Match stats: Rovers v Shels
Sligo Rovers return from the mid-season break on 35 points from 17 games played so far.
After the same amount of games played last Rovers had just one more point with 36.
The Bit o’Red’s first game back after the break in 2012 was an EA Sports Cup game against Derry City which resulted in an emphatic 4-0 win in the Showgrounds. The first league game after the break as also an away game against a team towards the bottom of the table and it produced a 2-1 win for Rovers in Dundalk. Danny North scored twice after Dundalk had taken the lead.
The previous two years seen Rovers record scoreless draws after returning away to Bohs in 2011 and at home to Pats in 2010.
2008 also saw a stalemate, at home to UCD, while in 2009 Rovers were beaten 2-0 by Bohs in Dalymount Park meaning last year was the first time Rovers scored in or won the first game back after the mid-season break in five years.
Sligo Rovers last away game was the 2-0 FAI Cup win in Waterford. It ended a run of five away games without a success. That was the club’s worst away run since May 2010.
The defensive record has been good with three clean sheets in a row being kept on the road which included the games with Bray and Limerick. Making it four in a row would be a first since the opening four games of the 2011 seasons in Derry, Bray, Galway and Portadown.
Along with Dundalk Rovers have the fewest away goals conceded with four.
Half of the away games in the league have been won this year,they were the first four with three draws and a loss since then.
Rovers ended a four game goal drought by putting five past UCD last time round. Its the second time this year Rovers have scored five in a game with the previous time being against Glentoran. That was followed by a 1-0 win in Derry. Rovers didn’t score five goals in any game last season.
Rovers have lost just one of the last 11 games played in all competitions which is the best run since only losing one in 20 from October 2011 up to a win over Shelbourne in May last year.
Joseph Ndo scored last time round to take him to 10 years in a row of scoring a goal in the League of Ireland. The only other player to have done so is St. Pats Killian Brennan. He has a total of 16 career goals in the league seven of which have been with Rovers.
This game could be Ross Gaynor’s 150th League of Ireland appearance. Of his 149 to date, 43 have been with Rovers. From his 19 career League goals one has been with the Bito’Red.
Aaron Greene got his 5th league goal of the season against UCD which already betters his total of four in 2011 which took him 35 games to reach. It equals his best season in the league which was with Galway United in 2009 which came in 14 games.
Last six results:
20/5/13 EA Sligo Rovers 4-0 Mervue Utd (Anthony Eldingx2 (1 pen), Evan McMillan, Danny Ventre)
24/5/13 LOI Limerick 0-0 Sligo Rovers
28/5/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-1 Dundalk
1/6/13 FAI Waterford United 0-2 Sligo Rovers (DannyVentre, 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)
Head-to-head vs Shelbourne
Rovers have won five of the last six against Shelbourne in all competitions including the last three.
Shels last win over Rovers was in November 2006 in the season they won the league but were demoted to the First Division, that was a 2-0 win in the Showgrounds. The previous meeting between the sides was their last win inTolka Park when Shels won 3-0 in July.
The champions win when last in Tolka Park ended a run of nine games without a win away to Shels going back to November 1994. Those nine games included seven wins for the home side.
The run started with a goalless draw but its now 21 games since there has been another scoreless draw between the sides. That’s both teams longest run without a 0-0 against another team.
Its now 11 games since Rovers kept a clean sheet away toShelbourne.
Shelbourne visited the Showgrounds in April with Rovers having won all eight games so far. Shelbourne on the other hand were struggling at the bottom end of the table. With just 15 minutes played in the game Sligo Rovers in-form striker Anthony Elding scored yet again to put Rovers into the lead by putting home Raf Cretaro’s cross.
The Bit o’Red dominated the rest of the half but went into the break with just a one goal lead. However 15 minutes into the second half Anthony Elding again was on target to double the lead. This time he was on hand to finish from close range following a goalmouth scramble. Rovers seen out the final third of the game with relative ease to stay top of the league.
The last visit for Rovers to Tolka Park was at the start of the final series of games. Rovers had needed a last-minute JasonMcGuinness goal to snatch a draw on the opening day of the season but this time it turned out to be more straight forward. With only two minutes gone Rovers took the lead and again it was through Jason McGuinness heading in from close range.
The second goal came 15 minutes later with McGuinness’sdefensive partner Gavin Peers scoring this time again following a delivery from the left foot of Ross Gaynor.Rovers were on top throughout the game and eventually the third goal arrived with 15 minutes left.
Liam Buchanan, on as a sub to make his Rovers debut, was fouled in the box giving Mark Quigley the chance to score from the spot and put the result beyond doubt. Although Shels pulled a goal back through the now departed Paddy Kavanagh Rovers ended the game victors by a score of 3-1.
Last six league meetings:
6/4/13 Sligo Rovers 2-0 Shelbourne (Anthony Elding x2)
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
Shelbourne have won two out of their last three fixtures (against Bandon and Bohs) having won just one of the previous 17 (against UCD).
They are the league’s lowest scorers with nine goals which isfour behind the next worst Bohs who have 13. Before their last game the gap was at seven.
They have lost six from eight at home in the league and 15 from the last 19.
The Reds have failed to score in 11 of 17 games played and only scored more than one goal twice.
Last six results:
10/5/13 LOI Dundalk 1-0 Shelbourne
17/5/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-3 St. Pats
24/5/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Shelbourne
31/5/13 FAI Shelbourne 3-0 Bandon (Dean Kelly x2, Mark Leech)
8/6/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-1 Derry City
14/6/13 LOI Bohs 0-3 Shelbourne (Sean Brennan, Dean Kelly x2)