Mailey all set for St. Pat's challenge

Harps defender scored memorable goal when the sides last met.

Mailey all set for St. Pat's challenge

It was a goal that will live long in the memory - even if the result is one that Harps fans would like to forget.

When Packie Mailey rose to power his header past Brendan Clarke in the St. Pat's goal in the 2014 FAI Cup semi final, it gave his team real hope.

But dreams of a cup upset were well and truly quashed on that October afternoon in Inchicore when Mailey and his Harps team-mates were disposed of fairly convincingly after a 6-1 drubbing.

This Friday night, the teams go into battle for the first time since, with Harps now plying the trade in the top division.

Mailey and Clarke will cross swords again and there are plenty of other players in both camps who played in the cup semi-final. The Harps man feels his team have come a long way since that heavy defeat.

“When you think about it, that game brought an end to our 2014 season, but at least we were able to kick on the following season and learn from it,” he said.

“Getting to a cup semi-final was brilliant. We were always going to be up against it because St. Pat's are a quality Premier Division team.”

Still, Mailey's goal, which brought the sides level for a brief period, is still fondly remembered.

“I'm not sure how I felt when it went in,” he said.

“It was such a big occasion and we'd a big crowd up for the game. The atmoshphere was brilliant and when we equalised, you couldn't help thinking that maybe we could get something from it. but it wasn't to be.”

Harps, after their good start, could actually overtake St. Pat's Athletic in the table if they can pick up another victory this Friday night.

Mailey remains part of a defence that has done very well in recent games.

“We got our first clean-sheet in the league against Longford which is good,” the Convoy man pointed out.

“We're coming up against a very good side this weekend, but we want to make things difficult for big sides coming to Finn Park and that's the way we'll be approaching this game.”

Mailey will likely be marking Christy Fagan who was among the goalscorers in the cup semi-final. He came off injured as St. Pat's lost heavily at home to Dundalk last Thursday night (4-0), but he's expected to be okay for tomorrow night.

St. Pat's will also include Buncrana' Mark Timlin, the former Ipswich Town and Derry City player who has enjoyed a decent start to his Richmond Park career.

“He's a good player,” Mailey said.

“He was banging in the goals for Derry City when he came back from England and I think he's already got one this season for St. Pat's.”

The match is one of five games in the top division for Friday and it kicks off at 8pm.