Delaney sees red as UCD draw

 

Finn Harps collected another vital point in their bid to stay in the premier division by denying UCD a victory that dented their chances of European football next season.

The Students were unhappy with the red card shown to central defender Clive Delaney in the 80th minute after a foul on substitute Kevin McHugh. Delaney, who had earlier been booked for a foul on James Mulligan was unfortunate to receive his marching orders from Waterford referee Jimmy O'Neill as McHugh appeared to trip over himself after minimum contact. "That decision changed the whole course of the game as we were in charge at that stage," complained UCD boss, Martin Moran. "I thought it was a harsh decision. But at least we are still in with a chance of a top four finish with six matches to go."

Harps went ahead with a freak goal after ten minutes when new skipper Fergal Harkin swung over a cross from the left. Robert McAuley's attempted clearance rebounded off Shane Bradley into the corner of the net. College were level on 28 minutes when Declan Boyle was adjudged to have pulled back striker Ken Kilmurray following a Brian Mooney corner on the right. Ciaran Martyn made no mistake with the resulting penalty, shooting low and hard past keeper, Gavin Cullen.

"I didn't think that the penalty awarded against us was correct. You don't see decisions like that for jersey pulling awarded by many referees," said Harps boss, Gavin Dykes.

"At least it's still in our own hands. Overall I am disappointed with the result. On another day James Mulligan might have scored four goals. But I was happy with the effort we showed after last week's disappointing cup exit at the hands of Galway United."

UCD: Ryan; McLoughlin, Delaney, McAuley, Mahon; Mooney, Kavanagh, Martyn, Martin; Fitzpatrick, Kilmurray. Subs: Bennis for Fitzpatrick (77 mins).

FINN HARPS: Cullen; Boyle, Bradley, Minnock; Kenny, Mohan, Harkin, Tierney, McGranaghan, Mulligan, Turner. Subs: McGrenaghan for McGranaghan (63 mins); McHugh for Turner (78 mins).

Referee: J O'Neill (Waterford)