Match stats: Rovers v Cork
After last week’s 2-0 success against Shelbourne, Sligo Rovers have won nine games played in all competitions, a 100% record.
That’s the joint-second longest winning streak in the club’s history and just three games short of the overall club record of 12 set in 1936/37.
In league games alone Rovers have won seven in-a-row, which is the second longest in club history on its own again after the run in 1936/37.
The last team to win eight Premier Division games in-a-row was Bohemains in 2008 as part of a 12-game winning run for the Gypsies.
The last team to win their first eight of a season in the Premier Division was Cork City in 1998/99.
Rovers haven’t won the first four league home games since 1966/67. That run seen wins against Limerick (4-1), Shelbourne (3-1), St.Pats (3-0) and Waterford (3-2) before a scoreless draw with Drumcondra.
Rovers have scored a first half goal in 10 of the last 11 home games with the only exception being when drawing a blank against Shamrock Rovers on the final day of last season.
That is also the only home league game in the last 25 that Rovers have failed to score in.
Clean sheets have been kept in the last three league games, keeping a fourth would be the best run since keeping nine in a row in May/June/July 2011.
This will be Ian Baraclough’s 50th game in charge of the Bit o' Red. His record in the 49 to date is:
Played 49 Won 30 Drawn 12 Lost 7 For 94 Against 38
Anthony Elding will be looking to score for the fifth home game in-a-row.
The last player to do so for Rovers was the League’s all-time leading scorer Brendan Bradley who scored against Waterford, Drogheda Utd, Thurles Town, Shelbourne and St. Pats in 1980/81.
Anthony Elding added another two goals against Shels to take him to eight league goals with nine in all competitions.
That’s just one less than the rest of the team combined in league games. The top scorers are as follows with league totals in brackets:
Anthony Elding 9 (8)
Raffaele Cretaro 3 (2)
Lee Lynch 3 (0)
Aaron Greene 3 (3)
Cretaro is still one goal short of 50 league goals for Rovers and becoming the sixth man to do so for the club (joining Johnny Armstrong, Padraig Moran, Paul McTiernan, Paul McGee and Gary Hulmes).
He has never scored a league goal against Cork but he did score three times in the two cup games between the sides in 2009.
Last six games:
16/3/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 3-0 Bray Wanderers (Anthony Elding x2, Kieran Djilali)
19/3/13 LOI Dundalk 1-3 Sligo Rovers (Raffaele Cretaro, Gavin Peers, Anthony Elding)
23/3/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-1 Limerick (Anthony Elding, Jeff Henderson)
29/3/13 LOI Bohemians 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Raffaele Cretaro, Aaron Greene, Anthony Elding)
1/4/13 LOI UCD 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Aaron Greene x2, David Cawley)
6/4/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-0 Shelbourne (Anthony Elding x2)
This will be the 50th league meeting between Sligo Rovers and Cork City (the club that joined the league in 1984). Cork have the superior record with 28 wins to 12 with 9 draws.
At home Rovers have won seven of the 25 with Cork winning 15 while there have been three drawn games.
Of the 16 league games between the sides during summer football, Cork have eight wins to Rovers three.
Rovers are unbeaten in the last five against Cork however, the last four games being in the league as well as one in the Setanta Cup since Cork won 3-0 in the Showgrounds in July 2009.
That win is their only over Rovers in the last eight meetings in all competitions.
Cork are unbeaten in their last five league visits to The Showgrounds since losing 4-1 in May 2007 with doubles from Matthew Judge and Chris Turner.
Rovers previous home win over Cork was 11 games ago again by 4-1 in April 1998. That game was won with a double from Donagh Oates as well as goals from Conor O'Grady and Sean Flannery.
In total Cork have won seven of their last ten league games in Sligo. During that time they did lose an FAI Cup replay in 2009 after extra-time with Raff Cretaro scoring twice.
Rovers have failed to score in eight of the last 11 league games against Cork giving a total of four goals in that time.
Rovers made the trip to Cork in April last year for the first time since 2009 due to Cork’s relegation to the First Division.
Rovers went into the game unbeaten having recently taken over at the top of the table while Cork were towards the bottom with their only win coming against Monaghan.
It was a tight game throughout with neither side able to find the breakthrough until Rovers struck in the 79th minute through in-form striker Danny North and that gave Rovers the points and a first win in Cork in almost five years.
