(Credit: Peter Fitzpatrick)

League Preview: Finn Harps -v- Drogheda United
Published: October 20, 2017

FINN HARPS

Finn Harps face Drogheda United in Ballybofey on Friday night in a game which they must win or face being relegated to the First Division.

 

Ollie Horgan’s side are 11th in the league, four points behind Galway and five points behind both Sligo Rovers and St. Patrick’s Athletic.

 

Harps now need to win their last two games, against Drogheda and Bohemians and hope results involving teams around them go their way if they are to stay in the Premier Division.

 

Horgan knows the task facing his side and has said that Harps focus is on doing everything they can to beat Drogheda.

 

“We just got back to training on Wednesday night because the session on Monday had to be cancelled,” Horgan told the club’s official website.

 

“The lads are completely focused on doing everything to get the victory against Drogheda. They know that the other games are outside their control.

 

“Hopefully we get the three points against Drogheda and we’ll where that leaves us come 10 tomorrow (Friday) night,” Horgan said.

 

Despite Drogheda already being relegated, Horgan is expecting a tough game, having watched Pete Mahon’s side play against Limerick on Saturday.

 

“I saw them against Limerick last Saturday and they battled so hard to get a result for a side that had already been relegated.

 

“Despite that they still have a lot of quality in their squad so we’ll need to improve a lot on the Derry performance to get a win against them,” Horgan said.

 

In team news, Ethan Boyle misses out with a hamstring injury while Paddy McCourt (calf), Sean Houston (groin) and Packie Mailey (hamstring) are extremely doubtful.

 

 

DROGHEDA UNITED

Drogheda United will on Friday travel to the scene of what was their last victory in a league match, away to Finn Harps in Ballybofey six months ago.

 

A goal each from Adam Wixted and Gavin Brennan saw Drogheda come away from Donegal with a 2-0 victory in April.

 

However, since then, the Boynesiders have failed to win in 21 league games.

 

“It’s been far too long without a win, there’s no way to dress it up as anything else,” Pete Mahon told the club’s official website.

 

“I really don’t want that hanging over our heads going into next season so it’s really important that we get one over the line in the next two games.”

 

“Harps are still hanging on but I’m hoping we can finally get that win on the board,” Mahon said.

 

Drogheda fell to their 21st defeat of the season on Saturday – Rodrigo Tosi’s penalty just minutes into the second half being enough to give Limerick all three points on the night.

 

“It was an ok performance from us, nothing more than that. The players gave it 100% and we frustrated Limerick but we couldn’t produce much going forward.

 

“There were a few mistakes in the lead up to the penalty and obviously Limerick took full advantage. I know they were desperate for the three points but so were we,” Mahon said.

 

Mahon will have to plan without the suspended Colm Deasy following his red card in Limerick.

 

Stephen Dunne, Jake Hyland and Thomas Byrne are all again available but Richie Purdy joins Ryan Masterson, Gavin Brennan and Ciaran McGuigan on the injury list.

 

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

 

 

MATCH STATS

Both games between these sides this season have ended in 2-0 victories for the away side – the first for Drogheda at Finn Park in April and the second for Harps at United Park in July.

 

Drogheda won four of their opening ten games this season, the last being the victory over Harps. However they have failed to win any of their 21 league games since then.

 

Only Drogheda (19) and Sligo Rovers (30) have scored less than Finn in the league this season while only Drogheda (63) have conceded more than Finn Harps (61) in the league this season.

 

 

BETTING

Finn Harps 8/13; Draw 16/5; Drogheda United 4/1.

 

PREDICTION

Finn Harps 1-1 Drogheda United

 

 

Finn Harps

Injured: Ethan Boyle (hamstring).

Doubtful: Paddy McCourt (calf), Sean Houston (groin), Packie Mailey (hamstring).

Suspended: None.

 

Drogheda United

Injured: Richie Purdy, Ryan Masterson, Gavin Brennan, Ciaran McGuigan.

Doubtful: None.

Suspended: Colm Deasy.


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