Drogheda United made light of the numerical disadvantage to put Finn Harps to the sword with three goals late on at Head In The Game Park.

Conor Tourish had put Harps in front early in the second half before United centre-back Sean Roughan was sent off for two bookabke offences.

That left Kevin Doherty's side with an uphill struggle. They had come into the game having lost their last four games in any case. A fifth seemed inevitable.

However, it was United’s substitutes that proved the difference. Evan Weir levelled the game within three minutes of his introduction.

Foley, a former Finn Harps striker no less, making his first appearance after a lengthy injury lay-off put the hosts in front in injury time. He had replaced Chris Lyons only ten minutes earlier.

More drama arrived in the form of Bastien Hery’s red card for kicking Ryan Brennan and then Darragh Nugent’s late, late third. Local man Brennan laid on Foley’s goal and following his arrival into the game at the interval, was key to everything good that United produced against the odds.

On a sour note, a man was removed from Head In The Game Park at half time after the game was briefly interrupted when referee Derek Tomney was made aware of racist language used by a person in the crowd towards a player. Ground staff quickly identified the individual and he was escorted from the ground.

The first half was dominated by Harps who looked intent on righting the wrong of allowing UCD a first win of the campaign last week. They didn’t trouble goalkeeper Sam Long much however. He easily gathered Ryan Rainey’s shot while a series of free kicks came to nothing.

Tourish had the visitors in front two minutes after the break. His close ranger header was his third of prolific season for the defender.

After Roughan’s two yellows in quick succession, Horgan made attacking changes to take advantage of the United disorganisation. It didn’t work and in fact helped the ten men to seal control.

Weir was introduced as United reshuffled and he instantly fired in from James Clarke’s low centre.

Foley was at full stretch to turn in Brennan’s cross from wide on the left as the clock ticked into injury time. His goals were crucial in keeping Harps safe last term.

Now he was netting in claret and blue and soon after Darragh Nugent did so for the first time for the club after a breakaway that involved a fine Foley assist.

Hery was sent off for kicking Ryan Brennan late on too as frustrations boiled over. Ref Tomney has now sent off four players in the last two meetings of these sides he has presided over.

Drogheda United: Sam Long; Andrew Quinn (Ryan Brennan, 46), Sean Roughan, Keith Cowan, Dane Massey; Gary Deegan, James Clarke; Georgie Poynton, Dayle Rooney (Evan Weir, 67), Darragh Nugent; Chris Lyons (Adam Foley, 79).

Finn Harps: Mark McGinley; Jose Carrillo (Luke Rudden, 90+3), Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin; Ethan Boyle, Ryan Connolly, Ryan Rainey, Bastien Hery, Regan Donelon (Mark Timlin, 72); Barry McNamee (Jesse Devers, 77); Filip Mihaljevic (Yoyo Mahdy, 72).

Referee: Derek Tomney