Pivotal weekend ahead as Harps meet Longford Town

Pivotal weekend ahead as Harps meet Longford Town
By Diarmaid Doherty Sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

It could be another pivotal weekend in the battle to avoid the drop in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

Finn Harps are preparing for one of their biggest games of the season so far when they welcome Longford Town to Finn Park on Friday night.

At the same time, at Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford Youths meet Derry City.

Harps fans know that a win over Longford Town will all but ensure that the Midlanders finish the campaign bottom of the table. Harps are currently 13 points clear of Longford and have played two games less.

But Harps are also looking over their shoulders at Wexford who are just five points behind.

Wexford do have one more game played than Ollie Horgan’s side, but the Harps boss has been saying for some time that his team are firmly in a battle to avoid finishing in the bottom two.

It makes tomorrow night’s round of fixtures all the more important. Harps go into the game on the back of six straight defeats and they haven’t scored a goal in any of those games.

Their latest loss came on Monday night at Dundalk (0-2), although Harps frustrated their opponents with a hard working performance.

“Confidence might well be an issue at present,” Horgan said this week.

“I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised at that. We have lost six games in a row now, and haven’t managed a goal in any of those matches. It hasn’t been easy and it makes you think that getting the first goal against Longford could really be key.”

Harps’ preparations haven’t been helped by the news that striker Ruairí Keating might be forced to miss out this weekend after suffering a head injury in Oriel Park. Ryan Curran, Kevin McHugh and Dave Scully are all options in attack, but Horgan could also look to BJ Banda as cover.

On the plus side, Barry Molloy is available again after missing the trip to Dundalk. Sean Houston is battling to be fit and his return would be a welcome boost for what Horgan admits, is another important weekend.

“It’s a big game,” the manager said.

“They’re all big games, but when you look at the situation in the league, this is one of those that we really could do with winning.”

Friday's game is at 8pm.