By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United will be looking to build on their momentum when they host Finn Harps in the first leg of the First Division promotion play-off on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm at United Park.
The Drogs advanced to the second round of the play-offs after they defeated Shelbourne on penalties at Tolka Park on Monday night after the tie finished 2-2 on aggregate.
A 2-1 victory on the night for the Drogs cancelled out last week’s first leg defeat and despite playing a large portion of the game against nine men, Shels hung on for penalties with Clancy relieved to see his side prevail.
“It was a crazy night,” the Trim native admitted Thursday afternoon. “It was a huge ask for us to turnaround the first leg defeat and regardless of the circumstances, the players deserve great credit for progressing through the tie.
“It’s not that often that you actually play against ten men, let alone nine, so that brought its own challenges but Shels were fantastic on the night, they never gave up.
“Obviously, we’re delighted that are season continues but it was a real blow losing Jake Hyland to such a bad injury. He’s been tremendous for us as captain and we all wish him a speedy recovery.”
With only a four day turnaround for the Drogs compared to Harps’ three week break from their last league action, Clancy is aware that Ollie Horgan’s side may be fresher but he’s called on his players to deliver another big performance.
“There’s definitely an advantage for Harps having had the break but there’s nothing we can do about it now.
“Ollie had put together a really experienced side with quality in every position but we’re riding a wave of momentum after winning three in four, all intense, high-pressured games.
“I said it last week and it proved through, nothing will be won or lost tomorrow night regardless of the result.
“We don’t want to be giving ourselves another mountain to climb next week in Ballybofey and hopefully our fans can spur us on Friday night.”
Drogheda will be without the injured pair of Hyland and Lee Duffy.