First half goals from Filip Mihaljević and Eric McWoods set Finn Harps on their way to a much-needed win against Drogheda United at Finn Park.

McWoods then added to the scoring after the break to complete a fine victory. The win means that the Ballybofey side leapfrog UCD at the bottom of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table, with the two strugglers due to face one another next Friday night at Belfield.

It was a welcome three points as Ollie Horgan's side had only won twice this season heading into the game - home and away against Shelbourne - with their last success coming back in April.

McWoods and Mihaljević had a hand in each other's goals, with the American taken down in the area and the Croatian planting the resultant penalty into the bottom right of the Town End goal after 23 minutes.

Then, a second goal on 44 minutes meant that Harps’ half-time cuppa would taste a little sweeter when the lively McWoods clipped home with a neat finish having been set up by Mihaljević.

Kevin Doherty, the Drogheda manager, would've been scratching his head in regards to the two-goal interval deficit, with his team creating the early chances. Former Harps striker Adam Foley saw an early opportunity come and go when he was denied by James McKeown in the Harps goal.

The Airtricity Premier Division table

Then three minutes later, Darragh Nugent struck a shot from the edge of the Harps area which hit the post.

At the other end, Colin McCabe turned away an effort from Mihaljević, although that was only the prelude to another opening for Drogheda, which ended with Darragh Markey seeing his pop at goal blocked by Barry McNamee and his second deflected wide off his own man, Chris Lyons.


With Harps low on confidence following a disappointing run that accumulated just two points from 36 available, the third goal was always going to be huge and McWoods, just shy of the hour, settled any nerves. His headed finish was excellent from Regan Donelon’s cross after Ethan Boyle had rampaged down the right.

Former Grimsby Town netminder McKeown made a fine stop from Ryan Brennan late on to ensure a clean sheet on the night of Harps’ best home performance of the campaign.

Finn Harps: James McKeown; Gary Boylan, Conor Tourish, Rob Slevin; Ethan Boyle (José Carrillo 89), Elie-Gael N’Zeyi, Ryan Connolly, Regan Donelon; Barry McNamee (Mark Timlin 90); Filip Mihaljević (Ryan Rainey 70), Eric McWoods.

Drogheda United: Colin McCabe; Georgie Poynton, Andrew Quinn, Dane Massey, Evan Weir; Adam Foley (Dean Williams 61), Gary Deegan, Darragh Nugent (Ryan Brennan ht), Dayle Rooney; Darragh Markey (Dylan Grimes 65); Chris Lyons (Victor Arong 75).

Referee: Damien McGraith.