Match stats: Rovers v Cork
Four-time competition winners Sligo Rovers face two-time winners Cork City this Saturday night in The Showgrounds.
Rovers will be looking to win the tournament for a third time in four seasons, something only done previously by Shamrock Rovers.
A win would put the Bit o’ Red into the quarter-finals for the seventh time in the last eleven seasons. In the last ten only Bohemians and St. Pat’s have been in more than Rovers current total with eight.
The last time Rovers were eliminated at the last 16 stage was in 2007 against Waterford Utd in a loss on penalties in The Showgrounds. Previous to that was another loss at home to Bray Wanderers in 2002/03.
The defeat which eliminated Rovers from the competition last year to Monaghan ended a run of nine home games unbeaten in the FAI Cup. Eight of those nine games were wins.
The run began with a win over Cork City in 2009, the game was won 2-1 after extra-time following a draw in Cork. Those nine games seen six clean sheets kept with only Cork and Bohs in 2009 and Pike Rovers in 2011 scoring.
The loss to Monaghan last season was the first time Rovers conceded three goals in an FAI Cup games since the 5-0 loss to Derry City in the 2006 semi-final. It was the first time an away side had scored three times in Sligo since the 1994/95 semi-finals when Shelbourne registered a 3-1 win. Rovers were also defending the trophy on that occasion.
It is also the Bit o ’Red’s only loss in 13 FAI Cup games. Going back further Rovers have just two defeats in 20.
After losing twice last week to Shamrock Rovers in the EA Sports Cup then Dundalk in the league Rovers will be hoping to avoid losing three games in a row for the first time since April 2010 when losing both legs of a Setanta Sports Cup semi-final to St. Pat’s and then to them again in the league.
Rovers will be aiming to record back-to-back home wins for the first time since May when beating Derry City and thenMervue Utd in the EA Sports cup. A clean sheet would be a first time three in a row have been kept in the Showgroundssince April (Shelbourne, Cork City and Drogheda Utd).
Last six results:
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)
10/8/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-0 Bray Wanderers (Raff Cretaro, Kieran Djilali)
13/8/13 EA Shamrock Rovers 3-2 Sligo Rovers (Kieran Djilali, Anthony Elding)
16/8/13 LOI Dundalk 2-0 Sligo Rovers
The club’s have been drawn together six times in the FAI Cup with both sides coming out on top three times. This includes three wins for Rovers from the last five and the only time that the sides have faced eachother at this stage of the competition.
That was in 1994 when Rovers won the trophy for the second time.
There have been three FAI Cup meetings in the Showgroundswith Rovers winning two (the last two) and one win for Cork which came back in 1989 when Rovers were a First Division club.
There have been two meetings between the sides so far this season with one win each. On both occasions it was the home side winning by two goals with Rovers winning 2-0 in The Showgrounds and Cork winning 3-1 in Turner's Cross.
Cork will be looking for back-to-back wins over the champions since winning 1-0 twice in May and August 2008.
City have won just once on their last six visits to Sligo, it wasa 3-0 win in July 2009. Half of those six games have ended level.
David McMillan scored in the team’s previous meeting this year which was also his Rovers debut. It was his fourth goal in three games against the Munster club. He is cup-tied this weekend.
5/2/89 Last 32 Sligo Rovers 0-1 Cork City
26/2/94 Last 16 Sligo Rovers 2-0 Cork City (Gavin Dykes, Ricardo Gabbiadini)
10/3/96 Quarter-finals Cork City 1-2 Sligo Rovers
6/3/98 Quarter-finals Cork City 2-0 Sligo Rovers
22/9/05 Quarter-finals Cork City 3-1 Sligo Rovers (Kupono Low) 12/6/09 Last 32 Cork City 2-2 Sligo Rovers (Steve Feeney, Raff Cretaro)
16/6/09 Last 32 (R) Sligo Rovers 2-1 Cork City (Raff Cretaro x2) (AET)
The clubs were last paired together in this competition in 2009. On that occasion the game was played at Turner's cross in the first stage of the competition. City took an early lead with debutant Shane Duggan getting on the scoresheet with a header.
The midfielder is the only player from the team that day that has remained continuously with the club. However the lead didn’t last long with local defender Steve Feeney scoring after being set up by Raff Cretaro.
The Bit o’Red only remained level for 18 minutes before Cork re-took the lead and this time it was centre forward Denis Behan scoring with a simple tap in. The Leesiders remained in front until the closing stages when with 10 minutes to go Cretaro smashed the ball in to level the game and force a replay.
That replay took place just four days later in the Showgrounds on a Tuesday night. Again Paul Doolin’s Cork side took an early lead this time only taking five minutes as Guntars Silagailis bundled home to give City the edge.
The lead would last longer on this occasion but not quite to half-time as with three minutes remaining in the half that man Raf Cretaro popped up again drilling home from Owen Morrison’s pass. Both sides pressed in the second half for a winning goal to take them through but both found themselves denied. That meant the game was taken to extra-time which contained plenty of cup drama notably in the second period. Just two minutes into the second half Rovers top scorer Cretaro again beat Dan Connor in the Cork goal this time rising to head in a cross from Sean Doherty.
However just a few minutes later it looked as though city might level with Richard Brush conceding a penalty. But the English keeper redeemed himself by getting down to keep out Danny Murphy’s attempt. Rovers held on for the remaining minutes and would advance all the way to the final where they were eventually beaten by Sporting Fingal.
Opposition: Cork City
Since the departure of manager Tommy Dunne, Cork have won three games in a row. The run started in the last round of the cup with a win over Kilbarrack Utd with subsequent league wins over Bohs and Bray.
It’s the first time they have recorded three wins in a row since the five game winning run in September and October of 2011 that earned promotion from the First Division. The last time they did so while incorporating Premier Division games was in August and September of 2009 with wins against DroghedaUtd, Cliftonville and Galway Utd.
The run of wins followed a spell where City only won one game in the previous seven though that win was the 3-1 victory over Rovers.
Winning their last away game in Bray last weekend ended a run of five successive away losses and six games without a win since winning a EA Sports Cup tie 4-0 away to Wexford Youths.
Their last away win against a Premier Division in the FAI Cup was over five years ago in August 2008 when beating Shamrock Rovers 1-0 in Tolka Park.
Loan signing from Shamrock Rovers Ciaran Kilduff has scored four times in his seven appearances since signing in July including on his debut against Sligo Rovers. That has already made him the Rebels second highest scorer in the league one behind Shane Duggan however he is not eligible for this game due to previously appearing in the competition for Shamrock Rovers against Salthill Devon.
Last six results:
19/7/13 LOI Cork City 2-2 Dundalk (Ciaran Kilduff, Daryl Kavanagh pen)
26/7/13 LOI St. Patrick’s Ath 2-1 Cork City (Ciaran Kilduff)
2/8/13 LOI Limerick 2-1 Cork City (Danny Morrissey)
5/8/13 FAI Cork City 3-1 Kilbarrack Utd (Danny Morrissey x2, Garry Buckley)
9/8/13 LOI Cork City 1-0 Bohemians (Danny Morrissey)
16/8/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-2 Cork City (Ian Turner, Ciaran Kilduff)