Babtunde Owolabi celebrates the winning goal
Finn Harps 1
Derry City 0
Derry City have been knocked out of the FAI Cup by Finn Harps.
A second half penalty from Babatunde Owolabi, who downed St. Patrick’s Athletic with a hat trick last week, was enough for Harps, who picked up their first ever FAI Cup win over the Candystripes.
After a poor first half, the action finally picked up in the second half.
The Harps crowd were doing their best to make their presence felt in the early stages of the second half, and their team came close to responding when Adam Foley fizzed a left-footed effort just over Nathan Gartside’s crossbar.
Foley, who scored a winner at the Brandywell earlier this season, came even closer just before the hour mark. Eoin Toal’s bizarre clearance put Lafferty in trouble and Foley took advantage, stealing possession and driving at goal, forcing Nathan Gartside into the first save of the game, the City goalkeeper pushing it behind for a corner.
The defining moment of the game came on 73 minutes when a cross into the Derry area bounced up, and in attempting to clear it, Ronan Boyce caught Ryan Rainey and referee Harvey immediately pointed to the spot. When the dust settled, Owolabi fired the ball confidently into the top corner to put Harps on the verge of victory, with just 17 minutes remaining.
The game should have been over within 60 seconds in fact, as another cross by Foley piked out Rainey, but he headed just over.
A simple long ball forward by Eoin Toal almost proved Harps undoing with 10 minutes remaining as Gerard Doherty came out of his goal to collect, only for Junior to get there first. With Doherty frantically backtracking, Junior laid the ball off for Evan McLaughlin, and his shot was parried by the Harps goalkeeper – it was Derry’s first shot on target.
Five minutes off added time gave Derry hope, and Gerard Doherty had to save from Jamie McGonigle before tipping over a cross from Coll which threatened to fly straight in. It was a tense finale, but Harps hung on for an historic win.
FINN HARPS: Doherty, McEleney, Webster, Dunleavy, Boyle (Sadiki 67’) Coyle, McNamee, Rainey, Mustoe (O’Sullivan 45’), Owolabi (Boyd 84’), Foley.
DERRY CITY: Gartside, Boyce (Ferry 84’), Toal, Coll, Lafferty, Malone, Harkin (McLaughlin 76’), Hery (Akintunde 65’), Thomson, Ogedi-Uzokwe, McGonigle.
REFEREE: Rob Harvey.
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