Match stats: Rovers v Dundalk

There have been eight home games for Sligo Rovers this year, producing seven wins with a draw against Drogheda United the only blemish so far.

Last year saw Rovers get six wins from the first eight. 
 
In league action alone Rovers have five wins out of six surpassing last year’s start of four wins over the same period. Rovers’ goal tally is also superior with 20 this year compared to 15 last while one goal fewer has been conceded.
 
After winning the first eight matches of the league season, the Bit o’ Red have won just one from the last five. 
 
Last time out Rovers were held to a scoreless draw by Bray,  back-to-back scoreless games have not been recorded in the league since April 2009 when drawing at home to Bohemians and then away to Drogheda.
 
The Bit o’ Red reached the 30-point mark with the draw in Bray. Only Cork City in 2005 and Bohemians in 2008 reached that amount of points after 13 games since the switch to summer football, with no team getting more. 
 
Both teams went on to win the league in those seasons.
 
 
Rovers have the best record against teams in the top half of the table picking up 11 points from the six games while Dundalk have just one win out of their six.
 
Anthony Elding has scored in every home league game he has appeared in so far with a total of seven scored from his five appearances.
 
Aaron Greene is set to make the 100th league appearance of his career. Of his 99 so far 46 have been with Rovers. 
 
He has scored a total of 15 goals to date with over half of those being for Rovers with eight. 
 
They have come in the following games:
 
4/3/11  LOI  Derry City  0-1  Sligo Rovers
23/9/11  LOI  Drogheda Utd  0-3  Sligo Rovers  x2
1/10/11  LOI  Sligo Rovers  7-1  Galway Utd
29/3/13  LOI  Bohemians  0-3  Sligo Rovers
1/4/13  LOI  UCD  0-3  Sligo Rovers  x2
27/4/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  2-2  Drogheda Utd
 
The strike against Drogheda was the first time he has scored and Rovers haven’t won the game.
 
The Bit o’ Red will be without experienced centre-back Gavin Peers due to suspension.
Ian Baraclough can take consolation that when Peers was missing for four games earlier in the season, Rovers won on each occasion against Limerick, Bohs, UCD and Shelbourne conceded just one goal.
 
Four of Gavin Peers last eight goals for Sligo Rovers have been against Dundalk including his last two.
 
David Cawley also misses out having previously missed only five minutes of action all season when coming off in the closing stages against Cork. 
 
 
He had played in the last 24 games in-a-row since missing the away game against Shamrock Rovers last August also due to suspension.
 
Last six games:
 
19/4/13  LOI  St. Pat's Athletic  2-0  Sligo Rovers
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
 
Head-to-head
 
Rovers have played Dundalk on 144 occasions which is more than against any other club. 
 
Dundalk hold a slender advantage with 54 wins to 53. Of the 72 times that Rovers have been the home side they have won 33 compared to Dundalk’s 19 away wins.
 
Rovers have won the last five games played against the Lilywhites with their last point earned in a 1-1 draw in Oriel Park in August 2011. 
 
Since that game Rovers have scored 16 goals with just two for Dundalk.
 
That’s Rovers longest ever winning streak against Dundalk.
 
The unbeaten run for Sligo Rovers against Dundalk stands at 10 games since going down 1-0 in Oriel Park to a Fahrudin Kuduzovic goal in May 2010.
 
In the Showgrounds, Rovers have won the last five meetings, scoring 13 times without reply.
 
The last time the Lilywhites were on target in Sligo, they came from two goals behind to secure a draw in April 2010. 
 
Their last win in the Showgrounds was on the visit just previous to that game and on that occasion  as they came from 3-1 behind in the final 20 minutes to get a 4-3 win.
 
The five home wins in-a-row is also Rovers best ever winning run against Dundalk.
 
Dundalk haven’t kept a clean sheet in the Showgrounds since the teams met in the First Division in August 2005 when the away side won 2-0. 
 
Their last in the Premier Division was in April 1995 when coming away with a 1-0 win.
 
Home and away, Dundalk have only managed one clean sheet in the last 20 against Rovers in the Premier Division.
 
Dundalk have scored more than two goals in the league just once in their last 59 games stretching back to June 2011 and that was in their 3-1 win against Shelbourne a few weeks ago. 
 
Rovers have done so five times in the last 12 games.
 
 
Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny hasn’t won any of his last eight fixtures against Sligo Rovers spanning across his time with Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk. It also just two wins in his last 14 against the Bit o’Red.
 
Last meetings:
 
Rovers travelled to Oriel Park on a Monday evening for the second away game of the season having already won every game played to date. 
 
