Finn Harps make the trip to the Carlisle Grounds this Saturday evening looking to extend their recent unbeaten run to five games in the League of Ireland Premier Division with a victory over Bray Wanderers (kick-off 7.30). It’s the result manager Ollie Horgan is hoping for at the Co. Wicklow venue and would be another significant step in Harps bid to secure top flight status for next season. Back in mid-April when the two sides met in Ballybofey it was the hosts who were most fortunate to hold on for a 1-0 win courtesy of an early Dave Scully goal.
In team news, Horgan will again be minus vice-captain Ciaran Coll (shoulder) and Gareth Harkin (knee) who are on the long term injury list. Packie Mailey, who has missed the last two matches against Longford Town and Galway United is rated very doubtful by the manager while Adam Hanlon, Josh Mailey and Dave Scully are also carrying knocks. On the plus side Ethan Boyle is back in the squad after a one match-ban while fans will be keeping an eye to whether new signing Ruairi Keating is included in the starting 11.
Despite being ten points ahead of Bray, Horgan is not underestimating the challenge that faces his team at the Carlisle Grounds. Horgan insists that the Wicklow outfit has got stronger having added to their squad during the mid-season break. Bray drew with Bohemians on Friday night while Harps secured a very important three points with the 1-0 win over Galway United in Ballybofey.
“Bray are on a great run at moment and haven't conceded in their last four games, including very difficult away trips to Sligo and Bohemians. They have real quality in their team and have added further quality in the last couple of weeks. They played great football against us in Ballybofey earlier in season and have improved again since” Horgan said.
The Donegal side has now gone four games unbeaten including three successive wins. Based on that form Harps are well capable of taking all three points home on Saturday night but Horgan wouldn’t be too disappointed with a draw either. Victory would put Harps 13 points ahead of Bray who are currently third from bottom of the Premier table. After this weekend Horgan’s outfit will have 14 league fixtures left to play but their home game against Cork City scheduled for next Friday night has been put back due to the Leesiders European commitments.