Finn Harps hoping win over Longford can give them breathing space

Finn Harps are back at Ballybofey on Friday night to take on Longford in a crucial SSE Airtricity Premier Division meeting Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

FINN Harps go into this evening's final game of the first half of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign knowing that a victory over bottom club Longford Town in Ballybofey will give them some added breathing space.

After a super start to the season, that saw them briefly top of the table, Harps have spluttered along in recent weeks and are now eighth.

Victory over Longford would leave them 14 points ahead of the midlanders, but defeat would narrow the gap to eight.

Harps boss Ollie Horgan points out that there is an awful lot of football to be played and that back in 2019 Harps actually went 16 games before recording a win.

“It's all about where you finish on the last day of the season,” he stresses.

Harps haven't won at home since back on April 10, but Longford have won only once in 17 outings.

Nevertheless, Harps assistant manager Paul Hegarty is warning that the midlanders have produced some good performances.

“Longford have been very good this season. They went to Oriel Park (last Friday) and got a good point against Dundalk and fully deserved it.

“By all accounts, they were very good against Waterford on Monday night too but came away with nothing.”

When the sides met earlier this season, Harps had to be content with a point.

“To be fair, that night, we had enough good chances to win,” Hegarty said.

“It was probably another disappointing night for us. We had the chances to win the game and we didn't take them. That's been a problem. We have been creating chances this year and we haven't been taking them. It's cost us big time.”

Karl O'Sullivan is back from suspension for Harps but Johnny Dunleavy and Dave Webster are both out through injury.

Nathan Logue, Luke Rodden and Joel Bradley Walsh all made their debuts as substitutes in the defeat at St Patrick's Athletic on Monday night as Horgan delved into his squad to cope with three games in eight days.

Meanwhile, Mark Russell - who has been an important figure for Harps over the past two and a half years - has returned to his native Scotland.

The midfielder has signed a deal with one of his former clubs Greenock Morton.

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