The next meeting took place in July in between the two legs of Rovers Europa League tie, three days after Rovers had lost 3-1 to Spartak Trnava in Slovakia.
Cork caught Rovers out with an early goal as Ian Turner put them in front with a shot from the edge of the box on seven minutes. They held the lead to half-time and extended it through Vinny Sullivan in the 58th minute.
They became the first away team since Derry in 2009 to take a two goal lead in the Showgrounds.
Shortly before Rovers had introduced Mark Quigley after he had missed the European game a few days earlier. He made an immediate impact, beating Mark McNulty with a superb free-kick to halve the deficit with his second league goal of the season.
He would again pop up with seven minutes to go, levelling the game after Rovers had been awarded a penalty kick. There were chances to win but Rovers took the draw and the first points from a game in which they were two goals behind since beating St. Pats 3-2 in September 2006.
The only other side to avoid defeat in the Showgounds last year was Bray making Cork the team to have gone the longest time without losing in Sligo.
With only four games left to play Rovers travelled to Turner’s Cross for a second time knowing that a first league title in 35 years was within sight, although it couldn’t be won on the night.
In a tense game without much between the sides, Rovers were unable to turn possession into a goal and came away with a point before going on to win the league title the following week at home to St Pat's. Rovers# total of three goals in the league against Cork last year was the joint-fewest along with Bray Wanderers.
Last six league meetings:
5/10/12 Cork City 0-0 Sligo Rovers
22/7/12 Sligo Rovers 2-2 Cork City (Mark Quigley x2, one pen)
20/4/12 Cork City 0-1 Sligo Rovers (Danny North)
29/9/09 Cork City 0-0 Sligo Rovers
12/7/09 Sligo Rovers 0-3 Cork City
1/5/09 Cork City 1-0 Sligo Rovers
Cork have lost just three of the last 17 games in all competitions (Shelbourne away, St. Pats away and Derry home).
Of the 10 played in 2013 they have only lost one. They have won just three of the last 11 league games.
It is seven league games since they won away, which was a 1-0 win in Derry, and they also have just two wins in the last 14 away games. Their total of three away wins last season was only just ahead of bottom side Dundalk’s two.
Cork have former Rovers winger Daryl Horgan in their squad. He joined Rovers for the 2011 season from Salthill Devon and scored on his debut in the Setanta Cup against Portadown. He made a total of 14 apps for Rovers, scoring three times before leaving during the season to join Cork on loan.
He helped them to promotion that year scoring five times in 13 games. He scored six goals for them last year starting in all but two of their league games. Horgan has made a productive start to this season with three goals from his eight games.
Cork's season so far:
Cork started their season in the Setanta Cup first round where they were drawn against Irish league leaders Cliftonville. A 4-0 home win in the first leg all but won them the tie with a 6-2 aggregate win being sealed with a 2-2 draw in the away leg.
That put them into the quarter-finals where they were pitted against defending champions Crusaders.
They were again home for the first leg but this time needed a late goal to take a 1-0 win. However a good away 3-1 victory put them into the semi-finals 4-1 on aggregate. After that they started their league campaign away to newly-promoted Limerick with a 0-0 draw before getting their first win the next week at home to Bohs, 2-1, despite falling behind.
They lost their first, and so far only, game of the season when Derry scored late to win 1-0 in Cork.
Their Easter fixtures saw away draws against Drogheda United and Shamrock Rovers, this time conceding in the 90th and 88th minute.
They got back to winning ways UCD last week. Even though the visitors scored first, Cork came back to win the game 2-1 with a late goal of their own scored by Shane Duggan. They sit in fifth position in the league on nine points with Daryl Kavanagh and Daryl Horgan as top scorers with three goals.
Last six games:
5/4/13 LOI Cork City 2-1 UCD (Daryl Kavanagh,Shane Duggan)
1/4/13 LOI Drogheda United 1-1 Cork City (Shane Duggan)
29/3/12 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Cork City (Colin Healy)
24/3/13 LOI Cork City 0-1 Derry City
15/3/13 LOI Cork City 2-1 Bohemians (Danny Furlong, Daryl Horgan)
10/3/13 LOI Limerick 0-0 Cork City
Sligo Rovers v Cork City, Airtricity Premier Division, The Showgrounds, Saturday 13 April, 3:55pm