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Match Report - Finn Harps v Kerry FC

Match Report – Finn Harps v Kerry FC



Kerry made their longest trip of the season on Friday evening as they took on Finn Harps in Ballybofey. Kerry picked up one point in the two visits to Finn Park last season and Conor McCarthy’s side hoped that they could gather their first three points against the Donegal side since their inaugural season last year.

Harps striker Success Edugon, whom Kerry are familiar with from his great performances last season for Treaty Unite has been in fantastic form so far in the opening five games this season. Kerry’s back five setup were hopeful they could neutralise the striker on a chilly night in the hills.

Antonio Tuta returns to Finn Park for the first time since leaving to join Kerry at the start of the year. Tuta showed a blinding display against Kerry in the side’s last meeting saving an array of great efforts and being equal to a Leo Gaxha penalty to level the game in the late stages.

Kerry FC were undefeated in their previous three games going into the battle against Finn Harps. They were looking for their first win of the League of Ireland season and were hopeful that a win in Donegal could kick-start their season.

First Half:
The game started as a close contest with Kerry getting off the mark first through a shot from Victor Udeze. Although the shot was on target it fell easily into the arms of Tim-Oliver Hiemer.

Harps got through with possibly the best opportunity of the game at the early stage. A pass fell into the path of Success Edugon, he lifted the ball over Antonio Tuta and thankfully Samuel Aladesanusi was on hand to clear the ball off the line and clear the Kerry FC line of defence.

Ryan Kelliher had the next shot at goal in the game. He received the ball on the left side of the area just outside of the box. He tried to whip his effort into the top left corner but unfortunately, it hit the roof of the net and the game remained level after the first twenty-six minutes.

Finn Harps showed the most dangerous signs towards the end of the first half. The first warning sign came as Shane McMonagle had his header saved brilliantly onto the crossbar by Antonio Tuta. The home side had another chance go begging as a scramble in the box eventually ended up well wide of Tuta’s goal.

Harps would be disappointed with themselves that they could not find a way through the Kerry back line. Kerry’s back five setup were well up to the challenge that the home side conveyed towards them. If they could build onto the defensive display in the second half and get a few more chances on goal, there was nothing stopping Kerry from coming away with all three points.

Second Half:
Finn Harps came out of the traps fast in the second half with a shot from distance being brilliantly blocked by Ryan Kelliher and directed out for a corner. The corner subsequently was collected very calmly by Antonio Tuta.

Victor Udeze got forward again like the start of the first half to make a bit of space for himself to let fly from a decent distance. The shot had very little power on it, but the precision nearly brought it into the bottom left corner. Unfortunately for Udeze and Kerry, the shot did go wide of the Harps’ goal.

Kerry dominated play from the seventieth to eightieth minutes with a free kick from Sean O’Connell going on target but not troubling the keeper. Ronan Teahan and Steven Healy also added long-range efforts in those stages but did not harm Hiemer in any sort of way.

Finn Harps troubled Kerry in a ten-minute stage of the second half where they gained eight corners in that time but every one of them was cleared by the superb Kerry defensive side.

Despite a late flurry of attacks from Finn Harps, none of them materialised and the game finished in a 0-0 draw. Kerry played their game plan perfectly and was unlucky not to come away with the three points. That is now four games unbeaten for the Kingdom as they look to make their way further up in the First Division standings. They take on Wexford FC back at home in Mounthawk next Friday where they will be hopeful to finally gain their first League of Ireland win in their home ground.

Finn Harps Team: 1. Tim-Oliver Hiemer, 5. Matt Makinson, 17. Shane McMonagle, 2. Jamie Watson, 22. David Cawley, 26. Tony McNamee, 8. Max Hutchinson, 7. Patrick Ferry, 4. Conor Tourish, 15. Luke O’Brien, 9. Success Edugon.

Subs: Darragh Coyle, Christian Lotefa, Stephen Doherty, Ryan Rainey, Sean O’Donnell, Max Johnston, Chris Lotefa.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15. Kevin Williams, 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 5. Andy Spain (C), 6. Ethan Kos, 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 8. Ronan Teahan, 7. Sean McGrath, 9. Ryan Kelliher, 22. Victor Udeze.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Jack Kavanagh, Daniel Okwute, Kennedy Amechi, Steven Healy, Cian Brosnan, Finn Barrett, Graham O’Reilly, Ferdia O’Brien.