Match stats: Limerick v Rovers
Sligo Rovers have only lost one out of the last 25 away league games played outside of Dublin.
That was the defeat in Drogheda in the second last game of 2012 after Rovers had already the league title wrapped up.
It is three away league games without a win for the Bit o' Red but the last time Rovers went four away games without a victory was just last year in the final four matches of 2012.
Last time out Rovers won 4-0 against Mervue United in a repeat of the scoreline from the first game in the EA Sports Cup game against Derry in 2012. That was followed up with a 2-1 away win against Dundalk in the league.
The last away game against Bray Wanderers was scoreless. Last season there was a run of three away games that ended as a stalemate against St. Patrick's Athletic, Bray Wanderers and then Cork City.
Rovers have scored just one goal in the last four away games, that being David Cawley's strike against Shamrock Rovers. It follows a run of four games in-a-row of scoring three goals.
The Bit o’ Red have lost just two times from the last ten trips to Munster which included games against Cork City, Cobh Ramblers and Waterford United.
Sligo Rovers have the best defence in the league having conceded seven goals in 13 games, that works out at a rate of .54 goals per game. Rovers finished last season with a rate of .77 which was just behind the best in the league of .74 from St. Patrick's.
A total of four clean sheets have been kept on the road which is just one behind last year’s total of five already.
Danny Ventre scored in the EA Sports Cup against Mervue United on Monday to score for the first time in 52 games. It was the eighth goal during his time with the club, three of which have come in that competition.
Evan McMillan will miss out tonight having had surgery, he had previously played in every game so far starting 17 out of 18. The only game he didn’t start was the defeat away to Drogheda United in the semi-finals of the Setanta Sports Cup in which he came off the bench.
Last six games:
22/4/13 SSC Sligo Rovers 1-0 Drogheda Utd (David Cawley)
27/4/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-2 Drogheda Utd (Anthony Elding, Aaron Greene)
3/5/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-1 Sligo Rovers (David Cawley)
6/5/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 3-0 Derry City (Lee Lynch, David Cawley, Ross Gaynor penalty)
10/5/13 LOI Bray Wanderers 0-0 Sligo Rovers
20/5/13 EA Sligo Rovers 4-0 Mervue Utd (Anthony Elding x2 (1 pen), Evan McMillan, Danny Ventre)
Sligo Rovers have only lost once on the last four visits to Limerick winning two, though all were in the First Division.
Rovers are currently five games unbeaten against Limerick since losing 1-0 away in November 2004.
Both teams have scored in each of the last four games since a goalless draw in the Showgrounds in April 2005.
Michael McNamara gave an early lead to Rovers but a Tommy Barrett equaliser early in the second half meant the game finished 1-1. Raffaele Cretaro is the only player to remain in either squad from that day lining up at right-back on that occasion.
That game was the only draw Rovers have had on the last 10 visits to Limerick. Of the 52 trips Rovers have made to Limerick in both the Premier and First Divisions there have only been six draws.
In all there have been 106 games between the clubs with the slight advantage of 44 to 41 being held by Limerick. In just Premier Division games they also have won three more times with 38 to 35.
Rovers last win in Limerick came earlier in the 2005 season on June 17th. Top scorer Paul McTiernan put Rovers in from on 22 minutes though the lead was short lived with Tommy Barrett again on the mark. The winner for Rovers came 12 minutes from the end courtesy of substitute Steve Feeney.
The last Premier Division win for Rovers in Limerick came on February 15th 1987 when Tony O’Kelly scored the goal in a 1-0 win.
The last defeat for Rovers in Limerick was the following year on October 26th 1987.
Limerick made their first trip to the Showgrounds for eight years back in March still unbeaten with two draws and a win from their first three games. Rovers however still had a 100% record at that stage.
The visitors gave the champions one of the toughest tests faced in the Showgrounds for quite some time and took the lead just after the half hour when Chris Curran got his first for the club hammering in a cross from the edge of the box.
The Blues almost held that lead until the break. However Anthony Elding put home a trademark header in first half stoppage time to change the complexion of the game. The Munster side stayed in the game with it still finely poised at 1-1 going into the last ten minutes.
But the champions just had enough in the end with Elding turning provider this time for Jeff Henderson to get his first goal for the club with only six minutes remaining. Limerick had goalkeeper Barry Ryan sent off at the end and they couldn’t find a second goal meaning rovers took all three points.
Last six meetings:
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)
23/3/13 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Limerick (Anthony Elding, Jeff Henderson)
Limerick have just two wins from their seven home games so far with only bottom two teams Bray and Shelbourne having less. Their total of six goals from those games is only better than three other teams however their conceded amount of five goals is the fourth best in the league. That means that with 11 goals in total Thomond Park has seen fewer goals than any other ground in the country.
In all competitions they have won just four home games out of the last 13 played.
Of the 10 games that Limerick have failed to win they have held the lead five times
Season so far:
Limerick are enjoying their first season in the top flight since being relegated in 1993/94. They have adjusted quickly on their return sitting in a highly credible seventh place. They began the new campaign in their new home of Thomond Park with a Munster derby against Cork City in a game that finished scoreless.
They almost got their first win next time out as they led 2-1 in Drogheda with only minutes remaining but were pegged back and again drew. They didn’t have to wait much longer for their first win and it came in Thomond Park with a 3-1 victory over UCD.
However that was followed by their worst run so far of four games without a win starting with their 2-1 loss in the Showgrounds. After losing again to St. Pats they did record draws with both Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.
They then returned to winning ways with a home win against Bohs secured by a late-winner from David O’Leary. They won more comfortably next time with Axel Bossekota and Shane Tracy both scoring twice in a 4-0 triumph against Bray in the Carlisle Grounds.
After being held to a home draw by Shelbourne they lost their third game of the season in Derry and as with their two other away defeats they had held the lead before a late collapse.
A win was earned in a high scoring affair with Cork City following that but they haven’t won wither of their two games since first losing at home to Drogheda before losing a 1-0 lead against UCD as that game finished 1-1. Their top scorer so far is Shane Tracy who has notched five goals.