Match stats: Rovers v Bray
Sligo Rovers recorded a 2-1 win last weekend against Derry City in the Brandywell.
It ended the worst run of the season of five games without a win and took the champions ahead of the Candystripes into third position in the league, just four points behind leaders St. Patrick’s Athletic.
The first goal was scored by David Cawley, making it six goals for him this season which puts him as second highest scorer behind Anthony Elding.
He returned to the squad after missing his first league game of the season the week before against Shamrock Rovers through suspension.
It ended a run of playing in 31 consecutive league games which now leaves Gary Rogers and Alan Keane as the only ever presents in the squad this year.
The second goalscorer was Danny North who got his second of the season but his first in the league.
It was a first league goal after a injury-hit run of 13 months without a goal since getting a double in a 2-1 win in Dundalk at the end of June last year.
It was his 15th league goal for the club in just 22 appearances and puts him just one short of 20 in all competitions.
North’s goal made him the 14th Rovers player to score in the league this season out of 20 who have made appearances.
It’s one more than the 13 who scored last year and no team have had as many different scorers.
Rovers overall goal total of 36 is just three less than at the same stage last year with the same amount of goals being conceded.
Alan Keane can make the 200th league appearance of his career this weekend against Bray.
To date he has made 138 with the Bit o’Red and 61 with previous club Galway United.
He has a total of 14 goals in that time, 12 of which have been for Rovers, with five of the 12 being penalties.
Three of his goals have come in Bray’s last five visits to the Showgrounds with one coming in 2010, 2011 and 2012. His goal in the home draw with Bray last year is his last for the club.
Since elimination from the Champions League Rovers have gained a draw and a win, after exiting Europe last year Rovers went on a run of 11 unbeaten in the league with seven of those games won.
Rovers haven’t won any of the last three home games (St. Pat’s, Molde and Shamrock Rovers) which also happened last year with a winless run involving games with Bray Wanderers, Cork City and Spartak Trnava.
The last run of more than three games without victory in the Showgrounds coincided with Rovers previous exit from Europe when a five game run included not beating Pat’s, Vorskla Poltava, Bohemians, Monaghan Utd and Derry.
The last home game for Rovers ended 0-0, there hasn’t been successive scoreless draws in the Showgrounds since June/July 2008 when games with UCD and Derry City finished 0-0.
Both of Rovers last two home league games have been drawn, the last time the Bit o’ Red went three without winning was in July/August/September 2011 when Rovers drew with St. Pats, lost to Bohs and then drew again with Derry City.
The last time three Premier Division games were drawn in a row in the Showgrounds was in September/October 1998. (2-2 vs Bohs, 1-1 vs Waterford Utd and 1-1 vs Finn Harps).
It last happened overall in the league in Rovers final days in the First Division when four games in a row were drawn. (1-1 vs Dublin City, 1-1 vs Galway United, 1-1 vs Cobh Ramblers and 0-0 vs Athlone Town)
Gary Rogers’ clean sheet against Shamrock Rovers was his 12th of the season and put him on one more than last season despite playing eight games less.
Rovers will be looking to make it back-to-back league wins for the second time this year since the run of eight wins to start the campaign ended. That involved the 5-2 home win over UCD and the 2-0 away triumph against Shelbourne. Those two games are also the only time rovers have scored more than one goal twice in a row.
David Cawley’s goal in the 5-2 win against UCD in mid-June is the only first-half goal Rovers have scored in the last 10 league games, a total of 10 have been scored in the second half of games in that time. 16 of Rovers last 18 league goals have come in the second 45 minutes.
The last time the Bit o’Red got more than a single goal in the first half of a home league game was in the 3-2 win over St. Pat’s that won the league in October last season.
Last six games:
5/7/13 LOI Cork City 3-1 Sligo Rovers (David McMillan)
14/7/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 1-1 St. Patrick’s Athletic (Evan McMillan)
17/7/13 UCL Sligo Rovers 0-1 Molde
23/7/13 UCL Molde 2-0 Sligo Rovers
27/7/12 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
2/8/13 LOI Derry City 1-2 Sligo Rovers (David Cawley, Danny North)
Rovers’ total of 11 points from the last six games in the second best in the league just behind Dundalk’s 13 while Bray are bottom of the form table with three points from a possible 18.
The game will feature the league’s second highest scorer David McMillan of Sligo Rovers who has 13 goals and the third best in Bray’s Jason Byrne who is one behind on 12. Only Rory Patterson of Derry City has more with 14.
