Match stats: Rovers v Shamrock Rovers
Sligo Rovers beat Bray 2-0 at the weekend to record back-to-back wins for the first time since the last round of this competition when beating Limerick 4-0 to follow on from a league win against Shelbourne.
The Bit o’Red have won four of the last five away games in domestic football keeping clean sheets in three of the four wins. The defeat to Cork is the only in the last eight on the road in Ireland.
Rovers only first half goals in the last 11 away games have been in cup football with two coming in Waterford and two in Limerick.
The champions away record is much improved from last year with nine wins picked up already from 16 games compared to six last year. There have been three draws in comparison to seven in 2012. They came in succession in May starting with the 1-1 with Shamrock and then against Bray and Limerick.
Gary Rogers kept his 18th clean sheet of the season against Bray Wanderers which is just one short of his personal best of 19 in 2011 when he was with St. Pats. He made a total of 46 appearances that year while he has made just 31 so far in 2013. Together with Ciaran Kelly’s clean sheet in the last round in Limerick Rovers have 19 this year which is six more than in 2012.
Alan Keane made his 200th League appearance in the win joining Gary Rogers, Gavin Peers, Joseph Ndo and Raf Cretaro as players at the club to have reached this landmark. Iarfhlaith Davoren is next on the list with 179.
Raff Cretaro reached 50 league goals for the club when he opened the scoring in his 311th appearance. It took him to joint-third on the all-time list of league goalscorers for the club level with Paul McTiernan, Gary Hulmes and Paul McGee. They are behind Padraig Moran on 62 and Johnny Armstrong with 83.
It also took him ahead of Paul McGee to be the third highest all-time goalscorer for the club, the full top 10 is as follows
Johnny Armstrong 138
Padraig Moran 82
Raf Cretaro 66
Paul McGee 65
Gerry McDaid 64
Paul McTiernan 62
Gerry Mitchell 60
Paddy Monaghan 57
Gary Hulmes 53
Brendan Bradley 51
Last six results:
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)
10/8/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-0 Bray Wanderers (Raf Cretaro, Kieran Djilali)
Rovers in the EA Sports Cup
Two-time competition winners Sligo Rovers boast an impressive recent record in this competition. Rovers have reached the semi-finals or better for the last five seasons. It equals the clubs best ever run when five semi-finals in a row were reached between 1974 and 1979.
In 2009, 2011 and 2012 the last four is where Rovers have been eliminated with 2010 the only time that the semi-final was won, beating Shamrock Rovers before going on to win the final against Monaghan United.
This will be Rovers 14th semi-final in the history of the competition. Five of the previous 13 have been won.
A win would put Rovers into a sixth final, only Derry City with 12 and Dundalk with eight have been in more than six.
Excluding penalties, Rovers' only defeat in this competition in the last 12 games was the semi-final loss to Drogheda Utd last year. Over 90 minutes it is the only loss in the last 17 games played.
It is 15 games in this competition since Rovers failed to score which was in the penalty shoot-out win over Galway in 2008.
Rovers had lost the last two away games in this competition prior to beating Limerick in the previous round.
Rovers scored four times without conceding in both games played so far in this year’s EA Sports Cup. Shamrock have won both their ties by a single goal requiring extra-time to beat St. Pats.
It has maintained a run of scoring at least four times in a League Cup game each season since 2007. (08: 6-1 vs Kildrum Tigers, 09: 4-1 vs Finn Harps, 10: 6-0 vs Letterkenny Rovers, 11: 4-0 vs Cockhill Celtic & 12: 4-0 vs Derry City).
The win over Limerick was the biggest away victory since winning 6-1 away to Kildrum Tigers. Scorers that day were Matthew Judge x3, Brian Cash, Anto Murphy and Romauld Boco.
Danny North scored his first of the season in the win in the previous round against Limerick to take him to three goals in two games for the club in this cup. His overall record including his time with Pats is four in four.
Evan McMillan also scored in Limerick as he had done in the previous win over Mervue.
Gavin Peers was another on target to get his first league cup goal in his 14th appearance.
Anthony Elding missed that win in Limerick through suspension but he did score twice in the previous round against Mervue. He also scored in the FAI Cup win over Waterford to give him a record of three goals in two games in domestic cup competitions for Rovers.
Captain Danny Ventre returned to the squad in the game against Bray on Saturday for the first time since the loss to Dundalk in May. He also scored in his only appearance in this competition so far against Mervue which took him to three goals in six in the EA Sports Cup.
From the 10 League cup semi-finals that Rovers have played over one leg both teams have scored in every game.
Rovers have lost all six single-legged League cup semi-finals away from home with two defeats and one draw in the away leg when played over two legs.
League Cup semi-finals:
20/11/74 Finn Harps 3-2 Sligo Rovers (Tony Fagan, Liam McCool)
9/10/75 Sligo Rovers 5-1 Drogheda Utd (Neutral) (Mick Leonard x3, Paul McGee, Johnny Boyle)
26/9/76 Sligo Rovers 2-1 St. Patrick’s Ath (Paul McGee, Michael Betts)
12/1/78 Dundalk 2-1 Sligo Rovers (1st Leg) (Don Tobin)
18/1/78 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Dundalk (2nd Leg) (Lost on penalties) (Gary Hulmes, OG)
8/11/78 Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers (1st Leg)
15/11/78 Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Sligo Rovers (2nd Leg)
11/11/92 St. Patrick’s Ath 2-1 Sligo Rovers (Pierce Devaney)
21/12/93 Derry City 2-1 Sligo Rovers (Johnny Kenny)
3/10/95 Sligo Rovers 3-2 Drogheda Utd (Brendan Aspinall, Padraig Moran, Mark Kelly)
11/11/97 Home Farm 0-0 Sligo Rovers (1st Leg)
10/12/97 Sligo Rovers 1-0 Home Farm (2nd Leg) (Padraig Moran)
3/8/09 Bohs 4-2 Sligo Rovers (AET) (Matthew Blinkhorn, Alan Keane (pen))
17/8/10 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Shamrock Rovers (Padraig Moran x2)
23/8/11 Derry City 3-3 Sligo Rovers (Derry win after extra-time and penalties) (Danny Ventre, Eoin Doyle x2)
6/8/12 Drogheda Utd 2-1 Sligo Rovers (Lee Lynch)
Three of the last four games between the sides, which have all been league fixtures, have ended as a draw. The only exception was the final game of the 2012 season.
