SD Galway -v- Finn HarpsFri, Oct 05 2012
Two Enda Curran goals gave SD Galway a stunning 2-1 victory against promotion chasing Longford Town last weekend and gave the club real belief they can move from the foot of the table as they pulled to three points behind neighbours Mervue United.
Salthill have come through a series of matches against the top three sides in the division with confidence intact as, though the victory over Longford was their only win, they only lost to Waterford and Limerick by a single goal. They were particularly unlucky against Limerick, missing an early penalty that would have guaranteed them a deserved share of the spoils.
Although dependent on Mervue’s result against Waterford, a win against Harps would set up a nail-biting final day derby with their city rivals to see who would suffer the ignominy of finishing bottom of the league.
In a week when an independent report advised that more than one senior club in Galway would be a ‘systematic weakness’ on both ‘sporting and commercial grounds’ the stakes would appear to raised for SD Galway as they prepare for their final two games.
Last week’s home defeat against Waterford ended Harps ten-match unbeaten run and saw falling behind Wexford Youths on goal difference as they battle for fourth position.
With a difficult game in Ballybofey against Longford Town on the final day of the season a positive result in Galway is imperative for Harps if they are to overcome Wexford and finish the season on a high.
Peter Hutton caused somewhat of a surprise as Shaun McGowan and Paul McVeigh were omitted in favour of Thomas McBride and Thomas Bonner against Waterford but the manager told the Donegal Democrat that he already had one eye on next season and, though disappointed, he was confident his team would bounce back.
“It’s not all doom and gloom by any means, it’s not a disaster, it’s a disappointing result and the unbeaten run is gone. We’ll regroup now and look forward to the SD Galway game. I want to see a response now, not just in the Galway game, but in training as well.”
“I have an eye on next season already, that’s why we tinkered with the team tonight. But in saying that, the boys have shown great commitment tonight and work ethic, but it just wasn’t enough.
“We’ve challenged the boys now to see how they respond and we want to get the two wins. It will be two difficult games but there’s no doubting the boys can go and do it.”
Referee: K O’Regan.
Harps travel to a side that they have beaten on each of their previous three trips to Galway since Salthill Devon entered the League of Ireland in 2010.
Earlier this season, Harps ran out easy 5-1 winners at Terryland Park while Salthill were also beaten on their two trips to Finn Park this season.
SD Galway have conceded most goals at home in the league this season with 25, Harps are second with 21 goals conceded in Ballybofey.
SD Galway 4/1; Draw 12/5; Finn Harps 4/6.
SD Galway 1-1 Finn Harps
SD Galway Injury News: None available.
SD Galway Suspension News: None.
Finn Harps Injury News: Steven O’Donnell, Hugh Carlin, Blain Curtis; Doubtful: Gary Merrit.
Finn Harps Suspension News: Ciaran Coll, Matt Harkin.