Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan says UCD will be a very difficult side to play against when the two sides meet this Friday night’s bottom of the table match at the Belfield Bowl (kick-off 7.45). “UCD will be a big threat to us after losing 5-1 to Sligo on Monday night. They are a much better side than that result. Last Friday night St. Pat’s who are way ahead of us in the table just got a 1-0 at Belfield. We are no world beaters just because we managed a win and draw from the last two games. Our lads are going to have to up their game a hell of lot because Collie O’Neill will have his players really sharp tomorrow night.”
So far both sides have a win each this season from the two previous meetings. UCD were most deserving 3-0 winners against Harps in Belfield in the middle of March. But, Horgan’s men exacted revenge at Finn Park in early May with a victory by the same margin thanks to a brace of goals from Caolan McAleer and one from Nathan Boyle.
Horgan says the fact that three of Collie O’Neill’s top players have left Belfield to join other League of Ireland Premier Division sides will probably make it more difficult to get a result at Belfield. “Gary O'Neill and Neil Farrugia have gone to Shamrock Rovers and Conor Davis signed for Derry last weekend. If our players think that is going to make it easier for us then we will be turned over tomorrow night. Paul Doyle, Liam Scales, Jason McClelland and Yoyo Mahdy have quality and I have no doubt that Collie O’Neill has some new lads coming in who will be eager to impress so we have to guard against complacency” Horgan said.
Harps certainly had a better weekend than UCD who lost 1-0 to St Pat’s on Friday night and were hammered 5-1 by Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Monday evening. In contrast Harps had a welcome 2-0 victory over Sligo in the Friday game in Ballybofey and followed that up with a scoreless draw against Cork City on Monday night. Those results mean Horgan’s men have moved from the bottom of the table and are now four points ahead of UCD. And the goal difference has narrowed significantly. The Students who have three games in hand over Harps are now just two goals ahead.
Raffaele Cretaro is a doubt for tomorrow night’s game. Michael Gallagher and Ciaran Gallagher remain on the injury list.
Information for Harps fans traveling to the game, including a link to details of the 54 Crew supporters's bus can be found HERE
Injured: Ciaran Gallagher, Michael Gallagher
Doubtful: Raffaele Cretaro