League Preview: Cork City -v- Finn Harps

Mon, Apr 29 2019

A lively encounter at Finn Park in March saw City edge out a seven-goal thriller. Credit: Clare McCahill (ETPhotos)


Cork City go again with the visit of Finn Harps to Turners Cross as the Rebel Army look to end their seven-game winless run (kick off 7.45).

After Friday’s 2-0 loss away to Derry City, the Rebel Army have gathered just two points from a possible 24 as they go in search of their second home win of the league season.

City have not won in Turner’s Cross since their 2-0 win over Bohemians last March, with their only other successes coming in 4-1 victories against Midleton and Cobh Ramblers in the Munster Senior and EA Sports Cups.

 “We need to react,” a frustrated City assistant manager John Cotter told the club’s official website.

“With games coming thick and fast, you have no time to feel sorry for yourself. You have to pick yourself up and go again, and hopefully tomorrow night we can get the three points we are looking for.

“Everyone knows we need to do better and hopefully we can rectify that tomorrow by putting in a good performance and taking home three points.

“We need to turn it around, get a win, score a few goals; those are all the challenges for us. It’s not good enough on our behalf, we know we need to be better.

“We had a good session this morning and hopefully tomorrow we can put a few things right.”

He added: The supporters have been unbelievable since we came in.  Everyone knows that it hasn’t been good enough, so I can understand their frustration.

“We know we have to turn it around and we have to keep working as hard as we have been to put it right. Hopefully tomorrow we can get off to a good start and get the three points.”

Cian Murphy is injured, Alan Bennett, Gearóid Morrissey, Karl Sheppard and Sean McLoughlin are all dobuts, while Conor McCormack and Dan Casey join Garry Comerford on the suspensions list.


An injury-time penalty denied Finn Harps their first league win of the season on Friday evening, as they picked up a point towards safety in Friday’s 1-1 draw away to Sligo Rovers.

Sean Boyd’s header was canceled out at the last minute by the Bit o’ Red, as Rónán Coughlan converted from the spot to deny Harps the win in a frustrating evening for manager Ollie Horgan.

“Overall a draw was probably a fair result at the Showgrounds,” Horgan told the club’s website, “but it was hard for all of us when Sligo got that late equaliser from a penalty.”

“Our lads did well in the first half and we had a chance to make it 2-0 which might have got us the win. But, that’s in the past now.

“We have a long journey to Cork after playing a really hard game on Friday night. So physically our recovery won’t have been as good as Cork’s will be, especially when you factor in that some of lads have had to work.

“Most of them will be back at work on Tuesday morning after the trip back from Turners Cross.”

Friday could be a sign of progress and the beginning of a change in fortunes, but now Harps are faced with a challenge of Turner’s Cross, a ground in which Horgan has never won.

“During my time with Finn Harps, our record at Turners Cross has been very poor. We can only hope for a change of fortunes there tomorrow night.

“Cork haven’t been going well by their standards but they still have a strong squad. After losing in Derry on Friday night, John Caulfield will have his players fired up to get three points against us,”

Harps will be without injured trio Ciaran Gallagher, Mark Timlin, Gareth Harkin, while Raff Cretaro and Harry Ascroft are doubts, and both Daniel O’Reilly and Colm Deasy are injured.

Referee: Robert Hennessy.


This will be the second meeting between the teams of 2019, following City’s 4-3 win at Ballybofey last March.

Goals from Graham Cummins, Conor McCarthty and a brace by Gearoid Morrissey gave City the points as Caolan McAleer, Mark Coyle and Raff Cretaro found the net for Harps.

Harps’ last result at the Cross was eleven years ago in a 1-1 draw. Lawrie Dudfield scored for City before a penalty by Neil McCafferty secured a point for the visitors.

Raffaele Cretaro could be a good omen for the traveling side from his experiences at Harps, with the seasoned attacker netting winners in both 2017 and 2018 at Turner’s Cross for Sligo Rovers.


Cork City 2/5; Draw 3/1; Finn Harps 15/2.


Cork City 1 – 0 Finn Harps

Cork City:

Injured: Cian Murphy.

Doubtful: Alan Bennett, Gearoid Morrissey, Karl Sheppard, Sean McLoughlin.

Suspended: Conor McCormack, Garry Comerford, Dan Casey.

Finn Harps:

Injured: Ciaran Gallagher, Mark Timlin, Gareth Harkin.

Doubtful: Raffaele Cretaro, Harry Ascroft.

Suspended: Daniel O’Reilly, Colm Deasy.