Harps Prepare For Longford Visit

Finn Harps’ top hitman, Sean McCarron, is Peter Hutton’s main worry ahead of the visit of Longford Town to Finn Park tomorrow night. (K.O. 7.45 p.m.)

McCarron netted a brace in last Friday night’s 4-1 win over Cobh Ramblers, adding to his goal on opening night at Waterford United’s RSC. However, he hobbled off after only 52 minutes of the win over Cobh with an ankle injury.

The Derry man was playing with a real verve and confidence and was part of the offensive unit that was cutting through the Munster side with ease.

“Sean hasn’t trained since going over on his ankle,” said the Harps’ boss this week.

“The fact the game is on a Saturday night means Sean has another 24 hours to recover and that might make the difference. Mickey McGlynn, our physio, will have a look at Sean’s ankle as we feel he may have strained ligaments but we didn’t hang about last week and took him off when it was clear he wouldn’t have been able to run it off,” added Hutton.

Aside from McCarron’s brace, harps’ skipper, Kevin McHugh, was also on target with a brace in what was an extremely positive opening for the Ballybofey side against a Munster side who travelled to Donegal in cars.

After such a positive opening it’s likely Hutton will keep alternations to a minimum. Last week, in front of Ciaran Gallagher; Keith Cowan and Thomas McMonagle were flanked by Matthew Crossan and Damien McNulty.

The midfield quartet saw an impressive showing from Marc Brolly on the left and Paul McVeigh lined out on the right, with Michael Funston and Shaun McGowan in the middle. McHugh and McCarron started up top.

One man who is definitely ruled out of tomorrow night’s match is Thomas McBride, the Harps midfielder who was sent off against Waterford. And Hutton had sympathy for the player in the wake of that dismissal for a tackle on Francis Rockett. Indeed, a subsequent Harps appeal to stop any increase in the ban failed. McBride will serve the second of a two-match ban and will, therefore, be available for the trip to Mervue United the following week in Galway.

Longford are the only side in the division to have picked up two wins from two. Tony Cousins’ men opened with a 2-0 win away to neighbours Athlone Town at Lisseywollen when a Garvan Broughall own goal and Josh O’Hanlon strike gave them the points.

Then, goals from Michael Isichei and David O’Sullivan last weekend saw them come from behind to defeat Waterford United at Flancare Park.

“Longford have really strengthened well and have taken in a lot of players,” Hutton added. “They’ve brought in the likes of Chris Bennion, Corie Treacy, Willo McDonagh, Etanda Nkololo; David O’Sullivan and Keith Quinn.

“Tony Cousins would be the first to admit that he is gunning for promotion and his side will be big and physical,” he concluded.