Football/Soccer

Horgan hopes draw with Dundalk can edge Harps closer to safety

Tunde Owolabi (left) scored twice for Finn Harps in their 2-2 draw with Dundalk on Friday night Picture: Margaret McLaughlin
BY CHRIS ASHMORE

SSE Airtricity League Premier Division: Dundalk 2 Finn Harps 2

FINN Harps are just four points clear of the relegation play-off position in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with seven games to play.

And next up for the Donegal club is an away trip to Waterford on Friday, October 15, who are currently in the aforementioned position.

Having lost only once in their last eight league games, Harps are edging towards safety.

Commenting on Friday night's 2-2 draw with Dundalk in Ballybofey, Harps boss Ollie Horgan acknowledged that it was a cracking encounter.

“It was open season for the last 20 minutes, we could have won it and they could have won it. Maybe a point is all that we deserved but we will take it, it is better than nothing,” he said

Tunde Owolabi scored twice for Harps while Michael Duffy and Pat Hogan were on target for the visitors.

Dundalk manager Vinny Perth remarked that his team is very much on the up - but they are running out of games to climb up the league ladder.

“If there was another series of games left (on top of the current series) I would be wondering how do I get this team into Europe?” he declared.

Such is the tight nature of the Premier Division that several sides are in a position where a good run now could propel them towards a possible European place, but a bad set of results could see them battling to avoid the relegation play-off berth.

“So many clubs are on an even keel in terms of their players, but I feel that we are better than what we have shown, but there have been loads of different reasons for that,” he said.

Reflecting on the draw with Harps, he said: “If we had won we would not be too far off Derry who are in fourth spot and that might get you into Europe this year.”

Dundalk are now seven points adrift of the Candystripes with seven games to play.

However, the FAI Cup could yet provide the Lilywhites with an alternative route to Europe.

Asked if he would have been happy with a point in advance of the match, he responded: “No, I don’t think so. We are in good form. We are disappointed not to have won the game. We should have defended better. The game was there to be won.

“I think we are good enough to be in the top three or four, but we have not done enough to get it.”

Commenting on the battle among clubs to rise away from the relegation play-off position, he said: “It’s hard to access it. It could be anyone at this stage. I’ve said all along that everyone is capable of winning three or four games in a row in this league, but also capable of losing three or four.

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Football/Soccer