Soccer – Waterford Utd v Finn Harps

Finn Harps’ squad strength will be tested to the full on Friday night when they finally play their first away game of the 2011 campaign.  Two weeks ago, Harps’ trip to Athlone was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, but Waterford United await the visit of Harps to the south-east on Friday with both sides looking for their first victory of the season. Harps have opened their campaign with back-to-back home 2-2 draws against Limerick and Monaghan United, leading twice in both games but still only managing to pick up a point.  However, they have finished both games with ten men after Mark Forker seen red against Limerick, and Tommy Bonner was sent-off last Friday against Monaghan. Not only will Gallagher have to plan without the suspended midfield duo of Forker and Bonner and long term treatment tablers Garbhan Friel and Christy Conaghan for Friday’s long trip south, but his squad will also be missing the services of winger Marc Brolly who took a knock to the knee during last week’s draw with Monaghan.  And centre-back Paddy McLaughlin is also a doubt with a groin strain. Raymond Foy, who started in place of Forker in midfield last week is likely to get another start, while Gary Whoriskey and Keith Cowan could also be in line to see their first action of the season on Friday.  Harps have a miserable record in Waterford, and you have to go all the way back to August 2001 to find a last Harps victory at the RSC.  Then, Harps came out winners by the odd goal in seven.  The last three visits there have all ended in defeat.