French striker Ibrahim Keita set to start for Finn Harps in Bohemians clash
Finn Harps boss Ollie Horgan won’t finalise his line up until just before kick-off for tonight’s win or bust FAI Cup first round clash with Bohemians in Ballybofey, 8pm kick-off, extra-time or penalties if required.
Gareth Harkin is out through a back injury, Danny Morrissey is still troubled by a hamstring problem, and Pascal Millien picked up a groin strain in training on Wednesday night.
In-form striker Eddie Dsane, who has got four goals in the last five games, remains a big doubt having been hospitalised earlier this week through illness.
The format of the competition has been changed this year and the game must be decided on the night; there will be no replay.
Horgan is likely to give a start to 21-year-old French striker Ibrahim Keita while BJ Banda who has a history of obliiging on the big occasion could be called upon from the bench.
It will be the third meeting of the two teams this season with a win each the record to date.
“We’ve been here before in terms of a number of injuries but the lads are still looking forward to the different challenge of a cup game,” Horgan said.
“Bohs are a very good side so I know the challenge is big but we have to bounce back after the disappointing defeat in the league to Galway last Friday night.”
Horgan wouldn’t be surprised if Bohemians go on a decent cup run.
“Bohs proved their pedigree by the two wins they had against Cork City and Shamrock Rovers in quick succession.
They are still well enough positioned to have a go at getting a place in Europe. I have no doubt as well that (manager) Keith Long and (assistant) Trevor Crolly would be looking at getting a run in the FAI Cup.
We have a great opportunity with home advantage to progress but it will be mighty tough against Bohs who will punish us if we’re not at the top of our game," he said.
Defender Derek Pender returns for Bohs while their midfield has real quality in the form of George Poynton and Keith Ward.
They also possess two of the best strikers in the league in the form of Ismahil Akinade and Dinny Corcoran.
“Akinade is a real handful up front,” commented Horgan, adding; “There is no replay so it really sets it for a potentially very entertaining and competitive cup game.”
Meanwhile, Bohs’ goalkeeper Shane Supple is one player with happy memories of cup action against Donegal sides.
Last year, he was in goals for Leinster Senior League side Crumlin United who beat Letterkenny Rovers in the FAI Intermediate Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The following week he was on the Crumlin team that caused an upset by dumping Harps out of the FAI Senior Cup with a 1-0 win at Finn Park.
Bohemians signed him last summer and he feels that they can give the cup a real go this season.
The Dublin side, who have lost only twice to Harps since 1999, last won the competition in 2008 while Harps’ one and only success came in 1974.