Match stats: Rovers v Pat's
Rovers lost last time out 3-1 to Cork City in Turner's Cross. Conceding three goals was the first time in 91 league games that Rovers did so. The last time being almost three years ago in a 4-3 win against Sporting Fingal. It had been 59 away games without letting in three goals.
It ended a run of five consecutive clean sheets away from home and is just one goal fewer than the four conceded in the other nine away league games.
At home Rovers last game was the 5-2 win against UCD which had followed two games without scoring. It was Rovers best scoring league game in the Showgrounds for 27 games since a 7-1 victory against Galway United in October 2011.
Rovers will be looking to avoid back-to-back league losses which hasn’t happened so far this year. Two games in a row were lost last season against Drogheda Utd and Shamrock Rovers in October and in the previous season against Bohs and UCD in April.
This game will be the 10th at home in the league, so far Rovers have 20 points out of a possible 27 which is one more than after the first nine last year while two more goals have also been scored.
The Bit o’Red haven’t lost any of the last five games played on a Sunday. Three of those games have been won with two draws though the three wins includes the two FAI Cup final wins in 2010 and 2011 in which both games finished level after 90 minutes.
New signing David McMillan scored on his debut in Cork. He joins brother Evan and fellow striker Anthony Elding who both also scored on their Rovers debuts this season. It took him to 13 league goals this season which is just one behind the league’s top scorer Rory Patterson. St. Pats top scorer has just seven goals.
McMillan and Elding have 23 goals combined which is more than three teams in the league. (Cork City, Bohemians and Shelbourne)
Last six results:
1/6/13 FAI Waterford United 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Danny Ventre, Anthony Elding)
8/6/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-0 Bohs
15/6/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 5-2 UCD (David Cawley, Aaron Greene, Traynor OG, Kieran Djilali, Joseph Ndo)
28/6/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Seamus Conneely. Kieran Djilali)
1/7/13 EA Limerick 0-4 Sligo Rovers (Jeff Henderson, Gavin Peers, Danny North, Evan McMillan)
5/7/13 LOI Cork City 3-1 Sligo Rovers (David McMillan)
The two teams have played in 124 league games with Pats holding the edge having 59 wins to 35.
Rovers hold a slender advantage in the Showgrounds meetings with the win at the end of last season making it 23 wins to 22.
The last nine league games between the clubs have seen three wins for each side with three draws. Going back further to look at the last 16 its equally tight with five wins each and six draws.
In the Showgrounds however its seven games since Pats managed a win with Rovers having four wins in those seven games.
The last win for the Inchicore club was in March 2009 when Kyle Moran scored the only goal of the game. Just Alan Keane, Gavin Peers, Danny Ventre and Raf Cretaro from the squad that day remain with Rovers. The last time any of the Pats team from that day played was when current Rovers keeper Gary Rogers last played with them in 2011.
That win was Pats was also the last in a run of four consecutive wins for the Dubliners in Sligo which started in 2007 in the last game before Paul Cook took charge of the club.
In the run of seven unbeaten at home for Rovers five clean sheets have been kept.
Both teams have identical scoring records with 33 goals being scored from the 19 games played.
Two of Rovers last four league wins have included a double from Raf Cretaro. The first came in Richmond Park in the 2-0 win in October 2009 and memorable in October last year in the 3-2 win that clinched the league title.
Pats are along with Bohs the only team in the league that Danny North has never scored against.
Rovers went to Richmond Park in April having won all eight league games up to that stage and having a comfortable lead at the top of the table. It did come just a few days after Rovers had lost to Drogheda Utd in the Setanta Sports cup which had stopped Rovers run of having won every game to that point. Despite Rovers great start to the season it was Pats who started the game the better and they got the opening goal on 21 minutes when a corner led to a goalmouth scramble from which Conan Byrne put home at close range. The Saints continued to dominate with Rovers uncharacteristically creating very few opportunities. Despite this there was still a chance Rovers could have taken something from the game as with five minutes remaining the lead remained at 1-0. That changed with just two minutes left however when Evan McMillan took down Conan Byrne and Killian Brennan stepped up to calmly score from the penalty to seal the win.
