Finn Harps -v- Wexford YouthsSat, Jul 21 2012
Finn Harps enter this game just two points shy of their opponents in the league table and they know that a win against Wexford will see them skip over them into fifth place in the First Division table.
However, manager Peter Hutton will have to plan without the suspended Thomas McBride, while another of this season’s signings, Michael Funston, is also out having picked up a knock in his first game since returning to the club against Athlone Town last weekend. However, defender Mark Scoltock, also in his second spell at Finn Park, should be fit having also made his return against Athlone.
“I thought the boys who came in did well,” said Hutton. “It takes time for players to bed into a new system and although they have been training with the lads for the past few weeks it’s a slightly different story taking that out onto the pitch.”
Of Saturday’s opponents, Hutton remarked ““They’re a decent side and like to play football, which should suit us. We’d far rather play against a side who likes to get the ball on the deck because that’s the type of play that we thrive better on. They have obviously beaten us twice already this season so hopefully we can put an end to that run of form against them. When we played them down there we had no luck with the two boys getting sent off.”
Shane Keegan has a fully fit squad for Wexford’s longest away trip of the season on Saturday night and only the suspended Aidan Keenan will be missing following his sending off against Longford Town last weekend. But the loss of the winger is one that Keegan feels will be keenly felt.
“He will be a big loss to us, as he has been absolutely excellent for us this year, it’s up to the lads to cope with as best as possible, which I am sure they will do”
Wexford enter the game on the back of two draws, a valuable 1-1 against Longford last Friday, and a less impressive 2-2 away to the league’s basement club SD Galway a fortnight ago.
But prior to those games Keegan’s men had seen some fine early-season form deteriorate to the point where they had lost four league games on the spin. This trip north has the potential to turn up the heat on Wexford’s mini recovery, or to leave them with just two points from 21 and staring at a potential collapse.
Keegan’s pre-match expectations remained understandably positive. “I thought our performance, in the first half in particular, last week and in the second half considering we were down to ten men was our best in a long time, I thought we were really really good and I will be hoping we can take that into Saturday night’s game”.
Referee: Phil Caschera.
Wexford have won both of their league games against Finn Harps this season. They won 1-0 in Ballybofey in March, and 3-0 at Ferrycarrig Park in May. Tom Elmes scored in both games.
Harps have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 11 league games. The last time they did so was against SD Galway on 6th April.
Harps have conceded three goals on six occasions in the league this year. They have also managed to score three or more goals on five occasions.
Harps Evens; Draw 23/10; Wexford 12/5.
A 1-1 draw.
Harps Injury News: Michael Funston, Stephen O’Donnell, Hugh Carlin, Blain Curtis. Doubt - James Doherty.
Harps Suspension News: Thomas McBride.
Wexford Injury News: None.
Wexford Suspension News: Aidan Keenan.
Simon O'Gorman began reporting for Extratime in 2010. He remembers Milltown and Flower Lodge and, back in the mists of time, saw Diego Maradona play at Lansdowne Road. He now lives in Co Kildare and reports on Shamrock Rovers among others. Simon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org