Tuesday 17 September 2019

Stephen O'Donnell enjoys winning start to his managerial career after Pats' come-from-behind win

Finn Harps 1 St Patrick's Athletic 2

Stephen O'Donnell. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Stephen O'Donnell. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

STEPHEN O’Donnell got his managerial career off to winning ways as St Patrick’s Athletic moved to within a point of fourth-placed Derry City.

Darragh Markey and Rhys McCabe netted as Pat’s claimed a come-from-behind win over battling Finn Harps in Ballybofey.

Six-time Premier Division winner O’Donnell took the Richmond Park hot seat following the departure of Harry Kenny.

O’Donnell’s words at the break clearly worked as the energised Saints - who trailed to Nathan Boyle’s opener in the first half - drew level 11 minutes into the second half.

After Markey’s shot was well saved by the feet of Mark Anthony McGinley, Ian Bermingham drilled the ball back across the box and Markey fired high to the Harps net.

With Harps still reeling, the visitors took the lead in the 67th minute.

It’s not a goal that Harps will want to relive. After doing well to cut out the danger from Glen McAuley, Gareth Harkin gifted the ball to McCabe on the edge of the box and the substitute’s composed finish found the bottom corner.

Harps had taken the lead against the run of play on 31 minutes.

Daniel O’Reilly headed on a long throw-in by Niall Logue and Boyle, from close-range, poked home his fifth League goal of the year.

An earlier throw by Logue had given Harps a sniff, but Mark Timlin’s effort was deflected off target.

Pat’s began well and recent recruit McAuley drove over inside the opening minute.

McAuley, signed by Pat’s in July following his release from Liverpool, turned provider soon after for Gary Shaw, who shot into the side-netting.

Harps pushed hard in the closing stages for an equaliser, but O’Reilly fired wide with their best chance from 20 yards.

Harps - McGinley; O’Reilly, Cowan, Todd; Borg (McNamee 83), Coyle, G.Harkin (Cretaro 71), Logue; Timlin, Boyle (Place 78).

Pat’s - Clarke; Madden, Webster, Desmond, Bermingham; McAuley (Walker 87), Clifford (McCabe h-t), Clarke, Kelly; Markey; Shaw (Forrester 76).

Ref - J McLoughlin.

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