Sunday 19 November 2017

Banda shines as Harps secure historic win away at Derry

Derry City  0 Finn Harps  2

BJ Banda, Finn Harps
BJ Banda, Finn Harps

BJ Banda again showed that he’s the man for the big occasion as he fired Finn Harps to a first ever away league win over Derry City.

Banda, whose goal in a 2015 play-off against Limerick took Harps into the top flight, scored the first and helped make the second for Michael Funston last night in Buncrana.

In added time at the end of the first half, Banda took a pass from Paddy McCourt before he struck an effort which deflected beyond the helpless Gerard Doherty.

Derry had the better of the chances before that point first as Ronan Curtis, latching onto a long ball from Mikhail Kennedy that caught out Ciaran Coll, riffled into the side-netting.

In an exact replica later in the half, Kennedy – on loan at Derry from Charlton Athletic – had a similar outcome when Curtis played him through.

Harps had Ciaran Gallagher to thank for keeping their slate clean as he got his fingertips to a dipping Aaron McEneff effort that seemed destined to find the net.

But Banda, only on as a sub after replacing the injured Jonny Bonner in the 22nd minute, proved to be a real handful for Derry.

After twice going close himself to doubling the lead, the South African-born striker was denied by Doherty, but Funston applied the finish.

Derry City – G.Doherty; McDermott, Whiteside, Barry, Jarvis; Schubert (Timlin 54), Low, McEneff, Daniels (B.Doherty 78); Kennedy (Boyle 54), Curtis.

Finn Harps - Gallagher; McNulty, Cantwell, Coll; Boyle, Bonner (Banda 22), Molloy (Mailey 90) McAleer, Harkin; McCourt (Funston 57); Houston.

Ref - R Matthews (Mullingar).

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