Last six league meetings:
23/7/11 Sligo Rovers 0-0 St. Pats
8/10/11 St. Pats 1-0 Sligo Rovers
27/4/12 Sligo Rovers 1-1 St. Pats (Kenny Browne o.g.)
24/8/12 St. Pats 0-0 Sligo Rovers
13/10/12 Sligo Rovers 3-2 St. Pats (Raf Cretaro x2, Mark Quigley(pen))
19/4/13 St. Pats 2-0 Sligo Rovers (Conan Byrne, Killian Brennan (pen))
Opposition: St. Patrick’s Athletic
The Inchicore club had lost one out of their last 18 games in all competitions before losing in Europe on Thursday with it coming in the 2-1 defeat in Dundalk.
Their away form has been mixed with five losses in a row, which started when losing 3-2 in the Showgrounds last year and carrying over to the start of this season, followed by eight consecutive wins before another loss and then a first draw in 15.
The only away games in which they haven’t scored were the first two away games of the season. Firstly against Glentoran in the Setanta Sports Cup and then in the league game at Shamrock Rovers.
In the league they have kept six clean sheets from seven games with the recent defeat to Dundalk being the only blemish.
Pats will be missing Kenny Browne through suspension. He like to other member of the back four, Ger O’Brien and Ian Bermingham, have started every league game so far this year. Killian Brennan meanwhile missed just his second game last time out as part of his suspension. The only other game he had missed was their 1-1 home draws against Bohs.
Season so far:
St. Pats season started slowly with a single goal from debutant Shane McFaul giving a home win over Drogheda. However they would lose two of their next three games. The first was a comprehensive 3-0 beating at the hands of local rivals Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght with the other being a home loss to Dundalk. In between that they did manage another 1-0 win this time in Limerick with a Killian Brennan penalty. However following that loss they went on a 13 game unbeaten streak which wasn’t ended until they faced the Lilywhites again in June. The run started with 1-0 wins in Bray and UCD meaning their first four wins of the season were by the same margin. However the next two results were better with a Chris Forrester hat-trick inspiring a 4-0 win over Shelbourne and after that they ended Sligo Rovers eight game winning streak from the start of the season with a 2-0 victory. Both wins were in Richmond Park however their home form stuttered afterwards with 1-1 draws against Derry City and Bohemians and then a 0-0 with Shamrock Rovers in their next home outing. Away form continued to be god however with wins in Cork and Drogheda as well as against Shelbourne and Bohemians taking the saints to the top of the table at the expense of the reigning champions. Their home from get back on track with a 5-0 hammering of UCD before beating Limerick by three goals. That was the end of their unbeaten run however with their third defeat of the season coming when they visited Oriel Park despite Christy Fagan giving them the lead on the hour. Winning ways were quickly restored with a double from Fagan seeing off Bray Wanderers 2-0. They took Fagan to seven goals this season and made him their top scorer though the goals have been well spread out with six each to Killian Brennan and Chris Forrester as well as five for Conan Byrne.
Last six games:
1/6/13 FAI St. Patrick’s Ath 4-0 UCD (Christy Fagan x2, Jake Kelly, Gareth Matthews O.G.)
8/6/13 LOI St. Patrick’s Ath 3-0 Limerick (Killian Brennan, Anto Flood, Jake Kelly)
14/6/13 LOI Dundalk 2-1 St. Patrick’s Ath (Christy Fagan)
28/6/13 LOI St. Patrick’s Ath 2-0 Bray Wanderers (Christy Fagan x2)
4/7/13 EUR Zalgiris 2-2 St. Patrick’s Ath (Conan Byrne, Ger O’Brien)
11/7/13 EUR St. Patrick’s Ath 1-2 Zalgiris (Killiean Brennan (pen))