The Midlanders picked up their first victory of the season in Wexford, at the same time as Harps were recording their heaviest defeat in almost two years on Friday night.
The hammering dished up by Cork was the first time Harps conceded five since UCD blasted the same amount past them at Finn Park in October 2009.
by Joe Doherty
Finn Harps Manager, James Gallagher, will again have to plan without the suspended Marc Brolly who serves the second of a two match suspension for his sending off against Salthill ten days ago.
Ciaran Coll is a major doubt after he was stretchered off in Turners Cross on Friday night, while goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher also took a knock.
“It’s hard to know what to say after that,” a shell-shocked James Gallagher said in the aftermatch of Friday’s game.
“Shocking defending would be a good way to describe it. Up until Cork scored we were doing OK and looked reasonably comfortable but we gave away shocking goals and it’s very hard to sum it up at this stage after been beaten 5-0. We probably deserved to be beaten by that much on the basis that we defended so badly.”
Harps have failed to score in each of their last four outings – three games in the league, and one in the EA Sports Cup – and have yet to record a victory this season.
Gallagher is rightly worried that the goals have dried up, especially after scoring four in the opening two games of the season.
“Of course we haven’t been scoring as much as we like, but we had Kevin up there on his own up until last Friday night and decided to go with two up front against Cork.
“I thought that if we were a bit cleverer we could have hurt them but it’s very frustrating at both ends of the field. Cork punished us for every bit of bad defending, other than that we looked comfortable in midfield at times and actually played some OK stuff, but they still managed to score five.”
With confidence low, Gallagher will have to pick his side up for another trip on the road on Tuesday. Athlone have only scored twice this season, but sit three points ahead of Harps in the early season league table. Gallagher knows a win is a must tonight to lift the confidence of not only his troops, but also the Finn Park faithful.
Athlone Town Stadium, Tuesday 19th April 2011 – Kick-off 7.45pm
Suspended: Marc Brolly.
Doubtful: Ciaran Gallagher, Ciaran Coll.
Injured: Garbhan Friel (knee).
Form Guide (last six league games)
Finn Harps: W-D-D-L-D-L (6 pts)
Athlone Town: D-D-D-L-L-W (6 pt)
Recent games away to Athlone Town
28-Apr-07 – Drew 2-2 (First Division)
01-Sep-07 – Lost 0-1 (First Division)
06-Jun-08 – Lost 1-2 (FAI Cup)
18-Apr-09 – Drew 2-2 (First Division)
09-Oct-09 – Win 6-0 (First Division)
10-Jul-10 – Win 1-0 (First Division)
Finn Harps Goalscorers 2011
Kevin McHugh – 3
Gareth Harkin – 1
Finn Harps Results 2011 (Harps goalscorer in brackets)
15th April 2011 – FD – Cork City 5-0 Finn Harps
8th April 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 0-0 Salthill Devon
28th March 2011 – EA – Mervue United 1-0 Finn Harps
25th March 2011 – FD – Waterford United 1-0 Finn Harps
18th March 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 2-2 Monaghan United (McHugh 2)
4th March 2011 – FD – Finn Harps 2-2 Limerick (McHugh, Harkin)