Finn Harps manager Ollie Horgan must plan without four key players for Friday’s trip to Waterford United, kick-off 7:45pm.
Horgan will be without Keith Cowan and Tommy Bonnar through suspension and while both Kevin McHugh and Sean McCarron were this week expected to return to light training, neither are anticipated to start at the RSC.
Central defender Cowan was given a straight red card in the 1-1 draw with Wexford Youths the weekend before last but then learned that his ban had been set at four matches by the FAI Disciplinary Committee.
Bonnar will miss just one match having picked up four yellow cards to date. Josh Mailey is back from his own two-game suspension after being red carded against Shlebourne.
McHugh was in Dublin last week for a scan and injection on a troublesome hamstring and McCarron will wear a protective mask if his fractured cheekbone fails to prevent him featuring.
Harps have missed their strike-partners in recent weeks. They matched Longford Town for long spells of last Saturday’s 1-0 loss. The match was decided by David O’Suillivan’s penalty on 25 minutes after Packie Mailey had been penalised for handball by referee Kevin O’Regan.
“I thought the award of the penalty was harsh as nobody was really looking for it,” Horgan said this week.
“There was no movement towards the ball but hey, you get some of those and others you don’t. The week beforehand we were glad to get a penalty against Wexford.
“Defensively we did well but neither side created that much going forward.”
Waterford drew the opening fixture of the SSE Airtricity League Division One campaign 0-0 at Finn Park and have kept clean sheets in their last three outings.
“They’re a good side,” Horgan said. “They’re one of the teams that could make a move now in the second series of fixtures. We’d have our work cut out even if we had a full squad available to us.”
“For me, the second series will be even more difficult as we have to travel to places like Waterford, Cobh and Wexford.”