Finn Harps -v- SD GalwayThu, Aug 02 2012
Finn Harps come into this game against SD Galway on a four game unbeaten run. The Donegal men have never lost to SD Galway in any of their previous eight games, with Finn Harps winning seven of these games.
Despite their excellent record against SD Galway, Finn Harps manager Peter Hutton still doesn’t see this game as a foregone conclusion. Speaking ahead of the game to www.finnharps.com he said ““As soon as you start to make the assumption that all you have to do is show up, that’s when you fall flat on your face. You have to be careful against every side and certainly they will be fighting very hard between now and the end of the season not to finish bottom of the table. Having said that, we must concentrate on our own game and what we can bring to the table. The boys should be confident from being unbeaten in four games and this is another chance for them to build on that. It’s important we put on a performance for the fans too.”
Finn Harps had an impressive draw last week away from home, against one of the leading lights of the league, Waterford United. They are back in Finn Park this week which has seen 11 goals in the last two home games. This has meant plenty of entertainment for the supporters but the Finn Harps manager is frustrated at the very few supporters that have witnessed these exciting tussles.
“Any player worth their salt enjoys playing in an environment; it gives them that extra spur. The games at Finn Park have been entertaining so far this year. There has certainly been no lack of goals, maybe too many for my liking. If you look at the last few games we played here at Finn Park there has been a plethora of goals. It’s frustrating not only from a players point of view but also the supporters who do go to the games that want to create a bit of an atmosphere.
"I understand expectations are that we should maybe be higher up the table but we’ve been very unfortunate with the run of injuries – we have three long-term – and suspensions we’ve had this season. But the performances recently have been fairly decent and we’re trying our best to finish as high up the table as we can. We have a young side here with a few experienced heads there too, so it’s important the public gets behind the team and gives them their encouragement.”
Finn Harps had mixed news in relation to their squad this week. Disappointingly they lost Hugh McFadden and Shane McGinty to Sligo Rovers. However, they did announce that Republic of Ireland U18 international Cathal McDaid has signed his first professional contract with Finn Harps which ties him to the club until 2014.
SD Galway remain rooted to the bottom of the First Division, the Galway men are in severe risk of falling too far away from their local rivals Mervue United who have opened up a seven point gap. Another demoralising defeat at home to Longford Town last week will give no assistance to the fragile confidence of the players.
SD Galway’s form on the road has been poor with nine loses out of their ten games. The last time these two teams met at Finn Park, SD Galway suffered a heavy 3 goal defeat. Manager Tony Mannion will be hoping his side will be much more competitive on this visit to Ballybofey. They go into this game with one point from their last five games and seven in total from their nineteen league games. It’s a record that this bunch of players will be determined to improve upon.
Referee: Robert Harvey
Finn Harps are attempting to make it five games without defeat.
SD Galway has conceded 41 goals in the First Division this season which is the worst record in the league.
Finn Harps 4/9, Draw 11/4, SD Galway 13/2
I think Finn Harps will extend their unbeaten run and also pick up three valuable points. Finn Harps 2 V 0 SD Galway
Finn Harps injury News: Doubtful: Tommy Bonner, Michael Funston, Mark Scoltock. Injured: Stephen O’Donnell (cruciate), Hugh Carlin (cruciate), Blain Curtis (cruciate).
Finn Harps suspension News: Thomas McBride, Aaron O’Hagan
SD Galway Injury News: N/A
SD Galway Suspension News: Enda Curran
Paul Walsh is a part-time freelance journalist based in Dublin and freelancing for a number of publications. Follow him on twitter @walshpots