Waterford FC vs Finn Harps FC
Waterford FC -v- Finn Harps FC
Monday, 24th May 2021
Finn Harps take the win after a strong second-half performance at the RSC. Waterford started the game positively and were rewarded with a fine goal from Jamie Mascoll after just 3 minutes, but Harps slowly grew in confidence as the game went on and hit a double blow with 15 minutes remaining. Barry McNamee equalised from the spot on 75 minutes before Adam Foley flew down the right wing and finished emphatically just a minute later.
Waterford looked well up for the battle in the opening exchanges with the midfield trio of Shane Griffin, Niall O’ Keeffe, and Adam O’ Reilly crunching into tackles around the centre of the park. The blues were alive to any loose balls and looked to pass their way out of danger at every opportunity. That composure was evident when a good passing move lead to Jamie Mascoll powering past the Harps right back and calmly finishing into the bottom corner to give Waterford their first goal in 6 games.
Brian Murphy was kept busy all evening with Harps launching ball after ball into his area from set-pieces, but the experienced goalkeeper was up for the challenge and pulled off some excellent saves to keep his side ahead. Sean Boyd’s strong header was tipped over on 30 minutes before the lively Owolabi was denied 5 minutes later.
The visitors continued their dominance in the second half but Murphy was in inspired form, the keeper somehow kept out another Boyd header from point-blank range and offered relief to the onslaught of long throw-ins through his strong punches. Harps could have been forgiven for thinking it wasn’t their night when Ethan Boyle head over from 2 yards out with 20 minutes to go.
But 5 minutes later the visitors got the rub of the green they were waiting for, referee Robert Hennessy pointed to the spot after Darragh Power appeared to time his tackle to perfection. Barry McNamee dually converted from 12 yards out and the Donegal men went on to complete the comeback just one minute later when substitute Adam Foley showed his pace to drive down the right-wing and finish from a tight angle.
It was another tough defeat to take for this weary squad that are still being tormented by Covid/injury concerns. Marc Bircham and his management will be hoping the upcoming midseason break will give them a chance to get a few players out of the physio room and back onto the pitch so their philosophy can be put across further.
Next up is a trip to Dalymount on Saturday afternoon.