Rovers are unbeaten in the last 15 games against Bray which is our longest unbeaten run against any team in the division.
Bray’s last win came on 2 June 2009 with a 3-1 win in the Carlisle Grounds despite Raffaele Cretaro putting Rovers in front.
The only players in that Bray team still with the club are David Webster and Daire Doyle.
Going back slightly further Rovers have lost just one of the last 20 against the Seagulls.
Ten of the 15 game unbeaten streak have ended in wins for Rovers including five of the last eight.
Three of the last four games between the sides have ended level, two of the last three have been scoreless though both of those games were in the Carlisle Grounds.
Bray have scored just three goals in the last nine fixtures against Rovers.
This will be the 43rd meeting of the sides in the top division with Rovers winning twice as many times, 20 to 10.
The Bit o’ Red beat the Seagulls on their last visit to the Showgrounds 3-0 earlier this season. It followed a 1-1 draw on their previous visit the previous which ended a run of 11 consecutive wins for Rovers over Bray at home.
Rovers unbeaten run at home to Bray is 17 games with their last win in Sligo coming almost 16 years ago in 1997. All other sides in the division bar Limerick have won at least once in the Showgrounds since then.
Four of the last six between the teams in the Showgrounds have seen Rovers score three or more goals.
Wanderers haven’t scored more than once in the Showgrounds since November 2003 in the first Division though that game was won 3-2 by Rovers with goals from Riviere Williams, Michael McNamara and David O’Dowd.
Raffaele Cretaro has scored eight times in his last 11 starts against Bray. He remains just one goal short of reaching 50 league goals for Rovers.
Seven of Danny North’s 37 league goals have been against Bray Wanderers which is more than against any other team.
That includes his first ever goal in the League of Ireland when playing for Pat’s as they lost 3-2 in the Carlisle Grounds despite him scoring twice in the game. His seven goals have come in eight meetings with the Seagulls one of which has been while with Rovers.
Last six meetings:
12/9/11 LOI Sligo Rovers 3-1 Bray Wanderers (Danny Ventre, John Russell, Alan Keane)
6/4/12 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-2 Sligo Rovers (Raf Cretaro, Danny North)
7/7/12 LOI Sligo Rovers 1-1 Bray Wanderers (Alan Keane)
21/9/12 LOI Bray Wanderers 0-0 Sligo Rovers
16/3/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 3-0 Bray Wanderers (Anthony Elding x2, Kieran Djilali)
10/5/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 0-0 Sligo Rovers
The sides met on the last day of the 2008 season in the Showgrounds with European qualification at stake for Rovers.
Rovers hadn’t been in Europe since 1996 but after a strong season only three years after promotion back to the Premier Division a win on the final day would be needed to secure a Europa League spot for 2009.
As well as a win Rovers were also relying on Cork City who were two points ahead to lose their game against already crowned champions Bohemians. Bray Wanderers would provide tough oppositions they had a good season themselves finishing in sixth place.
The biggest crowd of the season turned out at the Showgrounds and seen Rovers take an early lead to settle the nerves as Mauro Almeida forced home Raff Cretaro’s cross on 14 minutes.
Not long after the lead was doubled this time from the head of Conor O’Grady as he glanced in a Sean Doherty cross. There were chances for both sides as the game wore on as Rovers looked for a third to seal victory.
As the clocked ticked towards the final whistle attention turned to Dalymount Park where the result was also favourable with Bohs establishing a 3-0 lead by half-time.
Despite getting a goal back cork lost 3-1 and when news came through to the Showgrounds fans spilled onto the pitch as the crowd and players celebrated a huge win for the club.
Opposition: Bray Wanderers
Bray Wanderers are on a seven game run without a win since beating UCD 5-4. They had a longer winless run earlier in the season when going 10 without a victory which started with the 3-0 loss to Rovers.
11 out of their last 16 away from home have ended in defeat.
The Seagulls last 22 league games have produced just two clean sheets, one of which came against the champions.
Their total of 49 conceded is the second worst in the league to UCD’s 52 but is 10 more than the next worst team Bohs.
Last six results:
28/6/13 LOI St. Patrick’s Ath 2-0 Bray Wanderers
5/7/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
9/7/13 LOI Limerick 4-4 Bray Wanderers (Ismahil Akinade x2, Ryan Coombes, Kevin O’Connor)
19/7/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-3 Bohemians (Jason Byrne (pen))
26/7/13 LOI Dundalk 1-0 Bray Wanderers
4/8/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-1 Shelbourne (Jason Byrne)