Prem
Date: 8 p.m. March 1, 2019
Venue: Finn Park
Att: 2,031

Daniel O'Reilly 55' -
Scored: 55'


Scored: 29'
- Romeo Parkes 29'

Scored: 47'
- Kris Twardek 47'


League Preview: Finn Harps -v- Sligo Rovers

Fri, Mar 01 2019

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps come into the fourth game of the season having played admirably in their first three games back in the top flight.

Having lost narrowly to Bohemians on the opening day, the next week saw them holding Champions Dundalk to a 1-1 draw at home followed by a 0-0 draw away at St. Patrick’s Athletic on Monday.

Harps will look to transform their encouraging displays against some of the league’s stronger teams into three points against a Sligo team that have only managed a single draw from their first three games.

Ollie Horgan’s men have proven difficult to break down in defence, but their lack of attacking threat means they have only scored one goal so far in three games, defender Keith Cowan’s header against Dundalk.

The Harps’ manager is wary of the threat the visitors bring, noting that they themselves have been unlucky to only register one point so far.

“Sligo might only have a point on the board but they will feel hard done by because they only lost to St Pat’s when Mikey Drennan got a very late goal at the Showgrounds last Friday night.,” he told the club’s website.

“Liam Buckley is building a new side, but he’ll be pushing for a place well up the table come the business end of the season. From what I know of their new players there is genuine quality there so it’s up to us to be really up for the game tomorrow night.”

Harps will have do to without the services of Harry Ascroft and Mark Timlin who remain out injured. Meanwhile Last year’s player of the year Sam Todd has emerged as a doubt.

Harps’ squad has seen a couple of changes of late with the arrival of defender Mark Russell just in time for the game on Monday night where he was an unused substitute.

As well as this Sam Verdon has completed a return to Longford Town after a short spell with the club.

 

SLIGO ROVERS

Sligo Rovers, similar to their North-West rivals, have had a tough start to the league with their only point registered coming in a home draw against Dundalk, the same as Harps, in their opening fixture.

The Bit O’Red were unfortunate to lose to a last-minute Mikey Drennan winner at home to St. Pats the next week before another narrow loss to Cork City on Monday night.

Sligo boss Liam Buckley will feel as though the results do not match their gutsy performances against three of the stronger teams in the league and will be hoping to turn the Bit o’ Red’s fortunes around when they travel to Finn Park.

Buckley has lifted his side’s spirits after Monday’s defeat and look to get a result against a dogged Finn Harps side.

“I think you can expect a hard game anywhere you go in this league. It’s a real scrap in every match,” he told Sligo’s website.

“Finn Harps will not be easier than Pat’s or Cork, and I think that has already been shown.

“What I want from us is to be better in creating opportunities and remember just how much you need to dig in.

“We didn’t get a reward over the two games last week, but that reward will come if we keep working.

“There is a lot more to come from these players and we want to get the reward on Friday. It’ll only come by earning it.”

Sligo have had their share of injury troubles of late, with Regan Donelon out and Johnny Dunleavy and Ronan Coughlan to have late fitness tests.

On the plus side, Ronan Murray looks like a possible return with a decision being taken on the day, and David Cawley’s appearance on the bench on Monday will also provide a boost.

 

Referee: Derek Michael Tomney

 

MATCH STATS

In the last five matches between the sides Finn Harps have only won once, with Sligo Rovers picking up two wins away at Finn Park and two draws being played out at The Showgrounds.

Former Sligo Rovers players Caolan McAleer and Raffaele Cretaro could play a key role for Harps. McAleer spent the 2018 season with the club whereas Cretaro spent 10 years at the club over the course of two stints, becoming a club legend.

Sligo Rovers have an average squad age of 24 giving them a slight experience advantage over a youthful Harps, who have an average age of just 22 years old.

 

BETTING

Finn Harps: 23/15; Draw11/5; Sligo Rovers: 2/1 

 

PREDICTION

1-0

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Harry Ascroft, Mark Timlin

Doubtful: Sam Todd

Suspended: None

 

Sligo Rovers

Injured: Regan Donelon, Johnny Dunleavy

Doubtful: Ronan Coughlan, Ronan Murray

Suspended: None

 


Finn Harps
Peter Burke
Goalkeeper
Jacob Borg
12Booked: 12'
Defender
Keith Cowan
Defender
John Kavanagh
Defender
Daniel O'Reilly
55Scored: 55'
90Booked: 90'
Defender
Mark Coyle
56Booked: 56'
83'
83Subbed Off: 83'
Midfielder
Gareth Harkin
Midfielder
Mark Russell
54'
54Subbed Off: 54'
Midfielder
Sean Boyd
78'
78Subbed Off: 78'
Forward
Nathan Boyle
Forward
Raffaele Cretaro
Forward

Substitutes
Colm Deasy
Defender
Ciaran Gallagher
Goalkeeper
Caolan McAleer
54'
54Subbed On: 54'
90Booked: 90'
Midfield
Niall McGinley
83'
83Subbed On: 83'
Midfield
Tony McNamee
Midfield
Mikey Place
78'
78Subbed On: 78'
Midfield
Liam Walsh
Forward
Sligo Rovers
Mitchell Beeney
Goalkeeper
Kyle McFadden
Defender 24'
24Subbed Off: 24'
John Mahon
Defender
35Booked: 35'
Dante Leverock
Defender
Lewis Banks
Defender
Niall Morahan
Midfielder
Liam Kerrigan
Midfielder
Jack Keaney
Midfielder
35Booked: 35'
86'
86Subbed Off: 86'
Kris Twardek
Forward
47Scored: 47'
Romeo Parkes
Forward
29Scored: 29'
Ronan Murray
Forward 90'
90Subbed Off: 90'

Substitutes
Sam Warde
Midfield
24Subbed On: 24'
24'
John Russell
Midfield
Scott Lynch
Defender
Daryl Fordyce
Midfield
90Subbed On: 90'
90'
Darren Collins
Forward
David Cawley
Midfield
86Subbed On: 86'
86'