By Robert O’Reilly
Drogheda United will be looking to advance to the promotion/relegation play-off final when they travel to Ballybofey to face Finn Harps on Friday, kick-off 7.45pm.
The sides are tied at 1-1 following a tense first leg last week at United Park just four days after Drogheda had overcome Shelbourne on penalties after extra-time.
Ciaran Kelly fired Drogheda in front early on as he netted his sixth goal of the season but Nathan Boyle’s strike midway through the second-half leaves the tie finely balanced according to Drogs boss Tim Clancy.
“I was delighted with how we played,” the 34-year-old explained Thursday afternoon. “It was the best we’ve played for a number of weeks and to have performed like that after having to play 120 minutes on Monday, it says a lot about the group.
“I thought we were good value for the lead but I think Harps’ rest came into play at the start of the second-half and they looked to have an extra yard until they scored.
“With that being said, we certainly finished the stronger and we’re a little unlucky not to be going into Friday’s game with a lead.”
The Boynesiders had to overcome a first leg defeat to Shelbourne in order to advance to the next round of play-offs and Clancy believes his players are capable of upsetting the odds again.
“We’re in a much better position than we were a fortnight ago. I also think the week’s break will stand to us as it’s given us a chance to recover and prepare for the game after a very intense run.
“Harps are a formidable side, especially at Ballybofey, but we’ve gotten some massive results on the road this season.
“I can’t ask for anymore from this group of players, they’ve been fantastic all year, and I just hope they get their reward tomorrow night.”
Drogheda will be without the injured pair of Jake Hyland and Lee Duffy while Chris Lyons misses out through suspension.