With the opportunity to put some early season daylight between themselves and Bray, Friday night’s game for Finn Harps has a feeling of a six-pointer about it – even so early in the campaign.
Although he may not admit it. Harps boss Ollie Horgan knows how big a result if would be for his side if they were to come out on top against Wanderers this weekend.
“We have 26 games left,” said Horgan, “so it’s a little early in the season for six pointer games.”
“Bray have loads of experience in their squad and have been fixtures in the Premier Division for a good number of years at this stage. They may not have made the best of starts to the season, but they showed recently against Sligo Rovers how dangerous a side they can be.
“Bray are a full-time side and I saw them up in the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday night and while they got beaten, they possibly could have been one or two goals up
“It’s difficult when you have Bray who are full-time, but it’s great to be there. It’s just if we could put points on the board as opposed to performances without points. That would be a better help.”
Harps go into the game on the back of back-to-back defeats against Galway United and St. Patrick’s Athletic last weekend.
And while they could have taken something from both games – especially against St. Pat’s on Monday – they were left to rue their luck and came away with nothing from the two fixtures.
“St. Pat’s started the game very well and could have gone ahead early,” said Horgan as he reflected on the 2-1 defeat.
“We had a decent spell at start of second half but paid price for not taking our chances. Pats took their chances after that and fair play to them,” he said.
“There were a lot of good performances out there, but we didn’t get any points out of it,” said Horgan.
“It’s like a moral victory, but they won’t keep you in the Division. We’d prefer to play poorly and get a draw or a win.
“I think the people that were there on Monday can see the honesty from our lads. Maybe we lack that little bit of quality, but that comes at a cost. But we certainly don’t lose out in terms of workrate and honesty, it’s just if we could cut out the couple of mistakes and maybe take our chances at the other end, then we might be able to bridge the gap a bit more.
“Look, I can’t fault them and we’ll move on to Friday night now.”
Harps will again be without the injured trio of Josh Mailey, Raymond Foy and Barry Molloy. Damien McNulty, Dave Scully and Ethan Boyle all suffered knocks during Monday’s game against St. Pat’s and are doubts.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides since Harps were last in the top flight in 2008. All three games that season finished in 1-0 scorelines – two of them in favour of Harps.