McCabe spot-on to break Harps resistance
Finn Harps 0 Shamrock Rovers 1
Published 15/03/2016 | 02:30
Gary McCabe's 70th-minute penalty helped maintain Shamrock Rovers' perfect start to the new season.
Against a stubborn Finn Harps, it took McCabe's penalty to break the deadlock.
Harps goalkeeper Richard Brush was penalised for a foul on Danny North and McCabe slammed the spotkick to the top corner.
Rovers arrived at Finn Park after 2-0 wins over Sligo Rovers and Wexford Youths, but found Harps a tough nut to crack.
Rovers came close early on, but Michael Drennan fired just past the far post after skipping away from Ethan Boyle to connect with a cut-back by Brandon Miele. Former Rovers keeper Brush beat away a powerful strike by Miele soon after with Drennan's follow-up blocked by Packie Mailey.
Miele fired tamely at Brush again as Rovers tried to up the tempo, but Harps made life difficult for the Hoops.
McCabe came close to catching Brush off guard with an ambitious effort after Gareth Harkin lost possession, but his shot was just over the top.
Having beaten Derry City here in their first home game of the season 10 days ago, it was a night again that outlined the difficulties that visiting sides will face in Ballybofey.
McCabe did fire Rovers in front 20 minutes from time when he superbly beat Brush from the spot.
Rovers looked liked they had doubled the lead when Drennan tapped home from Simon Madden's cross, but he'd strayed offside.
On Friday, Ciaran Coll became the latest Harps player to pick up an injury that will keep him out long term and despite the mounting injuries, Harps showed enough endeavour. But McCabe's spotkick made it three-from-three for the Hoops.
Finn Harps - R Brush; D McNulty, P Mailey, K Cowan, E Boyle (L Flatley '83); A Hanlon, R Foy (K McHugh '72), G Harkin, D Scully; T McNamee (M Funston '81); R Curran.
Shamrock Rovers - B Murphy; S Madden, M Blancard, D O'Connor, G Brennan; M Drennan, G McCabe, K Brennan, B Miele; G Shaw, D North (G McCaffrey '90).
Ref - N Doyle.