Match stats: Rovers v Shels
Sligo Rovers still have a 100% record after eight games so far this season going into the clash with Shelbourne in the Airtricity Premier Division.
Winning nine in a row would be the joint-second longest winning run in the history of the club. (The other nine game winning run included a win on penalties).
Rovers haven’t won seven league games in a row since the 11 game winning streak to start the 1936/37 league winning season.
The last team to win seven games in a row in the league was Shamrock Rovers from August to October 2009.
The last team to win their first seven league games in a row was Cork City in 1998/99 who won their first eight before losing. They didn’t go on to win the league that year.
Rovers will be aiming to keep three clean sheets in a row for the first time in the league since July 2011.
With six wins out of six Rovers are on our best league start since the league winning season of 1936/37, here’s a look at how Rovers have fared after six games in the eight years of our current stay in the Premier Division:
Year Won Drew Lost For Against Points Pos.
2006 2 3 1 7 6 9 5th
2007 3 0 3 4 6 9 7th
2008 1 3 2 5 6 6 7th
2009 1 2 3 5 8 5 9th
2010 1 5 0 7 6 8 5th
2011 4 1 1 6 1 13 2nd
2012 4 2 0 10 4 14 1st
2013 6 0 0 15 2 18 1st
Raffaele Cretaro’s goal against Bohs a week ago was his 49th league goal for the club. He is looking to become only the sixth player in the history of the club to score 50 league goals for Rovers. The others are:
Johnny Armstrong - 83
Padraig Moran - 62
Paul McTiernan - 50
Paul McGee - 50
Gary Hulmes - 50
However Shelbourne are one of two teams in the division, along with Limerick, that Cretaro has never scored against.
Iarfhalith Davoren came on as a sub against UCD on Monday to make his first appearance for the club since the 2-1 defeat to Drogheda in the EA Sports Cup semi-final on 6/8/12.
In doing so he reached 100 career league appearances for the club joining Raf Cretaro, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre, Alan Keane and Joseph Ndo in doing so.
Rovers are unbeaten in the last five meetings with Shelbourne which included the three league games last year as well as Rovers win in the 2011 FAI Cup final and an earlier win that year in the EA Sports Cup. Previous to that the teams hadn’t met since Shelbourne were relegated in 2006.
The teams have met a total of 115 times in league competition and shels are well on top with 52 wins to Rovers 27. That gives Rovers a win percentage of 23.5% which is the lowest against all other teams in the division. In the Showgrounds Rovers have won 18 times with the away side winning 23.
Rovers 3-0 win on Shels visit to the Showgrounds last year was the first home win against them in the league since November 1988, a total of 15 games without a win for Rovers.
The Bit o' Red had previously beaten Shelbourne at home in cup competition by winning the first leg 1-0 on route to winning the 1998 League cup.
Shelbourne have still won on 10 of their last 14 trips to Sligo.
It was also Rovers first clean sheet in a league game against Shels since a 0-0 in Tolka Park on October 1995, a total of 20 games. That’s the longest run for both sides without a stalemate.
Rovers have scored three or more goals in four games so far this year, Shels only did so three times all last season.
The only player still with Rovers that played in Shelbourne’s last win over Rovers in November 2006 is Gavin Peers. There are no players from the Shels team still with the club today but Joseph Ndo, now with us, did play for them that day.
The two sides met on the opening day of the 2012 league season. Rovers had just appointed a new manager in Ian Baraclough who was taking charge of his first game while Shelbourne were playing their first game in the Premier Division after an absence of five seasons.
Rovers suffered two blows before half-time with Philly Hughes scoring a fine free-kick on 42 minutes to give the home side the lead and then having new signing Mark Quigley sent off in first half injury time.
It looked as though Shels would hold onto the win until injury time of the second half when centre-back Jason McGuinness popped up with an equalizer from a corner.
By the time of the next meeting back in the Showgrounds, Rovers were flying high on top of the table and they dispatched the Shelbourne challenge with little trouble. Danny North continued an impressive run of form by putting Rovers in front shortly before the break and followed it up with a second shortly after.
The scoring was completed last on by Pascal Millien scoring his first goal for the club in spectacular fashion.
When Rovers visited Tolka Park for a second time they would again have too much for the Drumcondra side running out 3-1 victors this time. Again Jason McGuinness got on the scoresheet with a header this time after only two minutes and shortly after fellow defender Gavin Peers made it two, again from a set-piece.
Mark Quigley put the result beyond doubt with a penalty fifteen minutes from time although Shelbourne did get a consolation later on from Paddy Kavanagh.
Last six league meetings:
17/8/12 Shelbourne 1-3 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness, Gavin Peers, Mark Quigley (p)
18/5/12 Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shelbourne (Danny North x2, Pascal Millien)
2/3/12 Shelbourne 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness)
6/11/06 Sligo Rovers 0-2 Shelbourne
27/7/06 Shelbourne 3-0 Sligo Rovers
28/4/06 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Shelbourne (Conor O’Grady)
The two clubs faced off in the FAI Cup final of 2011. Rovers were looking to defend the trophy they had won against Shamrock Rovers the year before while Shelbourne were looking to cap off their promotion winning season with a first victory in the competition since 2000.
It would be the underdogs Shels who struck first with Philly Hughes giving his side the lead after half an hour. However their chances weren’t helped when shortly after they had Barry Clancy sent off for a second yellow card. They held the lead until half-time but in the early stages of the second half Rovers struck with Iarfhlaith Davoren scoring his first goal for the club to level.
The game would remain level up to full-time meaning extra-time would be required but again no side could breakthrough. That meant for a second year running the final would be decided on penalties.
Rovers were successful with their four with Eoin Doyle, Richie Ryan, Alan Keane and Raffaele scoring.
As with the previous year it would be Ciaran Kelly who proved the hero by saving two of the three Shels penalties to secure victory and seen Rovers retain the cup for the first time.
Shelbourne have lost five of their six games played so far with the other game being a scoreless draw with Shamrock Rovers.
They have scored one goal in those games which came in the 3-1 home defeat to Dundalk and that was scored by Dean Kelly. That makes them the lowest scorers with the next lowest being St. Pats with three.
They have won just one of their last 10 away games in all competitions, a 1-0 away win to then bottom-placed Dundalk last September.
In their last 18 league games they have won just twice, the above mentioned win over Dundalk and a 3-2 home win against Cork City in their final home game of 2012.
Story so far:
Having brought in 10 new players over the off season shells began their season away to Bray Wanderers. The y lost to a second half goal by their former striker Jason Byrne having had Paul Crowley sent off earlier. Three days later they were knocked out of the EA Sports Cup 1-0 at the hands of Dundalk and then losing to the same opposition in the league the next weekend.
They took a first half lead through new signing Dean Kelly but after Dundalk had equalised they had another sending off with Graham Gartland and eventually lost 3-1 after conceding two late goals.
They picked up their first point of the season in their next game holding Shamrock Rovers to a 0-0 draw in Tolka Park with an inspired performance from keeper Niall Burdon. .
However the following week they lost heavily by 4-0 away to Derry and suffered another defeat in their last game at home to Bohs having Ian Ryan sent off. These results leave them second bottom in the table just ahead of UCD on goal difference.
Last six results:
8/3/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-0 Shelbourne
11/3/13 EA Dundalk 1-0 Shelbourne
15/3/13 LOI Shelbourne 1-3 Dundalk (Dean Kelly)
24/3/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
29/3/13 LOI Derry city 4-0 Shelbourne
1/4/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-0 Bohemians