The last two games in Tallaght have finished 1-1 since Rovers got their first win at the venue in September 2011. Therefore the champions last loss in Tallaght was over two years ago when losing 1-0 in May 2011.
Its 11 games since Rovers kept a clean sheet away to Shamrock which was in October 2007. However in the last seven visits just a single goal has been conceded with the only exception being when they scored twice in the 2-1 Setanta Sports cup win in April 2011.
Rovers have played eight times against Shamrock at Tallaght Stadium recording one win and three draws and losing the other four.
Like Rovers this will be Shamrock’s 14 League Cup semi-final but they have won six to Rovers five. Of the six finals they have been to their only win was over Rovers in 1976.
David Cawley scored Rovers goal on the last visit to Tallaght and he has two goals from the three appearances he has made against the hoops.
Last six meetings:
19/9/11 FAI Sligo Rovers 1-0 Shamrock Rovers (Eoin Doyle)
12/5/12 LOI Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shamrock Rovers (Danny North x2, David Cawley)
13/8/12 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Mark Quigley)
26/10/12 Sligo Rovers 0-2 Shamrock Rovers
3/5/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Sligo Rovers (David Cawley)
27/7/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
History in this competition:
In the league cup there have been five meetings between the clubs with two wins apiece and one draw. The most recent win went to Rovers three years ago and it was the first meeting in 32 years.
Twice the sides have faced eachother at this stage of the competition with one win to each team and both theams when on then to win the final. Shamrock won the only time the clubs met in the final in 1976 while Rovers first ever win in the competition came against Shamrock when winning the fourth game of the inaugural staging of the cup.
23/9/73 Shamrock Rovers 2-3 Sligo Rovers (Group stage) (Gerry Rogers x2, Tony Fagan)
6/10/76 Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Sligo Rovers (Final)
8/11/78 Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers (Semi-final 1st Leg)
15/11/78 Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Sligo Rovers (Semi-final 2nd Leg)
17/8/10 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Shamrock Rovers (Semi-final) (Padraig Amond x2)
Previous EA Sports cup meeting:
The last time to two sides faced each other in this competition was at the same stage in 2010. That time the game was played in the Showgrounds almost exactly three years ago from now. Rovers were embarking on a great year in Cup football having beaten Letterkenny Rovers 6-0 and St. Patrick’s Athletic 4-1 to reach the semi-final. Shamrock Rovers has come away with a victory from the Showgrounds the previous month in a league fixture and they took the lead after just 18 minutes when a looping shot from Gary Twigg deceived on-loan keeper John Gibson and he ended up carrying the ball over the line. The lead would last less than a minute however with Rovers going up the other end and equalising through ex-Shamrock striker Padraig Amond after being found by another former hoop on Eoin Doyle. Amond was having a fantastic first season with the Bit o’Red having moved from the Dublin club in the off-season and that goal increased his tally to 22 for the season already. The score stayed level until half-time but just minutes into the second half Amond was on hand again to give Rovers a 2-1 lead beating keeper Alan Mannus after finding himself one-on-one. The visitors pushed for an equaliser as they sought to reach a first League Cup final in 11 years but Rovers held out putting them through to a first final in 12 years. In that final Rovers would play Monaghan Utd and lifted the trophy with a 1-0 win thanks to Matthew Blinkhorn’s goal. The sides would meet again later that season this time in the final of the FAI Cup. Again Rovers came out on top this time courtesy of a penalty shout-out win in the first cup final to be played at the Aviva Stadium.
Opposition: Shamrock Rovers
Shamrock have lost their last two games, 3-1 vs Dundalk and 4-0 vs St. Pats. It’s their worst run since September last year when they lost four in a row which included the EA Sports Cup final against Drogheda Utd.
The loss to Pats ended a 15 game unbeaten stretch at home since they lost their first game of the year 1-0 to Coleraine in Setatnta Sports Cup.
The last time they lost back-to-back home games excluding the Europa League group stage games was in March 2010 when losing 2-0 to Pats and then by the same margin to Dundalk. Both were league games. That’s the only time it happened since the move to Tallaght in 2009.
The Hoops have won their last six home games in this competition. (1-0 vs Dundalk in 07, 1-0 vs Athlone in 07, 3-0 vs Kildare Co in 09, 4-1 vs Limerick in 12, 1-0 vs Dundalk in 13 and 2-1 vs St. Pats in 13). Their last home loss in this cup was 3-1 to Bray Wanderers in the group stages in May 2004 when their current player Eamon Zayed scored twice. They did lose in Tallaght to Drogheda Utd in 2012 but as this was the final it counted as neutral.
Last six results:
12/7/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 2-1 Derry City (Sean O’Connor x2)
19/7/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-1 UCD (Eamon Zayed)
23/7/13 EA Shamrock Rovers 2-1 St. Patrick’s Ath (Mark Quigley, Billy Dennehy) AET
27/7/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-0 Shamrock Rovers
2/8/13 LOI Dundalk 3-1 Shamrock Rovers (Karl Sheppard)
9/8/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 0-4 St. Patrick’s Ath