Prem
Date: 7:45 p.m. Feb. 25, 2019
Venue: Richmond Park
Att: 1,747
TV:



League Preview: St Patrick's Athletic -v- Finn Harps

Mon, Feb 25 2019

Mikey Drennan has scored the winning goal in both of the Saints' wins this season. Credit: Darragh Connolly

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

High-flying St Patrick’s Athletic take on the challenge of Finn Harps in a fascinating Monday night clash in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division at Richmond Park (kick-off 7.45pm).

Pats will be aiming to build upon their excellent start to the new league season by maintaining their 100% record with a home win over newly-promoted Harps.

The Saints have been enjoying life under new boss Harry Kenny, who took over the reins from Liam Buckley at the end of last season.

Kenny made it 3 wins from 3 in all competitions last Friday night with a last gasp 1-0 win over Buckley’s Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds.

It was tight, tense affair that looked set to end in a stalemate until up popped Michael Drennan to stab home the winner deep into injury time.

Pats boss Kenny was naturally delighted to take all three points and cited their determined attitude as the decisive factor.

"Last Friday was a huge three points for us,” he told the club’s official website.

“It really showed that the lads have great character to keep pushing for a winner, and luckily we got our reward at the very end with a great headed goal from Mikey [Drennan],"

Kenny’s charges had come off the back of a 1-0 win over league runners-up Cork City at Richmond Park on the opening weekend and a comfortable 3-0 home win over Wexford in the 4th round of the Leinster Senior Cup last Monday evening.

 “Looking to Monday, it is a quick turnaround to face Harps who have shown well in their two games to date in the league.

“I think they were unlucky in their opener against Bohemians and then last Friday they picked up a great point against the league champions.

"Ollie Horgan always has his team well organised and we know that they will come to Inchicore really fired up and focused on getting a result.

“From our end, we just want to keep things going and add to our points tally."

The Inchicore side have been excellent defensively so far this season, having kept three successive clean sheets, which was something of a rare occurrence last season.

However they haven’t found the net prolifically in the league so far, with just two goals, both from Michael Drennan.

Kenny will have to make do without the services of Dean Clarke who is in the treatment room due to a leg injury.

However, he received a welcome boost with the return of Gary Shaw who has recovered sufficiently from a hamstring strain. Pats have no suspensions for this week.

 

FINN HARPS

The Harps make the long journey to Inchicore with hopes of upsetting the Inchicore faithful by ending Pats’ winning run to take something back to Ballybofey with them.

Finn Harps have given a good account of themselves so far this season back in the Premier Division despite the fixture list being unkind to the men from the north-west.

Ollie Horgan’s side had an extremely daunting task last Friday night with the visit of double winners Dundalk to Ballybofey.

Harps more than matched their illustrious opponents and stunned the champions by hitting the front with a goal from Keith Cowan four minutes before half-time.

They were good value for their lead and a shock result was on the cards until Brian Gartland equalised in the 70th minute, but the Donegal side held on for a deserved draw and register their first point of the season.

Harps’ league campaign started with disappointment having gone down 1-0 to Bohemians at Dalymount Park in their opening fixture.

Horgan is pleased with his side’s performances so far but stressed the importance of picking up points early on.

“We just have a point from two matches,” he told the club’s official website.

“We haven’t done badly performance wise but we need to get some more points on the board early to give the lads a bit of confidence.

“While it was great to get the draw against Dundalk it was hard earned and we’ll only see when the final whistle blows tomorrow night whether the physical toll from the quick turnaround in games was too much or not.

“Pats have made a good start with two wins against Cork and Sligo. Harry Kenny will want to keep that momentum going tomorrow night at Richmond Park so we’re in for a hell of battle to get something from the game.”

Horgan has a few injuries to contend with as Harry Ashcroft and Mark Timlin are both side-lined and Mark Coyle is doubtful. Harps have no suspensions for this week.

 

Referee: Graham Kelly

 

MATCH FACTS

St Patrick’s Athletic and Finn Harps last played each in the top flight in 2017 with Finn Harps enjoying the bragging rights, winning 2-1 at Richmond Park and 3-1 at Ballybofey before Pats won 4-0 in the final match at home.

They have played each other competitively 10 times since 2008, with the Inchicore side having the better head to head record with seven wins to Harps’ two and one draw.

Pats scored 30 goals in the ten matches, averaging three goals per game, while Finn Harps scored nine goals in their 10 matches, averaging 0.9 goals per game.

 

BETTING

St Patrick’s Athletic 2/5; Draw 10/3; Finn Harps 13/2.

 

PREDICTION

St Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 Finn Harps

 

St Patrick’s Athletic

Injured: Dean Clarke.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: None.

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Harry Ashcroft, Mark Timlin.

Doubtful: Mark Coyle.

Suspended: None.

 



St. Patrick's Athletic
Brendan Clarke
Goalkeeper
Kevin Toner
83Booked: 83'
Defender
Simon Madden
Defender
Ciaran Kelly
82'
82Subbed Off: 82'
Defender
David Webster
86Booked: 86'
Defender
Gary Shaw
59'
59Subbed Off: 59'
Midfielder
Rhys McCabe
71'
71Subbed Off: 71'
Midfielder
Jamie Lennon
Midfielder
Lee Desmond
Midfielder
Conor Clifford
Midfielder
Michael Drennan
Forward

Substitutes
Jake Walker
Forward
Barry Murphy
Goalkeeper
Brandon Miele
59'
59Subbed On: 59'
Midfield
Darragh Markey
Midfield
Chris Forrester
71'
71Subbed On: 71'
Midfield
James Doona
82'
82Subbed On: 82'
Midfield
Cian Coleman
Midfield
Finn Harps
Peter Burke
Goalkeeper
Daniel O'Reilly
Defender
John Kavanagh
Defender
Keith Cowan
Defender
22Booked: 22'
Jacob Borg
Defender
Sam Todd
Defender
Niall McGinley
Midfielder 78'
78Subbed Off: 78'
Gareth Harkin
Midfielder
Mark Coyle
Midfielder
86Booked: 86'
Sean Boyd
Midfielder
75Booked: 75'
85'
85Subbed Off: 85'
86Booked: 86'
Nathan Boyle
Forward 67'
67Subbed Off: 67'

Substitutes
Mark Russell
Unknown
Mikey Place
Midfield
85Subbed On: 85'
85'
Tony McNamee
Midfield
Caolan McAleer
Midfield
78Subbed On: 78'
78'
Michael Gallagher
Midfield
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Raffaele Cretaro
Forward
67Subbed On: 67'
67'


Photo Gallery for St. Patrick's Athletic -v- Finn Harps