Stuart Connolly reports from Finn Park
Cork City remain at the bottom of the Premier Division table after a draw against Finn Harps, although they do have a game in hand over the Co. Donegal side.
After the first half saw many chances, but no goals, Dylan McGlade opened the scoring just before the hour mark as Raffaele Cretaro replied for the hosts with just over 15 minutes to play.
Finn Harps sit in ninth on ten points with five games remaining while Cork are in tenth on 9 points but with six games left to play.
Level 3 restrictions imposed in Donegal squashed Finn Harps’ hopes of having some season ticket holders present as the Ballybofey outfit hosted a struggling Cork City.
The Leesiders were allowed extra preparation for this encounter after their clash with Dundalk was postponed due to the Lilywhites’ European adventures.
The balance of play was pretty even for much of the opening stages as possession play was end-to-end but both keepers had nothing major to do in the first 20 minutes.
Then the opportunities arose as Finn Harps missed three good chances in as many minutes.
Karl O’Sullivan stung the gloves of Mark McNulty in nets and Alex Kogler glanced a header wide.
He then missed a gilt-edged chance with the goal at his mercy, slicing wide after a short pass from former Limerick winger O’Sullivan.
Cork City then had their time and chances to change the scoreline but Mark McGinley had other ideas.
He stretched for his first save to deny Cian Coleman’s close-range header before making a spectacular diving save to thwart a curling effort from Dylan McGlade.
Perhaps their best chance came five minutes before the break as Deshane Dalling put a free header narrowly wide after a pinpoint cross from the right by Dale Holland.
On the cusp of the half time whistle Sam Todd blocked a goal-bound shot at close range from Coleman.
The visitors came flying out of the blocks in the second half and another McGinley save kept the scores level after a close range shot from Joseph Olowu.
Just shy of the hour though, Cork took a deserved lead. Daire O’Connor showed good strength in the midfield, holding off two players before a low cross from the right was well tucked into the bottom right corner by Dylan McGlade.
After the hour, Harps made a double change. Adam Foley was one of the players brought on and he looked lively from the start, even striking the base of the post unintentionally with a low cross which evaded all in the box.
In the 75th minute, Finn Harps had their equaliser through Cretaro’s low strike on goal.
Stephen Folan looked set to shoot on the edge of the area, but the opportunity disappeared, forcing him to lay it off for Raff Cretaro who placed his effort beyond Mark McNulty in between the sticks.
Both teams had a number of late crosses as the game neared its conclusion with both sides enjoying good possession but lacking any real threat in the penalty area.
Harps had a half-hearted shout for a late penalty, but any calls were quiet at best as the game ended all square.
Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Stephen Folan, Shane McEleney, Mark Russell (Ryan Connolly 62), Kosovar Sadiki, Sam Todd (Jack Serrant-Green 79); Mark Coyle (Adam Foley 62), Leo Donnellan, Karl O'Sullivan; Alexander Kogler (Raffaele Cretaro 45).
Subs not used: Gareth Harkin, Patrick McGarvey, Tony McNamee.
Booked: Raffaele Cretaro (90).
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Joseph Olowu, Kevin O'Connor, Dale Holland (Jake O'Brien 79), Alan Bennett; Daire O'Connor (Connor Simpson 79), Dylan McGlade, Deshane Dalling, Cian Coleman; Kit Elliott (Scott Fenwick 74).
Subs not used: Rob Slevin, Cory Galvin, Alec Byrne, Liam Bossin.
Booked: Alan Bennett (40) ,Cian Coleman (78).
Referee: Paul McLoughlin.