Waterford United welcome Finn Harps to the Regional Sports Centre this weekend, as both sides look to build on positive results last weekend.
Waterford come into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory over south-east rivals Wexford Youths. Goals from Shane Dineen and Anthony O’Donnell saw Tommy Griffin’s charges come from behind to take all three points.
Finn Harps make the long trip south, having beaten Cabinteely 2-0 in Finn Park. Goals from Ruairi Keating saw the Harps dispatch of the league’s new boys in Ballybofey.
The sides last met in the final round of games last season, where two goals from Jordan Loftus were enough for the Harps to see off a youthful and inexperienced Waterford side.
The Harps will be without Packie Mailey, while Ruairi Keating looks doubtful but will be assessed before the team depart for Waterford.
Waterford will be glad to see Brian Nolan, Dean Reidy and Thomas Croke all returning to training after recent knocks, and they’re all available for selection against the Harps. Shane Nolan also returns, while Bobbi Donoghue misses the game with a back injury. Defensive pair Dylan Mernagh and Craig Burns are doubts.
Speaking to waterford-united.ie, Blues boss Tommy Griffin was full of praise and optimism for his side after last weekend’s 2-1 win over the Youths.
“I’m delighted for the players because they put in a lot of work during the close season. We had a difficult season last year so to get four points from our opening two games is great.
“Shane Dineen was superb and you have to remember he is only 19 years old. Dean Reidy is another player who did really well when he came on and he has come through our Under-19 team. Matthew Connor, the goalkeeper, is also playing Under-19 football for the club so I believe that the future is bright for Waterford United.”
Finn Harps boss Ollie Horgan is all too aware of the challenge that faces his side on Friday night but was confident in his team’s ability, when speaking to finnharps.com.
“Waterford have made a great start and will obviously be full of confidence having beaten Wexford away,” said Horgan.
“We worked hard as a group last Friday against Cabinteely in front of a very encouraging home support, however, it is more difficult to repeat this away from home in places like Waterford this Friday with their home support and quality.”
Injured: Bobbi Donoghue
Doubtful: Dylan Mernagh & Craig Burns
Injured: Packie Mailey
Doubtful: Ruairi Keating
Waterford 5/4 Draw 11/5 Finn Harps 19/10.
Pundit Arena Prediction
Waterford United 1 – 0 Finn Harps
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena