Finn Harps make their first trip to Stradbrook on Friday evening as they face league newboys Cabinteely who will be looking to bounce back after a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Wexford Youths last week.
While Harps were cementing their place at the top of the First Division table against Shelbourne at Finn Park, Cabinteely were on the wrong end of Wexford Youths’ record league victory. However, Harps boss Ollie Horgan has warned that Cabinteely will be looking to make amends against his side on Friday evening.
“Cabinteely was always a very difficult game and even more so after a defeat,” said Horgan. “Eddie Gormely and Dave Mackey will have them as always excellently organised and prepared and will have their homework done on us also.
“I think Kevin Knight missed last week for them and he will be a big addition to have back,” said Horgan of Friday’s opponents. “They have also players of the quality of Shane O’Neill, Ger Pender, Rob Maloney and Jamie McGlynn. It should be remembered that Cabinteely have already beaten Wexford and Waterford at home,” warned the Harps boss.
Last weekend, Harps were victors over Shelbourne at Finn Park which extended their unbeaten start to the season. However, despite again keeping a clean sheet – their seventh in eight games – Horgan said there is still room for improvement.
“We were decent enough in the first half on Friday and possibly shaded it up to half time but Shelbourne were the better team in the second half and deserved something out of the game,” said Horgan.
The result brought Harps’ unbeaten opening to the season to eight games and it means their second best start to a league campaign after eight games. The only time Harps have had a better record at this stage of a league campaign was in the 1972/73 season when they had seven wins and a draw to show from their opening eight league games.
On three other occasions – in 1975/76, 1983/84 and 2003 – Harps have also been unbeaten after eight games, but with more draws on the board than in this season or in 1972/73. Each of those four previous seasons has also seen the unbeaten run extend beyond eight games – it remains to be seen if the current squad can extend the run a little further.
The earlier season meeting of Harps and Cabinteely at Finn Park saw the home side run out 2-0 winners thanks to goals in each half from Ruairi Keating.