Ollie Horgan will take charge of Finn Harps for the 50th time on Monday evening as his side meets Longford Town in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup replay at Finn Park.
The two clubs fought out a 1-1 draw at the City Calling Stadium on Friday evening resulting in Monday night’s replay.
The clubs have been drawn together in the Cup on four occasions now, and apart from the first meeting in 1996 all the ties have needed a second game to decide a winner. And like on each of the three previous times the clubs have been drawn together, the tie will once more be decided at Finn Park.
Harps produced a battling display to hold Premier Division Longford to a draw on Friday – and had to play more than seventy minutes of the game with just ten men after Damien McNulty was sent off after just nineteen minutes.
Despite that though, Harps took the lead midway through the first-half through Gareth Harkin before Stephen Rice drew the home side level just before the break. But Longford couldn’t find a way past Man of the Match Ciaran Gallagher in the Harps goal in the second period, so the two teams will do it all again on Monday.
“I don't think either team really wanted a replay but we can’t really complain,” said Horgan as he prepares for Monday’s replay.
“To be honest, I don't know how we held out with the pressure Longford put us under,” he said.
“We were very lucky to survive and I think Longford had fifteen corners to our one which tells the picture of the game,” continued Horgan.
Despite bringing Longford back to Finn Park, Horgan admits that the Premier Division side are still the ones who will be tipped to progress to the third round of the competition.
“Of course Longford are favourites . . . by a long way. They are a top side and showed that on Friday in general play,” he said. “On another day, hopefully not Monday, they could have won comfortably.”
Horgan has a number of injury worries ahead of the game. Packie Mailey, who made his first appearance of the season, picked up a knock and is doubtful for Monday’s game. Gareth Harkin, Josh Mailey and Mickey Funston are all struggling to be fit while Damien McNulty is suspended after his red card on Friday. Harps will also once more have to plan without Regan Donelon and Ruairi Keating.