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  • Thursday September 14th, 2023 @ 15:20

Match Preview: Saints V Finn Harps (15/09/23)

The Saints return to FAI Cup action this weekend as they travel to Ballybofey to battle it out with Finn Harps for a place in the semi-finals.

Kick-off at Finn Park on Friday is at 8pm, around 400 away tickets have already been sold, away tickets are only available online HERE

The match will be available to watch on LOITV for those unable to attend.



St Pat's come into this game following a two-week break since the 2-1 loss to Shelbourne at Tolka Park on September 1st.

Club Captain and Manguard Plus Player of the Month for August, Joe Redmond, opened the scoring after 22 minutes, but two late goals scored by Euclides Cabral and Paddy Barrett meant that the hosts earned all three points at the death.

This result leaves St Pat's in 3rd place in the league table, three points adrift of Derry City in 2nd place.



The Saints have had an excellent domestic record in recent months, with ten wins, a draw and just two losses in their last 15 games.

Jon Daly's men qualified for this quarter-final after a hard fought penalty victory over Derry City in the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on August 20th.

The game ended 0-0 after extra-time, meaning it would be spot kicks to decide who would progress to the next round.

Midfielder Chris Forrester stepped up to slot away his penalty before summer signings Alex Nolan and Kian Leavy did the same. 15 year-old academy graduate Melia sent the travelling Saints fans wild as he slotted away the winner, giving City 'keeper Brian Maher no chance.



OPPOSITION WATCH & RECENT MEETINGS

Finn Harps currently sit in 9th place in the LOI First Division on 30 points after 30 games played.

Their last outing was a 4-0 defeat at home Waterford on Friday, St Pat's Manager Jon Daly and Head of Analysis Graham Kelly were in attendance at Finn Park.

The last time these sides met was during last season's Premier Division campaign.

Out of the four games they played that season, the Saints won three, with a 2-2 draw coming in Ballybofey in June 2022. Billy King scored both goals for the Saints that day.

The other away game that season saw St Pat's win 2-0, with goals coming from Jack Scott and Eoin Doyle.

In a 2-0 win at Richmond Park in April 2022, Eoin Doyle netted both to win it for his side.

Finn Harps other trip to Inchicore that season saw them lose 2-1 in September, with first-half goals from Chris Forrester and Anto Breslin securing the three points.

The last time these teams faced off in the FAI Cup was in the 1st Round of the 2020 competition, Harps won that match 1-0.



JON DALY: "It's a big game!"

Jon Daly spoke to the media at Saints HQ on Wednesday and is hoping to guide his side into the draw for an FAI Cup semi-finals but knows it will be a difficult task:

"It's a cup tie so league form goes out the window. It's up in their place so they'll be really happy with that.

As we've found out in recent years, it's a difficult place to go, so we'll need to be on our game and be mindful of what they can do.

We'll need to be fully concentrated and fully at it to give ourselves the best possible opportunity to go through.

Knocking Derry City out in the last round was great, obviously we did it the hard way by going to penalties.

Everyone in the FAI Cup now will fancy their chances on any given day, but it's about what we do and how we approach the game.

It's important for us to play at the tempo that we like to play at and that we don't let them control the game. It's about taking opportunities when they present themselves."




RYAN McLAUGHLIN: "It's as tough of a game as you can get!"

Ryan McLaughlin has settled in well to life to a Super Saint.

The 28-year-old former Liverpool man joined in July and made his debut in the 1-0 win away to UCD.

The Belfast native is keen to challenge for trophies going into the final stretch of the season but knows the significance of the challenges that lie ahead:

"Finn Harps away is going be as tough of a game as you can get. They are going to be right up for it.

There is going to be a great atmosphere and there's a place in the semi-final up for grabs so it won't be easy.

We have to arrive with the right attitude and play the way that we know we can play.

The standard of the teams in the League of Ireland is really good. You can see that with the amount of players who've gone to England. It's a league that's gotten so much better.

When I spoke to St Pat's and Jon (Daly), along with Eoin Doyle, they had such great things to say about the club that it made my decision to come here, I've settled in well, I'm enjoying it and hopefully we can continue our good form."




TEAM NEWS

Tom Grivosti (knee) is out injured while Sam Curtis is suspended, Axel Sjoberg (hamstring) has returned to training.

TICKETS:

Kick-off at Finn Park on Friday is at 8pm, around 400 away tickets have already been sold, away tickets are only available online HERE

UPDATES:

As always, updates and live match chat can be found on the Official St Pat's FC App - available now on both the App Store and Play Store.

Updates will also be available across all the club's social media channels.

Image credit: Inpho Sports

Next Fixture

Derry City / March 1st @ 7:45pm
Competition: League
Venue: Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium
 
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St Patrick's Athletic FC

Founded in 1929 the 'Saints' are the current FAI Cup holders and play in the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League at Richmond Park, in Inchicore Dublin 8, Ireland.

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