Match stats: Rovers v Drogheda

Sligo Rovers are currently enjoying the best-ever start to a season at home, having won six out of six at The Showgrounds so far. 15 goals have been scored in those games with just one conceded.

In the league Rovers have won the first four for the first time since 1966/67.
The last time Rovers won the first five was when opening on a club record run of seven consecutive wins in 1953-54 with wins over Evergreen, Shamrock Rovers, Limerick, Transport, St Patrick’s Athletic, Waterford and Dundalk.
Rovers have scored a first half goal in 12 of the last 13 home games with the only exception being when drawing a blank against Shamrock Rovers on the final day of last season.
In Rovers last 99 league games, they have only lost twice when scoring a goal in the second half. One of those two defeats was in the game in Drogheda at the end of last year.
It is 51 homes games since Rovers lost a home league game in which they have scored in the second half.
It is three home games without conceding at home for Rovers, the last time four clean sheets were kept consecutively was in June/July 2011.
It is 61 home league games since Rovers were beaten in the Showgrounds by a team from outside Dublin.
After Alan Keane was forced to leave the game against St. Patrick’s Athletic with injury, only three players, Gary Rogers, Evan McMillan and Anthony Elding, have played every minute in the league so far. Rogers is the only player to have done so in all competitions.
Danny Ventre made his 200th Rovers appearance in the Setanta Cup game on Monday and he can make it 150 league apps by playing this weekend.
He became the 18th player to reach the 200 landmark for the club.
The players he joined are as follows:
Tony Fagan                 590
Tony Stenson              387
Johnny Armstrong      380
Raffaele Cretaro         372     
Gavin Dykes               323
Harry McLoughlin      315
David Pugh                 308
Martin McDonnell      284
Chris Rutherford         281
Conor O’Grady           281
Gerry Mitchell             259
Paul Fielding               258
Gavin Peers                 257
Mick Savage               257
Padraig Moran           253
Mickey Sweeney         244
Paul McGee                225
Nicky Brujos               207
Joseph Ndo returned to the team against Drogheda having missed the last 11 games through injury. His last Rovers goal came in this fixture last year, it was also the only goal he scored in 2012.
Last six games:
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)
13/4/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  2-0  Cork City  (Lee Lynch, Anthony Elding penalty)
16/4/13  SSC  Drogheda Utd   2-0  Sligo Rovers
19/4/13  LOI  St. Pats  2-0  Sligo Rovers
22/4/13  SSC  Sligo Rovers  1-0  Drogheda Utd  (David Cawley)
The teams have met 81 times in the Premier Division with Rovers having a superior record with 34 wins to 15 though there has been 32 draws. In the Showgrounds Rovers have been particularly dominant with 19 wins to 5 from the 40 games played.
It took 13 attempts for Drogheda to win their first game in the Showgrounds which they did in 1975/76 before wins again in 1978/79 and 1983/84.
They didn’t win again until Rovers returned to the Premier division in 2006 while they also won the following season on their way to their only league title.
Therefore it is nine games since they got a win in Sligo which came on May 29th 2007 with Brian Shelley and Shane Robinson scoring in a 2-0 win. Raffaele Cretaro is the only current Rovers player who played that day while all of the Drogheda team have since left.
It is seven games at the Showgrounds in succession that Rovers have come out on top in since a 2-2 draw in July 2009 when Conor O’Grady and Raff Cretaro scored for Rovers with Shane Barrett getting both for Drogheda.
All bar two of Rovers seven win in-a-row have been by more than a goal with Monday’s game being the first time Drogheda have conceded one goal or less in Sligo since March 2008.
There have been 13 games between Rovers and Drogheda since there was a draw since a 2-2 draw in Drogheda in April 2010.
In the last 14 Rovers games both teams have scored only twice (Dundalk and Limerick). In Drogheda’s last 11 both teams have only failed to score twice (both of which were against Rovers).
Lee Lynch started his career at Drogheda where he played 14 times in 2011 scoring once. He scored against them in the EA Sports Cup defeat in Hunky Dorys Park last season.
Of the last six games between the sides there have been three wins each, the full record is as follows:
4/5/12  LOI  Drogheda Utd  1-3  Sligo Rovers  (Gavin Peers, Danny North x2)
4/8/12  LOI  Sligo Rovers  6-1  Drogheda Utd  (Mark Quigley, Seamus Conneely, Romuald Boco, Joseph Ndo)
6/8/12  EA  Drogheda Utd  2-1  Sligo Rovers  (Lee Lynch)
19/10/12  LOI  Drogheda Utd  2-1  Sligo Rovers  (Liam Buchanan)
