Finn Harps welcome Longford Town to Finn Park for an early Monday evening kick-off of 5pm as both sides look to build on wins in their last outing in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
The home side recorded their first win in four attempts last Friday with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over struggling Athlone Town. They will expect to face a stiffer challenge from Athlone’s midland neighbours Longford Town.
Harps manager Ollie Horgan is under no illusions as to how difficult Monday afternoon’s opponents will be telling finnharps.comhe considers Neal Fenn’s side the best footballing team they’ve encountered so far.
“Longford showed their credentials on Friday night with that win over Galway who are a decent side,” said Horgan. “The fact that they got the three points playing with ten men for half the game shows the challenge we have on our hands Monday evening.
“Longford are probably the best footballing side that we have come up against this season. They destroyed us when we played their earlier in the season but then got out of jail with that late Sam Todd goal.
“They have the likes Dylan McGlade, Sam Verdon and Chris Mulhall who have quality and experience. It was great for us to get the win over Athlone but that’s in the past now. The lads have to go out and do even better to get the better of Longford.”
In team news Ciaran O’Connor is a doubt as is Gareth Harkin. Liam Walsh, Adam Duffy, Mark Timlin and Lee Toland remain out but Harps have no suspensions to contend with.
Neale Fenn’s men come into this game on the back of a morale boosting 3-2 win over Galway United despite having only ten men for the entirety of the second half. Longford are looking to secure back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
A win for the Midlanders will see them leapfrog their opponents but a loss would see them five points adrift of the Harps who are currently fourth in the table.
Longford Town will have to plan without the services of Darren Meenan who saw a straight red for his challenge during the Galway United clash on Friday. No news on injuries was available at the time of writing.
Finn Harps and Longford Town have met once previously this season. Harps took the lead through Mark Coyle but Dylan McGlade equalised before half-time. Ollie Horgan’s men snatched the away win in injury-time thanks to Sam Todd’s goal.
The first season these two teams met in the top flight of the league was the 1984/85 season. It was not a good year for either club as they both suffered relegation along with Sligo Rovers and Drogheda United in what was a 16-team division.
The first two league encounters that season resulted in a 0-0 and 1-1 draw. The two teams would not meet again in the Premier Division until the 2000/01 season. That season resulted in a 2-2 draw, a 2-1 home win for Longford Town and a 4-1 home win for Finn Harps. Unfortunately for Harps, they suffered relegation once more alongside Kilkenny City.
Finn Harps 17/10; Draw 21/10; Longford Town 17/10.
Finn Harps 1-1 Longford Town
Injured: Liam Walsh, Adam Duffy, Mark Timlin and Lee Toland.
Doubtful: Gareth Harkin, Ciaran O’Connor.
Suspended: Darren Meenan.