It’s been a frustrating time for Ollie Horgan and his Harps side recently, but they welcome Cabinteely to Finn Park on Friday evening hoping to put a stop to their recent three game losing run.
The triple reversals have seen Harps fall to second in the table but they know a victory on Friday night would extend the gap between themselves and third placed UCD to four points.
Last Friday, despite leading twice in the game, Harps went down by the odd goal in five against Shelbourne at Finn Park. Between Harps’ first and second goals, Shels were reduced to ten men after Mark Sandford was redcarded. Harps would be reduced to ten themselves when Keith Cowan was sent for an early bath in the lead-up to the second equaliser for the home side.
“It was a disappointing result on Friday especially having taken the lead twice and having a man extra when we went 2-1 up,” said Harps boss Horgan.
“Fair play to Shelbourne though – they showed good character and got back into the game with two Philip Gorman penalties and a very good winning goal from him also.”
Harps have now conceded fourteen goals in their last seven games and Horgan is well aware that they will have to tighten things up again defensively if they want to remain in the promotion hunt.
“While we are creating more chances we are also giving away more of same and that is two games running that we have conceded three goals,” lamented the Harps boss.
“Of course it is disappointing, especially as some of them could have been avoided with proper defending, but some of the goals were of decent quality and you have to give praise to the opposition also.”
Horgan will feel that Friday’s game gives his side the perfect opportunity to end their recent woes against a team who have picked up just one point away from home this season.
“Cabinteely are an extremely well organised side with decent footballers,” he warned, “and they have improved as the season has progressed and can beat any team in the division on any particular night.”
“We drew with them last time out and can expect a similar tight encounter on Friday night.”
Ruairi Keating’s double was the difference between the sides when they met at Finn Park in March, while a John McKeown goal deep into stoppage time gave Cabinteely a share of the spoils when the sides met at Stradbook in May.
That McKeown goal prevented Harps from keeping an eighth clean sheet in nine league games and Ollie Horgan’s side have conceded in every league game since then.
Keith Cowan is suspended for Friday’s game while goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher should be available despite picking up a knock at Tolka Park last Friday.
Suspended: Keith Cowan.
Doubtful: Ciaran Gallagher.
FORM GUIDE (last six league games)
Finn Harps: W-W-D-L-L-L (7 pts)
Cabinteely: L-L-D-L-W-L (4 pts)