16/4/13  SSC  Drogheda Utd  2-0  Sligo Rovers
22/4/13  SSC  Sligo Rovers  1-0  Drogheda Utd  (David Cawley)
Last season:
The first of two meeting in Hunky Dorys Park took place in early May with Rovers already placed on top of the division. Rovers would run out fairly comfortable winners after Gavin Peers put them in front early on after heading in following a corner.
In-form Danny North doubled the lead 10 minutes before half-time with a typical close range finish. The home side gave themselves a chance by getting a goal back shortly after through veteran Declan O’Brien. Although Rovers dominated the game it wasn’t put to bed until 10 minutes from time when Danny North popped up with another goal to give Rovers what would be one of their most comprehensive away wins all seasons.
When the sides met again they were first and second in the table where a win for the away side would have seen Rovers displace Rovers at the top of the table, a position which had already been held for some time. The game however didn’t pan out like one between two title challengers with Rovers always on top following an early goal by man of the moment Mark Quigley.
The lead was then doubled when Seamus Conneely got his first and so far only Rovers goal just before half-time. Rovers made the lead three on the hour mark when Joseph Ndo found Romuald Boco with the Cameroonian then getting himself on the scoresheet to round off the night in the closing stages. A stoppage time consolation, scored by Peter Hynes, was all Drogheda could take from the defeat though they gained some revenge by kocking Rovers out of the EA Sports Cup two days later.
By the time the teams would meet again Rovers had already been crowned champions after a win against St. Pats the previous weekend. Drogheda became only the second team after UCD to beat Rovers in the league. Alan McNally gave them the lead in the first half but Liam Buchanan got an equaliser for Rovers in the first minute of the second half.
The champions couldn’t hold on for the draw however with Brian Gannon scoring late on to give Drogheda a big win.
Opponents: Drogheda United
Drogheda United go into this week’s games in fifth position having finished last year as runners-up to Rovers. Only Shamrock Rovers, with six, have drawn more than Drogheda’s total of five games. Their season didn’t get off to a great start as they lost on the opening day at St.Pats 1-0 but they have gone unbeaten in their eight league games since. They started that run with a 2-2 draw with Limerick at home before gaining a draw away Derry.
They then won their first game of the season against Bray at home 2-1 for the third game in a row coming from behind to take something from the game. They followed up their first win with three successive draws and in the first of those the were the side losing a lead as they saw local rivals Dundalk come from two goals behind to claim a point in Oriel Park.
After that they secured a draw at home to Cork again with a late goal before sharing the spoils with Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght. Their second win of the season came after that at Tolka Park 3-1 though they again conceded first before winning they game with a late burst. Last week saw them claim a 3-2 home win against bottom of the table UCD.
Last six results:
01/04/13  LOI  Drogheda Utd  1-1  Cork City  (Declan O’Brien(pen))
05/04/13  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  1-1  Drogheda Utd  (Paul O’Conor)
12/04/13  LOI  Shelbourne  1-3  Drogheda Utd  (Declan O’Brien x2(1 pen), Gary O’Neil,)
16/04/13  SSC  Drogheda Utd  2-0  Sligo Rovers  (Gary O’Neill, David Cassidy)
19/04/13  LOI  Drogheda Utd  3-2  UCD  (Gary O’Neill x2, Gavin Brennan)
22/04/13  SSC  Sligo Rovers  1-0  Drogheda Utd
Top scorer: Declan O’Brien 6 (5 in LOI)
Drogheda are unbeaten in eight league games, the last time they went nine unbeaten was the last nine games of their league-winning season in 2007.
They have only failed to score twice in their last 19 away league games. They were the league’s highest scorers away from home last year with 29 goals, six more than the next best team Shamrock Rovers. They also finished with eight away wins which was the joint-best with the aforementioned Tallaght club.
Drogheda are yet to keep a clean sheet in the league this year with their last being in a scoreless draw with St.Pats in September. Their last on the road was 11 games ago in a 2-0 win in Richmond Park.
They have earned seven points in the last 10 minutes of games. Eight of their 15 goals scored this year have been scored in the last 20 minutes of games.
Although Gary O’Neil failed to score in the Showgrounds last Monday he had scored four goals in his previous three games including one against Rovers in the first leg of the Setanta Cup tie.

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