Another big game as Harps head to Bray

Another big game as Harps head to Bray
Diarmaid Doherty @dgldemocrat

Ollie Horgan believes Bray Wanderers were probably the best side, apart from Dundalk, to have played at Finn Park this season.

The two clubs meet in another crucial SSE Airtricity Premier Division match at the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday night.

Ahead of that game, the Harps manager said Bray have a strong enough squad to pull clear of the relegation zone before too long.

“They are a team full of Premier Division players and really, they shouldn't be where they are in the table at the minute,” he said.

“Apart from Dundalk, I'd say they were the best side to have played us in Ballybofey.

“Okay, they didn't beat us (Harps won 1-0 thanks to an early Dave Scully goal). But they should have.

“St. Pat's beat us without playing us off the park. Shamrock Rovers beat us as well, but apart from Dundalk, I don't think there was a side better than Bray.”

Despite that, the Co. Wicklow outfit could really do with beating Harps this Saturday night. They lie ten points adrift in the table with Harps on 23 points and Bray on 13.

Harps however, make the trip to the South East with Packie Mailey, Ciaran Coll and Gareth Harkin all set to miss out.

Mailey could return to action before too long, but Coll and Harkin are expected to be missing for the best part of two months.

Coll sustained a shoulder injury during a night out in Letterkenny recently.

His long-term absence has forced Horgan to look to bring in a left back. However, despite his best efforts, the Harps manager has had no luck on that front.

Horgan said what disappointed him most is that Coll's injury was sustained off the field.

“It's left us in a bit of a mess,” the manager said.

“In Gareth's case, at least he picked up his injury in a game. He can play on the left side too and would have been an option now that Ciaran is out. But that option is gone too.”

On the plus side, Harps will welcome Ethan Boyle back into the squad for this weekend.

The 19-year-old sat out Friday night's win over Galway due to suspension. He can play in midfield or defence and is likely to play some part on Saturday night.

Horgan has also confirmed the departure from Harps of Michael Rafter.

The Tipperary man has struggled with injury since joining Harps in pre-season. He played just twice, both times in the EA Sports Cup.

His move comes after Harps secured the signing of Ruairí Keating last week. The striker came on as a second half substitute during the 1-0 win over Galway Utd. on Friday night and could be in line to start up front at the Carlisle Grounds.

Saturday night's match kicks off at 7.30pm.