Premier Division: Finn Harps defeat disappointing Derry City in Ballybofey

Jamie McDonagh
Jamie McDonagh was denied in the second half

A Harry Ascroft goal midway through the second half gave Finn Harps a 1-0 win over an under-par Derry City in Ballybofey.

The Candystripes had plenty of possession but were unable to find a breakthrough against the second-bottom side at Finn Park.

Jamie McDonagh came closest for the visitors but his effort early in the second half was saved by Mark McGinley.

Fourth-placed Derry remain five points behind Bohemians in third.

Finn Harps, meanwhile, are three points ahead of basement side UCD after moving off the bottom with a win over Waterford last week.

It was the fourth meeting of the season between the teams with Derry, whose manager Declan Devine was serving a touchline suspension, winning the previous three encounters.

Friday night's winning goal came in the 66th minute from a long throw-in by substitute Tony McNamee, with Ascroft rising highest at the near post to head home.

Mark McGinley
McGinley made saves from Ogedi-Uzokwe and McDonagh

McDonagh had come close to opening the scoring for the Candystripes 11 minutes earlier after impressive build-up play from Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Greg Sloggett.

McDonagh's toe-poked effort was heading for the corner of the net before McGinley dived to tip it round the post.

Sloggett saw a strong header go just over the crossbar two minutes after the goal and in the 88th minute substitute Michael McCrudden was also just off target with a snapshot.

The only significant efforts of a dull first half came in the final five minutes, with McDonagh coming close for the visitors with a well-struck effort from 20 yards that went just wide.

Two minutes later, Ogedi-Uzokwe went past Daniel O'Reilly and Jacob Borg in the box before firing in a low, left-footed effort which McGinley did well to save at his near post.

McGinley almost cost his side in first-half injury-time when he mis-kicked a clearance and had to rush off his line to punch clear as David Parkhouse aimed to head towards goal.

The home side barely threatened Derry keeper Peter Cherrie, with a header wide at the back post by Keith Cowan in the 27th minute the closest they came before the break.

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