Timlin delivers sucker punch for unlucky Harps
Finn Harps 1 St Patrick's Athletic 2
The footballing gods weren't smiling on poor Finn Harps as St Patrick's Athletic left Finn Park with three points last night.
The Inchicore side were getting their fill of it from the team who won promotion last season, only to be handed a calamitous opener.
On 68 minutes, a corner from Conan Byrne offered the chance to lift the siege for the visitors. His whipped ball was missed by everyone, including a flapping Richard Brush, only to cannon into the net off the unfortunate Packie Mailey.
Ten minutes later, the points were secured when a ball smacked forward by Michael Barker set Mark Timlin away and the Buncrana native slotted past Brush with what was St Pat's second shot on target.
The home side did get something for their endeavours in the 90th minute as Kevin McHugh scored a penalty after a foul by Barker on Damien McNulty.
Manager Ollie Horgan was sent to the stand in injury time for throwing the ball at Ian Bermingham, the Pat's full-back.
On 64 minutes, a three-man Harps break made its way towards the River End.
Ryan Curran had options inside to his left but opted to take on the chance himself and his pop from the edge of the penalty area came back off the St Pat's crossbar.
Then, from the return cross from Dave Scully, Sean Hoare made a vital defensive header and then, there were appeals for a penalty when the home support felt Mailey was pulled by Jason McGuinness.
The best chance of the first half arrived in the first minute. From a pass from Billy Dennehy, Byrne drew a sharp save from Brush as some of the crowd were still coming through the turnstiles.
Harps didn't create an awful lot early on but didn't give away much either. Sean Houston's inventive close range backheel was blocked by a posse of red socks and then Ethan Boyle's attempted lob was well over.
In the second half, Houston dragged a shot wide on 56 minutes following a super piece of skill down at the corner to leave two of the visitors' defenders bamboozled.
Finn Harps - R Brush; D McNulty, P Mailey, K Cowan, C Coll; E Boyle (M Funston 53), S Houston (L Flatley 82), G Harkin, T McNamee; D Scully (K McHugh 82), R Curran.
St Patrick's Athletic - B Clarke; M Barker, S Hoare, D Dennehy (J McGuinness 61), I Bermingham; C Byrne, D Cawley, S McEleney, B Dennehy; M Timlin; C Fagan.
Ref -: B Connolly.