It seems that every game Finn Harps plays these days is a vital game, and the same tag can be applied to the visit of Shelbourne to Finn Park on Friday evening.
Harps haven’t been out of the top two all season, but after a recent run that has seen them lose half of their last ten games, that position is in danger as the season enters the final quarter.
Diarmaid Doherty will have LIVE updates on Highland from Finn Park this Friday Night from Finn Harps v Shelbourne at 8pm
Shels come to Finn Park on Friday on an excellent run of results. They have lost in only one of their last twelve league games – against top of the table side Wexford Youths – and it’s a run that stretches all the way back to the beginning of May.
“Shelbourne are in great form and haven't been beaten in a long run of games,” said Harps boss Ollie Horgan ahead of the fourth meeting of the sides this season. “It will be extremely difficult on Friday next given the way they are going at the moment,” he said.
Harps go into the game needing an improvement on recent results. They have failed to score in each of their last three games and Horgan knows an improvement is needed over the final seven games of the season if they are to remain in the promotion shake-up.
“We now haven't scored in three games and also our defending was poor in last week’s game in Wexford,” he said. “You can't expect to get anything out of a game with that.”
“As I have said before, other teams have improved and we have to improve to stay with them. We need to better our early season form as the other sides have.”
Damien McNulty returns to the squad after missing last week’s game in Wexford through suspension for the visit of Shels on Friday. The two Mailey’s – Josh and Packie – remain sidelined through suspension and injury respectively.
There isn’t much between the sides this season. In the three previous meetings, each side has one once while the opening game of the season finished scoreless.
The last time these two sides met at Finn Park, Kevin McHugh’s spot kick ten minutes from time was the difference between the teams.