Never before has a Finn Harps team started a league campaign with an unbeaten record after twelve games but that's the prize on offer if they can pick up a positive result against UCD at Finn Park on Friday evening.
Harps are unbeaten in their opening eleven league games going into Friday's match at Finn Park and currently hold a six point advantage at the top of the First Division table. Twice before, in 1972/73 and 1983/84 seasons, Harps have started their league season with an unbeaten record after eleven games. However, on both previous occasions, the unbeaten run would end there after defeats at Waterford United (in 1972/73) and at home to Limerick City (1983/84).
So, can Ollie Horgan's side create a little bit of club history on Friday.
“I don't know anything about records like that and don't really care for them,” was Horgan's response as he focuses on the visit of the Students on Friday. “UCD are in great form and it will take a huge performance to get anything out of the game,” he said.
“As I have said before, UCD are an excellent side and have got players back in to strengthen them further,” continued Horgan. “They will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season with the likes of Robbie Benson, Mark Langtry, Mick Leahy and now Thomas Boyle back to add to the younger very talented players making them very tough opponents. On the top of that, their qualification for Europe will give them a massive boost and it's well deserved.”
Harps go into the game on the back of back-to-back 3-2 victories against Waterford United and Cobh Ramblers. The victory over Cobh at St. Colman's Park last Saturday night saw Harps score twice in the last ten minutes to come back from 2-1 down to record the victory by the odd goal in five.
Friday's game will be UCD's first visit to Finn Park since September 2009. They will have fond memories of a 5-0 victory on that occasion, on their way to winning promotion at the end of the season.
In the earlier season meeting at the Belfield Bowl, UCD and Harps played out a 2-2 draw. The Students led twice through goals from Mick Leahy and Jamie Doyle but strikes from Wilfried Tagbo and Kevin McHugh rescued a point for Harps.
Keith Cowan sits the game out through suspension, while Brian McGroary and Packie Mailey remain on the injured list.