Match stats: Derry v Rovers

The Opposition: Derry City

Derry finished last season in fifth position, their lowest finish in the Premier Division since 2007 though they did win their fifth FAI Cup. They lost former Rovers loanee and top scorer David McDaid in the off-season as well as the next highest scorer in Stephen McLaughlin. Apart from those two only two players, Rory Patterson (6) and Patrick McEleney (3), scored more than one league goal.

They scored a total of 17 goals at home from 13 games with only Bohs (16) and Dundalk (12) scoring less. Their total of eight home losses was the joint-worst in the league. They did finish the season on a six game unbeaten running winning five of those which included the FAI Cup final and semi-finals wins. They started the season with a draw in theSetanta Cup against Drogheda to extend their unbeaten run to seven.

They have added Mark Griffin, Michael Rafter, Sean Houston, Thomas Crawley and Paddy Kavanagh to their squad for 2013. Kavanagh and Rafter both scored against Rovers last season for Shelbourne and Dundalk respectively.

Head-to-head:

This will be the 50th meeting between the teams in the Premier Division. Rovers recorded two wins and a draw from the three league meetings last year. The first game in the Showgrounds was drawn 1-1 before Rovers won 2-1 in the Brandywell and then 4-1 back in the Showgrounds. There was also a meeting in the EA Sports Cup with Rovers winning 4-0 in the Showgrounds in what was Rovers largest margin of victory all season.

The all-time league head-to-head between the sides is level at 15 wins each while there have been 21 draws. It’s equally close in games played at the Brandywell with Rovers winning and losing eight times in Derry and getting nine draws. Rovers last loss in Derry came back in 2007 by four goals to one with Rovers going on a seven game unbeaten run since then. That run has included four wins and three draws with the four wins coming in the last five visits. Its Rovers longest unbeaten spell at the venue having never previously gone more than three games without a loss there.

It took Rovers eight games to get our first win in Derry and that came in the first away game of the 95/96 season on 3/9/95. The only player still at the club who featured for Rovers the last time we lost in the Brandywell is Raf Cretaro who lined up at left-back in the game. Barry Molloy and Kevin Deery are the only survivors from the Derry team.

We have lost away to all teams in the time since that loss to Derry besides Limerick who we haven’t met and Shelbourne who we only visited twice. Rovers are unbeaten in eight games against Derry both home and away since a 4-0 win for Derry in the Showgrounds in August 2009. This is also Rovers longest ever unbeaten run against the Candystripes. Raf Cretaro has scored four goals in his last three games against Derry and six in his last 10.

Last six meetings:

2/5/11 Sligo Rovers 3-0 Derry City (Eoin Doyle x2, Alan Kirby)

21/6/11 Derry City 0-0 Sligo Rovers

3/9/11 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Derry City (Joseph Ndo)

13/4/12 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Derry City (Danny North)

13/7/12 Derry City 1-2 Sligo Rovers (David Cawley, Mark Quigley)

29/9/12 Sligo Rovers 4-1 Derry City (Ryan McBride (OG), Raffaele Cretaro x2, Lee Lynch)

FormGuide - Rovers

Monday’s 5-0 win was the biggest win on the first game of a season for rovers since beating Bray Unknowns 8-2 in a shield game in the Showgrounds on 25/8/35 at the start of Rovers second season at the highest level of Irish football. It was the biggest win since a 7-1 win against Galway United on 1/10/11 in the Showgrounds.

It was also the biggest of Ian Baraclough’s reign surpassing the 4-0 EA Sports Cup victory over Derry City last year. Rovers finished the 2012 with back-to-back defeats against Drogheda and Shamrock Rovers, the last time Rovers lost three league games in a row was in August 2009 with the third of those games being a 4-0 loss to Derry.

The last time Rovers lost consecutive away league games was in May 2011 with losses to UCD and Shamrock Rovers. Rovers haven’t won any of the last four away league games, the longest run since September 2009 when we went on a seven game winless run.

Rovers conceded a league-best 10 away goals last season having conceded a league-best nine the year before. Over the last two years Rovers have kept clean sheets in half of our away games (16 in 32). Rovers scored 16 away goals last year which only four teams ended with less than. Opening Day There has been one previous meeting with Derry on the opening day of the league season which was in 2011 with Rovers coming out on top in a 1-0 win and Aaron Greene scoring a debut goal.

Derry have won on the Premier Division opening day for every year since 2004 besides that loss with Longford Town being the only other team to beat Derry on the opening day back in 2003. The win for Rovers is the only one in the last five season since Rovers beat Galway on opening day in 2007.

Rovers record on the first game of a league season is 24 wins, 31 losses and 15 draws.

When the first game has been an away one Rovers have won 9, drawn 4 and lost 16. Rovers record on the first away game of the season is 21 wins, 36 losses and 13 draws.

Last year’s opening game of the season saw Rovers get a 1-1 draw in a league game with Shelbourne in Tolka Park.

Rovers best ever result in the first game of a league season was on 5/11/67 when beating St. Patrick’s Ath 7-1 at the Showgrounds. Johnny Brooks scored four goals in that game with Jimmy Burnside getting two and one from Kevin Fallon. The worst ever first day result in a league game was a 7-1 loss to Waterford at home in on 13/9/87. Johnny Glynn got Rovers goal.

The last 10 opening league fixtures have been as follows:

12/4/03 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Limerick (Paul McTiernan, John Gaffney)

18/3/04 Dundalk 1-0 Sligo Rovers

19/3/05 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Kildare County (Michael McNamara x2)

18/3/06 Sligo Rovers 1-0 Bohemians (Adam Hughes)

9/3/07 Galway United 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Gary Curran, Jason McCartney)

7/3/08 St. Patricks Athletic 3-1 Sligo Rovers (Jamie McKenzie)

7/3/09 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Cork City (Stephen Parkhouse)

6/3/10 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Shamrock Rovers (Eoin Doyle)

4/3/11 Derry City 0-1 Sligo Rovers (Aaron Greene)

2/3/12 Shelbourne 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness)

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