Finn Harps face their final away league game of the season when they make the long trip to Ferrycarrig Park on Tuesday evening to take on Wexford Youths (kick-off 8.00pm).
And, they will travel to the south coast with a vastly depleted squad which has been hit with injuries, suspensions and players unavailable because of work commitments.
It’s no secret that Harps boss Ollie Horgan was disappointed with the timing of the fixture – the last thing he wanted was a near six hundred mile round trip in midweek before their FAI Cup semi-final meeting with St. Patrick’s Athletic next Sunday.
When you look at the list of what is unavailable to Horgan, you can see that his humour wouldn’t be any better for a game against a team who is still very much in the shake-up for a play-off spot.
Kevin McHugh and Keith Cowan are definitely out through suspension. Tommy McMonagle, Damien McNulty and Michael Funston are all unavailable due to work commitments while Darragh Black, Brian McGrory, Josh Mailey and Gareth Harkin are unlikely to be risked having picked up knocks in recent weeks.
“Tuesday's game is not what we would want, of all weeks, this week,” said Horgan. “Basically it means that lads miss a night’s sleep on Tuesday night, having played against one of the fittest and strongest sides in our Division down there and then try and recover for Sunday.
“Our squad will be very light travelling on Tuesday,” he continued. “With suspensions, work commitments and injuries, we will have up to eight players unavailable. We would have preferred to play this game the midweek after the cup game but wasn't to be.”
Harps will go into the game though full of confidence after beating Shelbourne 3-2 at Finn Park on Friday night and putting a huge dent in the title hopes of the Dublin side.
“It was a much better performance on Friday night,” said Horgan of the victory after Harps had gone into the game on the back of a three game losing streak in the league.
“Although we played well, we still made too many mistakes and got punished for some of them with the two goals.
“We would like to have that level of performance every week but that hasn't happened. We would need to repeat that display and more to have any chance of competing against Wexford and Pats this week.”
Tuesday’s game will be the fifth meeting of the season between the two sides. There hasn’t been much to separate them with all three league games finishing in draws, while the FAI Cup meeting at Ferrycarrig Park last month finished in victory for Harps. That win was Harps’ first in Wexford for three years.
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