Finn Harps will be hoping to record their second home win in succession when they welcome Wexford Youths to Finn Park on Saturday evening (kick-off 7.45pm)
Once again, Harps will have to plan without the injured Keith Cowan, while Stephen O’Donnell is also a doubt having limped off in each of the last two games.
Harps failed to build on their 4-3 victory over Mervue United in their last home game when they travelled to Athlone Town last Friday night, going down 2-0 with Noel McGee scoring twice.
“The second half performance wasn’t great”, said Harps director of football Felix Healy in the aftermath of the game at Lissywollen. “The pitch was exceptionally poor which didn’t help the kind of tempo we wanted to achieve.
“Thomas McMonagle and Thomas McBride were terrific but not enough players performed at the levels they are capable of. In terms of the result, we should have come away with something. Despite, what I’ve suggested above, with just 15 minutes to go, we had the initiative and missed a glorious chance seconds before their first goal, which should have been disallowed for handball offence which the referee missed. To be fair their second was a terrific free kick. However, even then we had opportunities to get ourselves back into the game.”
Harps have a young back four at the minute, not helped by Cowan’s absence since the first game of the season, when Healy’s team went down 2-1 at Limerick FC. Healy admitted he has a slight worry at the way his defence has started but three points and a clean on Saturday would make for positive atonement.
“Conceding seven goals in just three games is certainly cause for concern”, said Healy. “We need to defend individually and as a team much better. A clean sheet and three points would do us the world of good.”
With Harps playing two games in the space of 48 hours – Harps face the Mayo League in the EA Sports Cup on Monday evening at Finn Park (kick-off 7.45pm) – Healy has indicated that he may make changes on Saturday.
“We will be making one or possibly more changes and hopefully we achieve the win and a clean sheet against Wexford,” said Healy. “We may well make further changes for the Mayo game and it’s a tie I would like to win.”