A long hard campaign boils down to two huge games for Drogheda United and Finn Harps, who have 180 minutes to make or break their seasons.

They meet at United Park tonight in the first leg of their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division promotion/relegation play-off with the stakes high and legs perhaps a little weary.

Both sides played on Friday night, though Harps clearly had one eye on tonight's showdown: their manager Ollie Horgan wasn't even in attendance for their 4-0 loss to Derry City at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium, choosing instead to watch Drogs' play-off second-leg clash against Cabinteely, which they won 5-1.

Tim Clancy's men were excellent on Friday but it's a big ask to go again this week.

Luke McNally, their impressive young centre-half who's on loan from St Pat's, scored a hat-trick against Cabo while the likes of Chris Lyons and Sean Brennan are both key to the Louth outfit clicking offensively.

Twelve months ago a Paddy McCourt-inspired Harps beat Drogheda in the play-off semi-finals and they went on to defeat Limerick to return to the top flight.

However, Horgan will be fully aware that no side has retained their top-flight status via the play-offs since 2013, when Bray Wanderers beat Longford Town 5-4 over two legs.

The First Division teams always carry positive momentum into these games so this is a tricky test for the Donegal club.

The second leg takes place in Ballybofey on Friday night.

"We know how tough it will be this evening," said Horgan, who's without goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher and is sweating on the fitness of Mark Timlin, who picked up a niggle against Waterford ten days ago.

"Drogheda are a good side in good form. They overcame the long gap between games to get past Cabinteely and have momentum on their side - just like we did in some of our previous play-offs.

"We have a number of players with knocks and niggly injuries after a long season but we'll prepare as best we can for the play-offs with the players we have."