Finn Harps will be looking for their third straight league win when they host Drogheda United at Finn Park on Friday night.
After drawing with bottom of the table Athlone and losing 3-2 to top of the table UCD, Harps responded by registering wins against Cabinteely and Longford, thanks to late winners from Sam Todd in each game.
“I don’t think we will get away with that type of ‘smash and grab’ again this season. If we perform like that against Drogheda we will be punished,” manager Ollie Horgan told the club’s official website.
“In fairness our lads battled hard and maybe we deserved that bit of luck considering the way things went against us when we played Drogheda at United Park at the end of March. We need to get a result at home tomorrow night to stay in sight of the top teams.”
Horgan is expecting a tough challenge from Drogheda on Friday night, pointing out the good start that Tim Clancy’s side have had to the season.
“Tim Clancy has done a good job at Drogheda and that can be seen in the start they have made this season. They are second and maybe might be a little disappointed not to be closer to UCD,” Horgan said.
“They were leading against Shelbourne last Friday night at home but had to settle for a draw in the end. But then again Shels have been going well and are third just a point behind Drogheda.”
In team news, Harps will be without the injured trio of Gareth Harkin, Adam Duffy and Liam Walsh.
Mark Timlin, Paddy McCourt and goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher – who picked up a knock against Longford – are all doubts.
Drogheda United will be hoping to make it five unbeaten on Friday night as they travel to face Finn Harps in Ballybofey.
The Boynesiders last week drew 1-1 at home to Shelbourne, as James English equalised late on for the visitors, cancelling out Sean Brennan's penalty, that had given Drogheda the lead.
“It was a very tough game. Shels are a good team and you could see on Friday that they’ll be right up there at the end of the year,” manager Tim Clancy told the club’s official website
“I thought we played better in the second-half but there wasn’t that much between the sides. A draw was probably a fair result and it means we’re still unbeaten at home in the league.”
Drogheda currently sit second in the league, four points behind leaders UCD, a start which Clancy has been pleased with.
“It’s been so far, so good. We didn’t set any targets at the start of the season and I don’t plan on changing that now.”
“We’re going to take each game as it comes and hopefully that’ll leave us in with a shout of promotion when we get to the business end of things,” Clancy said.
Drogheda beat Harps 2-1 at United Park in March and Clancy is expecting this encounter to be Drogheda’s toughest away game to date.
“It was a massive win for them on Saturday. Longford are a really good side and not many teams will go there and get three points this season,” Clancy said.
“I think that’s two wins on the bounce for them now so you can see that they’re building momentum and climbing up the table.
“We’ve been very good on our travels so far but I think this’ll be our toughest away game yet. Ballybofey isn’t an easy place for opposition sides to play football at and we’ll need to start strong tomorrow,” Clancy said.
In team news, both Luke Gallagher and Lloyd Buckley are again doubtful with injuries.
In the last four meetings between these sides, last season and this season, Drogheda have won three and Harps have won one.
The Boynesiders won 2-0 and 3-2 last season at Finn Park and 2-1 this season at United while Harps won 2-0 at United Park last season.
Drogheda have scored 29 goals in nine league games this season - fifteen of those coming in their three away games. Harps have scored eleven in eight games, with three of those coming at Finn Park.
Finn Harps 7/5; Draw 9/4; Drogheda United 13/8.
Finn Harps 1-1 Drogheda United
Injured: Gareth Harkin, Adam Duffy, Liam Walsh.
Doubtful: Ciaran Gallagher, Paddy McCourt, Mark Timlin.
Doubtful: Luke Gallagher, Lloyd Buckley.