Wednesday 21 February 2018

McMillan brace keeps Lilywhites on Cork's coat-tails at the top of the table

Finn Harps 0-2 Dundalk FC

David McMillan of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
David McMillan of Dundalk celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

David McMillan’s deadly brace fired champions Dundalk to victory over battling Finn Harps in Ballybofey on Friday night.

A goal in each half from McMillan gave Stephen Kenny’s men the spoils.

The game began just the way Harps would have wished – scrappy – but Dundalk posted the lead goal on 34 minute as McMillan wriggled free from Kilian Cantwell’s shackles to convert a wonderful Niclas Vemmelund cross from the right.

Thomas Stewart and Michael Duffy had early pot-shots for Dundalk, who were inches from the lead ten minutes before they did break the deadlock.

A header from McMillan came off the butt of the post and, with Brian Gartland waiting to pounce, Harps skipper Ciaran Coll made a magnificent goal-line clearance.

Harps had a moment of hope when the in-form Sean Houston got in around the back, but a cross – intended for Caolan McAleer – was cut out by Sean Hoare, but sometimes it’s the hope that kills you.

McMillan bagged his second nine minutes into the second-half when he tucked home Conor Clifford’s cross after heading off the crossbar just two minutes earlier.

McMillan was unlucky not to get on the end of a bobbling Michael Duffy shot soon after, but he arrived just a little too late, while Clifford wasn’t far away from bending in a free-kick.

Duffy arrowed over the top while Dundalk goalkeeper Gary Rogers held onto a stinging effort by Coll late in the night.

The lively Eddie Dsane was busy for Harps after his introduction, but there never seemed likely to be a significant threat from the Donegal side, who will still take heart from a decent display.

Finn Harps – Gallagher; McNulty, Cantwell, Coll, Harkin; Molloy (Funston 76), Boyle; McAleer, McCourt (Dsane 68), Bonner (Banda 82); Houston.

Dundalk – Rogers; Vemmelund, Hoare, Gartland, Massey; McGrath, Clifford, Shields (O’Donnell 84), Duffy; Stewart (Mountney 86), McMillan (Kilduff 87).

Ref – P Tuite.

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