Finn Harps seek headline grabbing win over Bohemians
FINN HARPS haven’t beaten Bohemians in a league game since last century, so a win in Dublin on Friday would certainly attract some headlines for the Donegal club.
Harps have drawn just once and lost nine times in their 10 meetings since 2000, but manager Ollie Horgan won’t be worrying about the history books. Having lost two games on the spin, Harps find themselves hovering dangerously about the relegation zone and the priority is to start opening up a gap between themselves and the teams below them – Longford Town, Wexford Youths and Bray Wanderers.
They face a stern challenge tonight, not least because Bohs have hit a rocky patch of late and actually go into the game a point behind the Ballybofey side in ninth place. Horgan knows his side will have to earn anything on Friday: “Obviously, Bohemians away is a very difficult fixture for any team in the league and even moreso for us,” he said.
“They have some very talented and experienced players and physically are very strong.”
When the two sides met in Ballybofey at the beginning of May it took an injury-time penalty save by Ciaran Gallagher to give Harps a 0-0 draw. The Donegal men’s cause is not helped by the fact that reliable defender Damian McNulty could be out for up to eight weeks due to a knee medial ligament injury.
Gareth Harkin (knee) remains out while Horgan says Josh Mailey, Sean Houston and Rory Keating are doubtful for the trip to the capital. However, Tony McNamee could be fit enough to start if the manager decides to make personnel changes. Ethan Boyle replaced McNulty against Wexford Youths last time out game but Mailey could also be an option at right-back if he recovers from a hamstring strain. Bohs will be missing Keith Buckley and Dan Byrne due to suspensions.
Meanwhile, Harps face a mounting fixtures headache due to the exploits of Irish clubs in Europe. Dundalk’s win over BATE Borisov means the match between the Lilywhites and Harps, scheduled for Oriel Park on August 15, has been postponed. Harps have still not got a date for a game against Cork City that was also postponed due to European action, while earlier in the season matches against Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic were also called off.