It will be the third meeting of the teams in just eight days after it took two games last weekend to decide the FAI Cup tie between the sides.
After a 1-1 draw at Finn Park last Friday night – thanks to a injury time equaliser from Cobh’s John Meade – Harps ran out comfortable 4-0 winners in St. Colmans Park on Monday night in the replay with Kevin McHugh, Lee Toland, Paul McVeigh and Michael Funston scoring the goals.
So, having arrived home victorious in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the Harps squad will have the same six-hundred mile round trip to look forward to again on Saturday as they face Cobh for the sixth time this season.
How does Harps boss Peter Hutton see things going on Saturday against a side who then have gotten very familiar with in the last week?
“Irrespective of what level in the game it is, it is always difficult going up against the same opposition so frequently in such a short space of time,” said Hutton in advance of the game.
“Both teams are already very familiar with each other and their respective strengths and weaknesses so it’ll certainly be difficult, more so given that the boys have to do the round trip again so soon. Cobh will obviously have a point to prove following on from the cup defeat but we will go there with confidence and look forward to the game.”
Hutton was delighted how his team responded on Monday night in the replay after the initial draw in the Cup game last Friday night. However, he felt Cobh got exactly what they deserved when Meade headed home in injury time.
“To concede so late was a devastating blow but to be honest it was probably deserved as we had played very poorly in the second half.
“First half we were fine, played reasonably well but again created numerous chances but only had the single goal to show for it. We should have at least worked their keeper more with the amount of chances and possession we had in and around their box, but again we paid the penalty for not being ruthless and finishing the game off.”
Hutton feels that his players could have left Ballybofey last Friday night feeling sorry for themselves after it looked like they could have thrown away the chance of playing in the quarter-finals of the Cup.
“We addressed the situation immediately after the game and the players knew clearly what was expected of them in terms of their physical and mental preparation for Monday’s game. The players were certainly down but by the time we left Finn Park but they were focused and ready to prove a few people wrong. To a man the team was terrific on Monday and showed great character to respond in the manner they did,” commented Hutton.
“We were excellent, the players applied themselves extremely well and weathered the expected early pressure and then displayed great composure and professionalism in taking control of the game. It was a tough game physically giving the boys had to step off the bus after such a long journey and to play against a very energetic side but each and every one of them was a credit to this club,” said Hutton of the 4-0 replay victory.
The reward for Harps is a home tie against Premier League Drogheda United in the last eight. It’s the first time in a decade that Harps have reached this stage of the competition.
“All we could really hope for was a home draw and having beaten Cobh we can now look forward to playing a very good Premier league team,” said Hutton. “I’m delighted for the players that they will have the opportunity to compete in a real absorbing cup tie and hopefully the supporters will come out once more and show their passion and vocal support on another special occasion.”
Harps have no injury worries ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cobh and Hutton will have a full strength squad to choose from.
Form Guide (last six league games)
Finn Harps: D-L-W-L-W-L (7 pts)
Cobh Ramblers: D-W-L-W-L-L (7 pts)
Last six away games against Cobh Ramblers
04-Nov-06 – Cobh Ramblers 3-0 Finn Harps (First Division)
25-Mar-07 – Cobh Ramblers 1-0 Finn Harps (First Division)
28-Jul-07 – Cobh Ramblers 0-0 Finn Harps (First Division)
23-May-08 – Cobh Ramblers 1-3 Finn Harps (Premier Division)
04-May-13 – Cobh Ramblers 2-2 Finn Harps (First Division)
26-Aug-13 – Cobh Ramblers 0-4 Finn Harps (FAI Cup)
Finn Harps Goalscorers 2013
Kevin McHugh – 9 (2 in FAI Cup)
Sean McCarron – 8 (1 in FAI Cup)
Michael Funston – 4 (1 in FAI Cup)
Keith Cowan – 3 (1 in FAI Cup)
Mark Forker – 2
Thomas McMonagle – 2
Lee Toland – 1 (in FAI Cup)
Paul McVeigh – 1 (in FAI Cup)
Thomas McBride – 1 (in League Cup)
Matt Harkin – 1 (in League Cup)
James Doherty – 1 (in League Cup)
Marc Brolly – 1 (in League Cup)
Aaron O’Hagan – 1 (in League Cup)
Finn Harps Results 2013 (Harps goalscorers in brackets)
26-Aug-13 – FAI – Cobh Ramblers 0-4 Finn Harps (McHugh, Toland, McVeigh, Funston)
23-Aug-13 – FAI – Finn Harps 1-1 Cobh Ramblers (McHugh)
16-Aug-13 – AL – Finn Harps 0-2 Waterford United
09-Aug-13 – AL – Finn Harps 2-0 Salthill Devon (Forker 2)
02-Aug-13 – AL – Athlone Town 1-0 Finn Harps
26-Jul-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 1-0 Wexford Youths (McHugh)
19-Jul-2013 – AL – Mervue United 4-0 Finn Harps
12-Jul-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 0-0 Longford Town
28-Jun-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 2-2 Cobh Ramblers (Funston, Cowan)
28-Jun-2013 – AL – Waterford United 3-0 Finn Harps
14-Jun-2013 – AL – Salthill Devon 2-1 Finn Harps (Funston)
08-Jun-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 2-3 Athlone Town (Funston, Cowan)
31-May-2013 – FAI – Finn Harps 2-1 Wexford Youths (Cowan, McCarron)
24-May-2013 – AL – Wexford Youths 2-1 Finn Harps (McCarron)
20-May-2013 – LC – Finn Harps 1-1 Derry City (O’Hagan) – Derry win 6-5 on penalties
17-May-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 1-0 Mervue United (McCarron)
11-May-2013 – AL – Longford Town 2-3 Finn Harps (McCarron, McHugh, McDonagh og.)
04-May-2013 – AL – Cobh Ramblers 2-2 Finn Harps (McHugh, McCarron)
26-Apr-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 0-1 Waterford United
19-Apr-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 1-0 Salthill Devon (McMonagle)
12-Apr-2013 – AL – Athlone Town 1-0 Finn Harps
05-Apr-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 0-0 Wexford Youths
29-Mar-2013 – AL – Mervue United 2-2 Finn Harps (McMonagle, McHugh)
23-Mar-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 1-0 Longford Town (McHugh)
15-Mar-2013 – AL – Finn Harps 4-1 Cobh Ramblers (McCarron 2, McHugh 2)
08-Mar-2013 – AL – Waterford United 1-1 Finn Harps (McCarron)
03-Mar-2013 – LC – Mayo League 1-4 Finn Harps (Harkin, Doherty, Brolly, McBride)
LC – League Cup. AL – Airtricity League, FAI – FAI Cup.