins), Ward (Grant, half-time); Wright.
Referee: D. McGraith (Dublin).
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