Finn Harps captain Keith Cowan happy with club's progress following win over Wexford

Finn Harps captain Keith Cowan
Finn Harps captain Keith Cowan Finn Harps captain Keith Cowan

SSE Airtricity League First Division: Wexford FC 0 Finn Harps 1

Finn Harps club captain Keith Cowan is upbeat about his side’s progress to date this season, and the fact they are up to sixth in the SSE Airtricity League First Division table following their 1-0 success away to Wexford.

Given that it is almost entirely a new team, with the bulk of players having never played at this level or in this league, he feels that they are making steady progress.

“I think if you had offered us this position at the start to be where we are after ten games you would have taken it,” he said.

After losing their first two games of the new season, Harps have now lost just once in their last eight games.

And, as Cowan points out, two of their defeats were against the sides that are top and second, namely Galway and Waterford.

“We  had a couple of bad nights but Waterford will be chasing Galway at the end and I think the guys have shown that they are learning. Going to places like Wexford and getting three points will stand to them going forward."

With Galway having won ten out of ten - and ten points clear at the summit - and already very much on course for the title, it may well be that everyone else will be playing for the promotion play-off places at the end of the campaign.

And with fifth spot getting you into that process, Cowan knows that the aim must be to keep in contention for that possibility.

“The beauty of the First Division is if you can string a few wins together you can move up and be in the mix,” he noted.

Harps fielded an unchanged starting eleven against Wexford on Friday night and notched up a second successive league win for the first time since 2021.

There was a touch of good fortune for Harps about what turned out to be the winning goal which came in the 86th minute.

Shane McMonagle whipped in a cross from the wing and defender James Crawford, who had been solid throughout, could only look on in horror as he saw the ball bounce off him and into the net.

The home side pushed hard for an equaliser and threw on veteran striker Danny Furlong - who was making his 250th appearance for the club - but Harps hung on for the three points.

Commenting on the Wexford game, Cowan remarked: “It was a great result, and it was a great performance too, especially in the second half and it was also good to get another clean sheet.”

Meanwhile, in relation to his own on-going battles to overcome a hamstring injury, the former Drogheda, Glentoran and Dungannon Swifts player acknowledges that his age is not helping.

The 37-year-old has been back training again and reckons he could be ready for selection again in a couple of weeks. He played in the first three games, but has only managed 20 minutes on field since then.

Wexford: Heffernan; Boyle, Douglas (Chambers 83), Lynch, Webb; Corbally (Furlong 88), Crawford, Doran (Levingston 66), Hanratty, Piper; Dobbs.

Finn Harps: Hiemer; Baba, Farrar, McMonagle; Flood, Harris (Mashigo 64), Jordan (Porter 39), Keogh, Rainey; Da Silva, Okwute (O'Donnell 78).

Referee: D Toland (Dublin).