Prem
Date: 8 p.m. Feb. 22, 2019
Venue: Finn Park
Att: 1,878
TV:

Keith Cowan 41' -
Scored: 41'


Scored: 70'
- Brian Gartland 70'



League Preview: Finn Harps -v- Dundalk

Thu, Feb 21 2019

Raf Cretaro in action last week against Bohemians Credit: Martin Doherty

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps and Dundalk will both be searching for their first wins of this season’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division when they come face-to-face on Friday night at Finn Park (kick-off 8pm).

Newly-promoted Harps began life back in the top-flight with a 1-0 defeat at Bohemians last weekend and Ollie Horgan knows his side will have to improve if they are to get anything against Dundalk.

“It doesn’t get any tougher than Dundalk but we have to be positive and go out in a frame of mind that will hopefully get us something from the game tomorrow night,” said the Finn Harps manager.

“It’s going to be a big ask for us but we have prepared as best we can this week and the lads are looking forward to giving it their best shot.

“It’s great to be playing a team of the calibre of Dundalk but there is no doubt they will be coming here to win.

“We’re hoping for a big home crowd at Finn Park to back us from the start of the game and maybe that might give us that little bit of extra to try and get a result.”

Horgan’s side have been boosted by the arrival of 20-year-old striker Sean Boyd, who joined the club on a six-month loan deal from Shamrock Rovers on Wednesday and could feature against Dundalk.

“Sean Boyd has signed for us on loan from Shamrock Rovers and it’s good to have added another player to the squad with so many games in the Premier Division.

“There are a couple of injuries and a few lads also struggling with knocks after the Bohs game. We’ll see what kind of shape they are in at training tonight.”

Australian defender Harry Ascroft and Mark Timlin – who both missed the defeat at Bohs – remain sidelined while Nathan Boyle is doubtful, but Harps have a full squad to choose from otherwise.

 

DUNDALK

The Lilywhites began life after Stephen Kenny with a 1-1 draw against Sligo Rovers at Oriel Park last Friday as Dundalk heralded a new era under Vinny Perth, who has succeeded the legendary Kenny.

In spite of what was a frustrating night for last season’s double-winners, there were positives to draw in the amount of chances created as well as the performance of new signing Sean Murray.

Murray, who came on as a substitute for the injured Robbie Benson, staked his claim for a regular place in the starting XI by scoring an equaliser to cancel out Jack Keaney’s goal from a free-kick.

“There are a lot of positives to take from the match last week. Our attacking play was good but we weren’t just clinical enough. We created a lot of chances on the night but we didn’t put any away,” said Murray.

“We are disappointed that we didn’t get the three points. We feel like we deserved it but we put in a good performance on the night and one we can build on.

“My performance I feel was okay. I didn’t expect to play that long on the night. I came in earlier than I had thought I would but I think I did okay.

“I think I could have had more goals than the one I got. I wanted to score more, I always want to score more goals but I was happy to get my first.

“I like playing under the lights and playing at night. It was good and hopefully I can carry on and improve my performances.

“We have games coming thick and fast which is good and it will get us all up to speed quickly. We have a strong squad and everyone will contribute.

“We have a tough game tomorrow evening against Finn Harps. It’s going to be difficult but we played well last week and we want to take that into the next one.”

Benson and Patrick McEleney were both forced off the draw with Sligo and could each be facing several months on the treatment table, prompting Perth to bring in Joe McKee on loan from Falkirk.

McKee’s international clearance may not be completed in time for the Finn Harps match but Jordan Flores and Jamie McGrath are available having both sat out last week’s league opener with Sligo.

 

Referee: Rob Rogers.

 

MATCH FACTS

Finn Harps haven’t tasted a victory of any kind over Dundalk since 2007 when goals from Marc Brolly and Stephen Parkhouse saw the Donegal side beat the Lilywhites 2-0 in a promotion/relegation play-off semi-final.

Both sides have met competitively on seven separate occasions since that night but Dundalk have emerged victorious in every last one of those encounters, scoring 22 times without conceding a single goal.

In total, the two clubs have played each other 81 times since their first meeting in the League of Ireland Shield in 1969 – Dundalk have won 32 of those matches, Finn Harps have won 29 and there have also been 20 draws.

 

BETTING

Finn Harps 9/1; Draw 7/2; Dundalk 1/3

 

PREDICTION

Finn Harps 1-3 Dundalk

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Harry Ascroft, Mark Timlin.

Doubtful: Nathan Boyle.

Suspended: None.

 

Dundalk

Injured: Robbie Benson, Patrick McEleney.

Doubtful: Joe McKee.

Suspended: None.

 

 



Finn Harps
Peter Burke
Goalkeeper
Sam Todd
Defender
Daniel O'Reilly
Defender
John Kavanagh
Defender
Keith Cowan
41Scored: 41'
49Booked: 49'
Defender
Jacob Borg
Defender
Gareth Harkin
Midfielder
Mark Coyle
58Booked: 58'
Midfielder
Raffaele Cretaro
75'
75Subbed Off: 75'
Forward
Nathan Boyle
87'
87Subbed Off: 87'
Forward
Sean Boyd
67'
67Subbed Off: 67'
Forward

Substitutes
Mikey Place
67'
67Subbed On: 67'
Midfield
Tony McNamee
Midfield
Niall McGinley
75'
75Subbed On: 75'
90Booked: 90'
Midfield
Caolan McAleer
87'
87Subbed On: 87'
Midfield
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Colm Deasy
Defender
Liam Walsh
Forward
Dundalk
Gary Rogers
Goalkeeper
Sean Gannon
Defender
Brian Gartland
Defender
70Scored: 70'
Sean Hoare
Defender
Dean Jarvis
Defender 77'
77Subbed Off: 77'
Dane Massey
Defender
45Booked: 45'
Michael Duffy
Midfielder
John Mountney
Midfielder 65'
65Subbed Off: 65'
Sean Murray
Midfielder 85'
85Subbed Off: 85'
Chris Shields
Midfielder
Patrick Hoban
Forward

Substitutes
Daniel Cleary
Defender
Cameron Dummigan
Defender
85Subbed On: 85'
85'
Jordan Flores
Midfield
77Subbed On: 77'
77'
Stephen Folan
Defender
Daniel Kelly
Forward
65Subbed On: 65'
65'
Georgie Kelly
Forward
Aaron McCarey
Goalkeeper


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