Saturday 20 January 2018

McCabe spot kick seals the deal for Rovers at Finn Harps

Finn Harps 0 1 Shamrock Rovers

Gary McCabe Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE
Gary McCabe Picture credit: Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE

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 spot kick to the top corner.

Rovers arrived at Finn Park after 2-0 wins over Sligo and Wexford, 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 Richard 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 Dubliners.

McCabe came close to catching Brush off guard with an ambitious effort  on 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 ten 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’d doubled the lead when Drennan tapped home from Simon Madden’s cross, but he’d strayed offside.

On Friday night, Ciaran Coll became the lastest Harps player to pick up an injury that will keep him out long term.

Despite the mounting injuries, Harps showed enough endeavour, but McCabe's spot kick made it three-from-three for the Hoops.

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