Match stats: Rovers v Limerick

Sligo Rovers have won the first five games of the season in all competitions to begin this season.

The club has never started a season before with five wins. The last time Rovers won six games in-a-row at any time was in October 2011 before Ian Baraclough came to the club. 

The wins on that occasion were against Shamrock Rovers (twice), Bray Wanderers, Drogheda United, Galway United and Dundalk.

The win against Dundalk on Tuesday also made it three wins in-a-row to start the league season.

The last time Rovers did so was when last defending the league title in 1977/78. The only time Rovers have begun a league season with more than three wins was when starting the league-winning 1936/37 season with 11 wins.

That is also the clubs longest ever winning streak for any stage of a season. The last team to begin a League of Ireland Premier Division season with four wins was St. Pats in 2008.

They didn’t go on to win the league that season, however and likewise with the two previous occasions when it was done by St Pat's in 2007 and Derry City in 2006.

The previous occasion a team started a league season with four wins was Bohemians in 2002/03 and they did go on to win the league that year.

Rovers win against Bray in the last game at The Showgrounds made it two wins out of two at home.

It was also the eighth time in the last nine home games that Rovers have scored three or more goals. The only exception being the last game of 2012 against Shamrock Rovers when the league title was already won.

That game is the only home defeat Rovers have suffered in the last 22 home league games.

It was also a second clean sheet in succession at home which means that a clean sheet against Limerick would be the first time Rovers have kept three clean sheets in a row at home since July 2011 when it was done four times in a row against UCD, Shamrock Rovers, Drogheda United and St. Pats.

It would also be the first time since 1955/56 that Rovers have started with three clean sheets at home and only the second time ever. The last time Rovers had started with two was in the 2002/03 season with both games being in the First Division Cup.

The last time a team from outside Dublin won a league game in The Showgrounds was Derry City’s 4-0 in August 2009. That’s a total of 29 games.

Rovers win against Dundalk made it three wins from three in away games making it the first time the Bit o' Red have done so since 1989-90.

Anthony Elding has scored in each of Rovers three league games so far. 

That makes him the top scorer in the league with a total of four goals. He is the first player to do so in the top division since Paul McGee did so in the first three of 1976/77 against Dundalk, Waterford and Shelbourne. Paul Nugent also did the same in the First Division in 1985/86 against Finn Harps, EMFA and Bray Wanderers.

No player has ever scored in the first four games of a league season.

Gary Rogers eventually conceded the first goal of the season against Dundalk after going 427 minutes without conceding. It was his longest streak since going 539 without conceding for St. Pats in April 2010.

Having made his 300th league appearance on Tuesday against Dundalk, Raffaele Cretaro can make his 350th career league appearance for all clubs by playing in this fixture.

His career record in league games for Rovers is as follows:

 

Season

Apps

Goals

2000/01

25

1

2000/02

28

3

2000/03

18

3

2003

25

1

2004

18

4

2005

31

1

2007

30

1

2008

31

6

2009

31

15

2011

33

6

2012

27

6

2013

3

1

Totals

300

48

 

Head-to-head:

Limerick lead the overall head-to-head between the sides with 44 wins to Rovers 40. There have been 21 draws. Of games played in the Premier division Limerick lead 38-34 with 13 draws.

Rovers have won more of the games played in the Showgrounds with 22 to 16 with 15 draws. Similarly in the Premier Division Rovers lead 19-16 with 8 draws. Limerick have got just one win in the last eight games played against Rovers.

All of those games were played in the First Division and half have ended as draws. Its 10 games since Limerick last won a league game in the Showgrounds with that win coming on their last visit to Sligo in the top division on 1/4/91 with a 1-0 win.

The last game between the sides ended 1-1 in Hogan Park with Rovers goal being scored by the captain of that season’s promotion winning team Michael McNamara.

The last contest in the Showgrounds also ended 1-1 with a goal from that season’s top scorer Paul McTiernan.

Last six meetings:

28/8/04 Sligo Rovers 1-0 Limerick (Sean Purcell)

20/11/04 Limerick 1-0 Sligo Rovers

9/4/05 Sligo Rovers 0-0 Limerick

17/6/05 Limerick 1-2 Sligo Rovers (Paul McTiernan, Steve Feeney)

13/8/05 Sligo Rovers 1-1 Limerick (Paul McTiernan)

21/10/05 Limerick 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Michael McNamara)

Limerick

Limerick have lost just one of their last eight games which was the final game of last season’s First Division campaign against Wexford Youths after promotion had been guaranteed.

They haven’t lost any of their last seven league games away from home and lost just one of 14. Their away record last year was better than their home record winning 11 of their 14 fixtures.

Limerick are unbeaten so far this year with one win and two draws. If they avoid defeat against Rovers they will be the first newly promoted side to start a season four unbeaten since Bray in 2005.

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