2 - 1

Jordan Mustoe 56' -
Scored: 56'

Tunde Owolabi 85' -
Scored: 85'

OG: 71'
- Adam Foley 71'

League Report: Finn Harps 2 - 1 Shamrock Rovers

Fri, Sep 03 2021

Finn Harps goalkeeper Mark McGinley celebrates Finn Harps' first win over Shamrock Rovers in 13 years Credit: Clare McCahill

Macdara Ferris reports from Finn Park

Finn Harps earned their first win over Shamrock Rovers since 2008 with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Shamrock Rovers. 

Tunde Owolabi was the hero for Harps yet again, getting the winner five minutes from time.

The Hoops had won on their last eight visits to Ballybofey but suffered a defeat that sees St Patrick’s Athletic join them at the top of the table.

Harps, meanwhile, solidified their seventh place position in the table with their fourth league win in a row.

Harps had given the Hoops a helping hand to get back into it when Adam Foley scored an own goal to cancel out a fine team goal that Jordan Mustoe rounded off. 

Both managers made three changes from last weekend’s FAI Cup games. 

Hoops head coach Stephen Bradley, after seeing his side knocked out by Bohs and with an injury and suspension crisis (Ronan Finn and Danny Mandroiu missed the match in Ballybofey due to discipline issues), handed a debut to new signing Barry Cotter. 

The Clareman was deployed centrally in a back three alongside stand in skipper Joey O’Brien and Sean Gannon. The new Rovers number six had a great battle with Belgian Owolabi  throughout the game.

Owolabi has been in a rich vein of goalscoring form for Harps, bagging a hat-trick against the Athletic a fortnight ago and grabbing the only goal in their very first north-west FAI Cup win over Derry City last week.

It was a physical contest between the two men, with the former Ipswich Town player just about coming out on top. A couple of crucial last gasp diving challenges from Cotter stopped Owolabi racing in on goal. 

The pair swapped fouls with referee Damien MacGraith deeming one on 13 minutes worthy of a yellow card for the Harps striker.

This came after the referee had booked Aaron Greene, deployed at left wing back for the Hoops, for complaining about the lack of pressure in the match ball.

Adam Foley came closest to getting the opening goal for the hosts, racing onto a ball over the top of the Rovers defence but Alan Mannus was quick off his line to close it down. 

Will Seymore then had a driven effort that just cleared the Hoops crossbar.

The chances were few and fair between and while the Hoops dominated the possession they never tested Mark McGinley in the Harps goal. 

Kosovar Sadiki was also called upon to block a goal bound effort from Gary O’Neill and the nearest the visitors came to taking a lead into the break was on 34 minutes. 

Dylan Watts found space in the box to hit a low shot that just drifted wide of Mark McGinley’s goal.

Five minutes into the second period there was a let off for Harps as Rory Gaffney’s shot on the turn at the egde of the area came back out off the post with McGinley beaten.

The home side took the lead on 56 minutes with a superbly taken team goal rounded off by  Mustoe. 

The left back was on the end of a sweeping Harps move that saw Barry McNamee pass to Ryan Rainey, who found Mustoe in space to slot home the opener with his left.

Bradley brought on 17-year-old Aidomo Emakhu as the Hoops looked to get back into the game, with Richie Towell slotting in at right wing back.

They got a lifeline on 71 minutes when, inexplicably, Adam Foley headed a Dylan Watts' cross from the right into his own goal.

Harps conjured up the winner five minutes from time when Karl O’Sullivan got by Aaron Greene.

He found Owolabi at the backpost to head home for his fifth goal in three games, making it six wins in a row for Harps. 

Despite falling to their fourth consecutive defeat, the Hoops stay top of the table on goal difference with two games in hand on St Patrick’s Athletic.

Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; David Webster (c), Shane McEleney, Kosovar Sadiki, Jordan Mustoe; Adam Foley (Karl O'Sullivan 72), Mark Coyle, Ryan Rainey (Ryan Connolly 88), Will Seymore; Barry McNamee, Tunde Owolabi (Sean Boyd 90).

Subs not used: Gerard Doherty (gk), Ethan Boyle, Stephen Black, Luke Rudden, Dan Hawkins, Nathan Logue. 

Booked: Tunde Owolabi (13), Will Seymore (90+2), Jordan Mustoe (90+ 3). 

Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Sean Gannon, Barry Cotter, Joey O'Brien; Max Murphy (Aidomo Emakhu 67), Aaron Greene, Gary O'Neill, Dylan Watts; Graham Burke, Richie Towell, Rory Gaffney.

Subs not used: Leon Pohls (gk), Chris McCann, Dylan Duffy, Dean McMenamy, Conan Noonan. 

Booked: Aaron Greene (3). 

Referee: Damien MacGraith.

Attendance: 1,200 (estimate).

extratime.com Player of the Match: Ryan Rainey (Finn Harps).

Finn Harps
DSept. 17, 2021
Harps 3 - 3 Dundalk
LSept. 21, 2021
Dundalk 3 - 1 Harps
WSept. 24, 2021
Bohs 1 - 2 Harps
DOct. 1, 2021
Harps 2 - 2 Dundalk
LOct. 15, 2021
Waterford 4 - 1 Harps
Mark McGinley 1
Shane McEleney 16
Jordan Mustoe
Scored: 56'
Booked: 90'
Kosovar Sadiki 4
© David Webster 5
Mark Coyle 14
Barry McNamee 11
Ryan Rainey 22
88Subbed Off: Ryan Connolly 88'
Will Seymore 28
Adam Foley 19
OG: 71'
72Subbed Off: Karl O'Sullivan 72'
Tunde Owolabi 45
Booked: 13'
Scored: 85'
90Subbed Off: Sean Boyd 90'

Nathan Logue
Dan Hawkins
Gerard Doherty
Ryan Connolly 6
88Subbed On: Ryan Rainey 88'
Ethan Boyle 24
Sean Boyd 9
90Subbed On: Tunde Owolabi 90'
Stephen Black
Karl O'Sullivan 7
72Subbed On: Adam Foley 72'
Luke Rudden
Shamrock R
WSept. 24, 2021
St. Pats 0 - 1 Shamrock R
WOct. 1, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 1 Derry
LOct. 8, 2021
Dundalk 1 - 0 Shamrock R
WOct. 15, 2021
Shamrock R 2 - 0 Sligo
DOct. 18, 2021
Shamrock R 1 - 1 Bohs
1 Alan Mannus
2 Sean Gannon
Barry Cotter
28 Joey O'Brien
24 Max Murphy
Midfielder 67'
67Subbed Off: Aidomo Emakhu 67'
9 Aaron Greene
Booked: 3'
16 Gary O'Neill
7 Dylan Watts
20 Rory Gaffney
10 Graham Burke
17 Richie Towell

Dean McMenamy
26 Chris McCann
Aidomo Emakhu
Midfield 67'
67Subbed On: Max Murphy 67'
Dylan Duffy
Conan Noonan
25 Leon Pohls


Competition: 2021 League of Ireland Premier Division

Date: 8 p.m. Sept. 3, 2021

Venue: Finn Park

Referee: Unknown

Attendance: Unknown