It didn’t take long for Rovers to get into the ascendancy with Raffaele Cretaro coming in off the right wing to put the Bit o’Red in front after just three minutes.
 
The lead was doubled shortly before half-time with Gavin Peers getting his head to a free-kick from Ross Gaynor who joined the club from the Louth side. Rovers stretched their lead early in the second half with Anthony Elding adding to his growing reputation by heading in from close range. 
 
The away side always looked like holding that lead although three-quarters way through the game Kurtis Byrne scored the best goal of the game with an excellent strike from distance. That wasn’t enough to bring the Lilywhites back into the game and Rovers continued their impressive start leaving Dundalk still in search of a first home win.
 
On Dundalk’s last visit to Sligo it was top versus bottom with Rovers looking well set to win the league title and Dundalk looking at the prospect of a play-off to ensure their Premier Division status for 2013. 
 
The game panned out as expected with Rovers taking an early lead through Mark Quigley, a pre-season signing from Dundalk, who had become a central figure in Rovers title push. Similarly to this season the second goal came as Gavin Peers put home a free-kick from Ross Gaynor. 
 
Rovers coasted through much of the game with the third goal coming close to the end with Scottish striker Liam Buchanan getting his first for the club being in the right place at the right time to score from close range. The win meant Rovers had won all three games against Dundalk by an aggregate score of 8-1.
 
Last six meetings:
 
7/8/11  LOI  Dundalk  1-0  Sligo Rovers  (Raf Cretaro)
4/10/11  LOI  Sligo Rovers  5-0  Dundalk  (Richie Ryan, Joseph Ndo, John Dillon, Eoin Doyle, Johnny Breen (OG))
31/3/12  LOI  Sligo Rovers  3-0  Dundalk  (Danny North x2, Gavin Peers)
29/6/12  LOI  Dundalk  1-2  Sligo Rovers  (Danny North x2)
10/9/12  Sligo Rovers  3-0  Dundalk  (Mark Quigley, Gavin Peers, Liam Buchanan)
19/3/13  LOI  Dundalk  1-3  Sligo Rovers  (Raf Cretaro, Gavin Peers, Anthony Elding)
 
Opposition: Dundalk
 
Dundalk have won four out of their last five games keeping clean sheets in each of those wins. Their only defeat was by a single goal away to Shamrock Rovers.
 
That loss ended a win of six away games in a row which started with their win in Waterford in the promotion/relegation play-off which ensured their Premier Division survival.
 
They haven’t conceded more than a single goal in any of those games. This gives them the joint-best away defence in the league.
 
Their total of 15 points away form home has already surpassed last year’s figure of 9 while they are one goal away from equalling last year’s amount of 11.
 
They have scored 17 goals so far this season in the second half of games but just three in the first 45.
 
The Louth club haven’t had a draw in any of their last 14 away games, that run has featured eight wins and six losses.
 
Season so far:
 
Dundalk started their season with a home game against new manager Stephen Kenny’s former club Shamrock Rovers which ended scoreless. 
 
They picked up their first win of the season next time round in the EA Sports Cup against Shelbourne before beating the same opposition four days later to get their first league win. However next up was a visit of the champions and Rovers beat them comfortable 3-1. 
 
That setback didn’t affect their form however and they went on to lose just one of their next eight games. The recorded away wins against UCD and St.Pats with ex-Rovers player John Dillon on target in both however they could only get draws at home to both Drogheda Utd and Limerick. 
 
Both draws did see them come from two goals behind in the last 20 minutes to rescue the point. The Lilywhites then lost for the second time at home to second-placed Derry City despite this time getting an early lead. 
 
After another away win against Bohs they finally got their first home win in the league with a comfortable victory over Cork City. A third win a row was earned in Bray before tasting defeat again in Tallaght with a single goal in first half stoppage time enough for Shamrock Rovers to get the win. 
 
Last time out they got another win against Shelbourne but had to wait until the 86th minute until scoring the winner. 
 
The goal was scored by Tiarnan Mulvenna who is along with John Dillon the club’s top scorer with four goals so far. The currently sit in fourth position just six points adrift of league leaders Sligo Rovers.
 
 
Last six results:
 
12/4/13  LOI  Dundalk  1-3  Derry City  (Vinny Faherty)
19/4/13  LOI  Bohemians  0-2  Dundalk  (Tiarnan Mulvenna, Richie Towell)
26/4/13  LOI  Dundalk  2-0  Cork City  (John Mountney, Patrick Hoban)
3/5/13  LOI  Bray Wanderers  0-1  Dundalk  (Patrick Hoban)
6/5/13  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  1-0  Dundalk
10/5/13  LOI  Dundalk  1-0  Shelbourne  (Tiarnan Mulvenna)

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