As if the challenge wasn’t enough with a full first choice team, Finn Harps will have to face reigning League of Ireland Premier Division champions Dundalk in Ballybofey (kick-off 8.00) almost certainly without strikers Ciaran O”Connor and Danny Morrissey as well as defender Damian McNulty.
Manager Ollie Horgan also has a doubt over Gareth Harkin, who had to be replaced at half-time in the Cockhill game due to a groin problem while Barry Molloy is still struggling with a calf injury.
Stephen Kenny’s side will come to Ballybofey to win and will be raging hot favourites to make that happen.
So it’s going to be a daunting task Horgan’s side to get even a point from this fixture bearing in mind that Harps lost all three league games against Dundalk last season, conceding 12 goals and scoring none. That is the scale of the challenge facing the Donegal outfit.
It will be interesting to see whether Horgan’s outfit can continue a record that has seen them score in all seven league matches to date in this campaign. Kenny’s men are second in the table seven points ahead of Harps.
“We have massive respect for Dundalk and what they have achieved in the last few years. Stephen Kenny will be settling for nothing less than a win at Finn Park with the hope that they can close the gap on Cork City. We will have to produce some performance to get a result against them. We’re not helped by the hamstring injuries to Ciaran O’Connor, Danny Morrissey and Damian McNulty. At this stage I can’t see any of them featuring in this game. Gareth Harkin is also in bother with a groin problem and while Barry Molloy played a part of the game against Cockhill he is still struggling with a calf strain. So it’s likely to be an opportunity for other lads to come in and show what they can do against a top side like Dundalk. That’s what the squad is there for and we have prepared as best we can this week after the cup game that we played against Cockhill on Monday night” Horgan said.
Diarmaid Doherty will have LIVE regular updates from Finn Park on Highland Radio this Friday evening in association with McGettigans Applegreen, Lifford.