Finn Harps boss Peter Hutton will look back fondly on his side’s 3-1 win over Longford Town at Flancare Park earlier in the season. On that night, they came from a goal down to claim victory in impressive fashion.
But their form before the break was not indicative of a team that may trouble the table toppers in Ballybofey this week. A 5-1 victory against an utterly catatonic SD Galway side stopped a rut of consecutive defeats since their win against this weeks opponents. And Hutton knows it won’t be easy facing Town again.
“They could be smarting from our win against them down there so they’ll be coming up looking to put right that result”, he said.
“It will be a tough test, no questions. They’re not league leaders for nothing.
“They’ve shown a good level of consistency and they have plenty of League of Ireland experience to draw on so that’s been a big help for them as well.
“But all we can do is concentrate on our own game and certainly the boys are looking to carry on from the good performance we had against Salthill (SD Galway).”
He still has to contend with several injury problems that troubled the team before the break including three cruciate knee problems.
Longford are coming off the back of a defeat to fellow title contender Limerick in their last game before the break. They lost 2-0 at home to their rivals after six consecutive wins — the loss before that coming against Harps.
They are unbeaten away from home and will definitely fancy their chances against a team that fell away remarkably after decent early season form, only rescuing themselves from the greasy slide against the lowly SD Galway.
Manager Tony Cousins will have to do without Niall O’Reilly, Graham Dowling and Austin Skelly, who are all out injured. Otherwise, Cousins will take a strong team to Finn Park.
Referee: Adriano Reale
If you look at the form of both sides coming into this game, the results of their last seven league games are the exact opposite of each other. Harps are W-L-L-L-L-L-W while Town are L-W-W-W-W-W-L. The start of that sequence for both teams was when they last played each other, Harps winning 3-1.
Although Harps recorded victory at Flancare Park earlier this season, Longford Town won on all three of their visits to Donegal last season — twice in the league and once in the FAI Cup.
Finn Harps 7/2; Draw 11/4; Longford Town 10/11
Harps will be battered like Glasgow Mars bars, though they may grab a consolation at some point, so 5-1 to Longford Town.
Finn Harps injury news: Keith Cowan (ankle), Stephen O’Donnell (knee), Hugh Carlin (knee), Blain Curtis (knee), Adam Clarke (personal)
Finn Harps suspension news: Kevin McHugh
Longford Town injury news: Niall O’Reilly, Graham Dowling, Austin Skelly
Longford Town suspension news: None