Wexford will hope home comforts help them secure a much-needed win after a dreadful run of five successive league defeats when they play host to Finn Harps at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday evening (kick-off 8pm).
After trouncing Athlone Town on the 20th of April by a mammoth 7-0, Wexford have struggled to continue the momentum, with a heavy home defeat against UCD providing them with a severe reality check at the start of the month.
Damian Locke’s side have shown signs of improvement since that embarrassing defeat at home to the table-toppers with some spirited showings against Longford Town and Drogheda United in recent weeks.
Wexford currently lie ninth in the table and they know that, should manage to secure a priceless home win over Harps, they could close the gap between themselves and Cabinteely to just two.
However, to do this, Locke has plenty of selection headaches that he must deal with before his side can think about grabbing an improbable result at Ferrycarrig Park.
AJ Lehane misses out after he underwent a knee operation earlier on this week while Sean Hurley and Mikey Byrne will also play no part against the promotion chasing Harps.
There are also doubts lingering over the availability of Mark Slater and John Morgan, who are both nursing injuries picked up in recent weeks.
However, talismanic striker Aaron Dobbs is in line to make his long-awaited return to the first-team squad after his injury against UCD at the UCD Bowl while Conor Sutton and Owen Wall are also in line to keep their place in the starting eleven after reacting well to recent spells on the side-lines.
Shane Barnes is also likely to feature after he collided with a concrete wall at United Park last time out, which saw his early exclusion from the 2-0 defeat on Boyneside.
Finn Harps will look to bounce back from their desperately disappointing home defeat against Cobh Ramblers with a big away day win over Wexford.
Last weekend’s defeat against Stephen Henderson’s in-form Rams saw Harps’ five game unbeaten run snapped thanks to a 22nd minute winner from Cian Leonard at Finn Park.
Speaking with the club’s official media team this week ahead of the long trip down to Ferrycarrig Park, Harps boss Ollie Horgan spoke of his side's need to bounce back straight away.
“It was a very disappointing result against Cobh, but we have to move on and try and change that tomorrow night at Ferrycarrig Park,” he said.
“The players need to display a sense of urgency to get a result against Wexford that will keep us hopefully fairly close to the leading teams.”
Horgan revealed that his side are undergoing a bit of a selection crisis at the moment with suspensions and injury issues both coming into play.
Mark Coyle and Tommy McBride miss out due to suspensions picked up in previous games, while Gareth Harkin, Mark Timlin and Liam Walsh all miss out alongside Lee Toland and Adam Duffy.
Keith Cowan, Paddy McCourt and John O’Flynn are all also major injury doubts for the long trip down south after missing out on last weekend’s disappointment at home to Cobh Ramblers.
Referee: David Keeler.
Wexford are in the midst of a rather morale-sapping run of five straight defeats as the Slaneysiders have failed to pick up any points since in the First Division since their 7-0 trouncing of whipping boys Athlone Town in April.
This will only be the second meeting between the two clubs after the old Wexford Youths club was dissolved in early 2017. Harps came out on top in the last game 1-0, with Michael O’Connor sealing the deal for Ollie Horgan’s side.
Finn Harps last win over a Wexford side in the League of Ireland came all the way back in 2015 as the duo were battling it out for promotion to the Premier Division. Thomas McMonagle scored the winner for Harps on that occasion in a 1-0 away success.
Wexford 9/2; Draw 16/5; Finn Harps 4/9.
Wexford 0-1 Finn Harps
Injured: AJ Lehane, Mikey Byrne, Sean Hurley.
Doubtful: Mark Slater, John Morgan.
Injured: Gareth Harkin, Lee Toland, Liam Walsh, Adam Duffy, Mark Timlin
Doubtful: Paddy McCourt, John O’Flynn, Keith Cowan
Suspended: Tommy McBride, Mark Coyle.