Shamrock Rovers eased their way to a comfortable 3-1 win over Tallaght Stadium, with Danny Mandroiu scoring twice.
Shamrock Rovers 3
Finn Harps 1
On the face of it, it could’ve been worse for Ollie Horgan’s side as following an opening goal from Roberto Lopes and Mandroiu’s brace, Stephen Bradley’s team were three up with only 28 minutes played. Conor Tourish did pull on back for Harps before half-time, with Rovers creating a host of chances after the break but not adding to their lead - thanks mainly to Mark Anthony McGinley in the visitors’ goal.
Bradley committed his loyalties to the Tallaght-based club with Lincoln City and their win over Harps cut their deficit to one point behind Derry City at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table. For Harps, they welcome UCD on Friday night in the basement battle.
Harps fell behind in the 17th minute when Lopes tucked home, although McGinley was unhappy with the challenge of Rory Gaffney in the lead-up, following a corner-kick.
Harps had opportunities to level, with Yoyo Mahdy denied by a smart Alan Mannus save and then Ethan Boyle heading inches wide from a corner by Jesse Devers, with the Rovers goalkeeper probably beaten. However, they were made pay by Mandroiu , who looked dangerous from the off with a curling effort just over seconds into the game. On 20 minutes though, he dived to head home a cross from Sean Gannon - and although the cross ended up hitting Mandroiu on the chest, it made its way home for 2-0.
Again, Harps almost replied but again were out of luck. Boyle saw another save from Mannus before Mandriou pretty much ended the contest. Jack Byrne’s ball was perfect and Mandroiu this time headed home. Harps by now were in serious bother and would’ve feared the worst.
They kept battling and did pull one back before the break, with Tourish putting a fine header onto Devers’ cross after Barry McNamee’s pass out wide. A second goal might’ve given the Ballybofey side a hope, but it was almost all Rovers in the second half. The home side, despite not adding to their total, were by far the better side and McGinley was working overtime, saving well from Mandroiu, substitute Aidomo Emakhu and Richie Towell.
Luke Rudden couldn’t hit the target from a half-chance and Emakhu’s luck was out as his drive came back off the inside of the post to McGinley.
Shamrock Rovers: Alan Mannus; Sean Gannon, Roberto Lopes, Lee Grace (Seán Hoare); Andy Lyons (Barry Cotter 60), Richie Towell, Chris McCann, Sean Kavanagh; Jack Byrne (Graham Burke half-time), Danny Mandroiu (Aaron Greene 60), Rory Gaffney (Aidomo Emakhu half-time).
Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Erol Erdal Alkan, Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin, Regan Donelon; Ethan Boyle; Ryan Rainey, Jesse Devers, Barry McNamee (Luke Rudden 71); Yoyo Mahdy (Nathan Logue 83), Filip Mihajlovic (Sean McDermott 89).
Referee: Tom Owen (Wales).
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.