Finn Harps facing points deduction

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Finn Harps are awaiting confirmation from the FAI on what penalty, if any, the club will be hit with for fielding an illegible player last weekend.

Harps defender Aaron O’Hagan played in the Airtricity League Division One draw against Monaghan United at Finn Park last Saturday. However, it has emerged the player should been serving a one-game ban after picking up four bookings playing for the A League side.

The confusion centres on the fact that the A League is no longer run by the league and has been replaced by an U19 league.

Harps chairman Joey O’Leary said O’Hagan’s inclusion on Saturday night was a simple oversight and given the team’s lowly position in Divison One, Harps stood to gain little by being breach of the rules. He said the club intends to fight the matter “tooth and nail”.

Harps were facing the prospect of being docked the point picked up against Monaghan following a 0-0 draw in Ballybofey and/or a fine.

Meanwhile, despite being more than satisfied with his team’s showing against Monaghan, Felix Healy will once again field a new-look starting 11 for tonight’s game away to Waterford United in the Airtricity First Division.

However, this time, the changes are enforced due to the unavailability of at least two players and maybe more. Gareth Harkin must serve an automatic one match suspension after he was shown a straight red card at Finn Park at the weekend. And JP Gallagher, who played so well at left back, is unavailable due to work commitments.

On top of that, Healy may also have to make-do without defender, O’Hagan who was at the centre of that disciplinary dispute.

Healy said he had options in different positions and if O’Hagan is ruled out, he will at least have Packie Mailey back in the squad as back-up.

“Packie has been very unfortunate this season, and he’s been out for quite a while because of injury. His last game was actually the last time we played against Waterford which was back in June so it’s good to have him back.”

The absence of Gallagher will mean Ciaran Coll will play at left back while Harkin’s suspension will see either Thomas Bonner or Mark Forker return to midfield. Marc Brolly, who along with Bonner and Forker, came on as second half substitutes against Monaghan, will also be pushing for a start.