Match stats: Rovers v Shams

It is the final day of the 2013 Airtricity Premier Division season. Up until last year’s loss against Shamrock Rovers the Bit o ’Red had won on the final day for four years in-a-row and hadn’t lost since 2006 against Bray Wanderers.
Last year also saw the final away game end in defeat against Drogheda United, having won the final trip in the previous two years.
Rovers are set to finish in the top three of the table for the 13th time. It is also still possible to finish second subject to other results going in Rovers favour and that would give a top two finish for the seventh time ever. 
It will be the first time the Bit o’ Red have finished in the top three for the three successive years with the only previous occasion to the last two years being when the second place finish in 1939 was followed by a third place finish the next year.
Rovers are on a second best points tally ever only behind the 2011 amount of 73 which was done over a 36 game season. 
The win against Drogheda was the 18th of this season in the league one more than last year and again only second to the total from 2011.
The FAI Cup finalists are now at one loss from 11 games played with the loss being away to champions St. Patrick’s Athletic. Eight of those 11 have been wins.
Rovers have won only two from six away from home which were back-to-back wins against Bohs and UCD.
There has been just one draw in the last 12 away fixtures and that was the 1-1 in Drogheda. Six of the 12 have been won with five losses.
The last three times that Rovers have scored the first goal of a game and not won have all been against Shamrock Rovers. The last time it happened against another side was the FAI Cup defeat to Monaghan United last May by three goals to won when losing after a Mark Quigley opener.
It is 72 league games since Rovers lost having opened the scoring which was when Bohs won 2-1 in the Showgrounds in August 2011. It hasn’t happened on the road since losing in Bray 3-1 in July 2009. 76 matches have been played since then.
Gary Rogers is one game away from playing in every game this season and also playing every minute of the league season. He hasn’t done so in his career since the 2003 season with Drogheda United. The only league game he has missed since joining the club was the away game to Drogheda United last October.
He has kept a career best 18 clean sheets in the league this year and also a career best all competitions figure of 26.
The only other player who has played in every league game is Alan Keane and he has also started all 32. Being subbed last weekend against Drogheda was the first time he has missed any time in the Showgrounds this year and only the second game overall he hasn’t completed the 90 minutes in.
He is also the only player in the squad to have appeared in every game in all competitions played this season. 
Anthony Elding scored a double in the last fixture against Drogheda. It was his first goals in the league since Drogheda’s last visit to the Showgrounds at the end of the first series of games.
He went a total of 12 games in between without scoring. He now has three goals in his last three in all competitions.
Last six results:
20/9/13  LOI  UCD  0-3  Sligo Rovers  (Kieran Djilali, Joseph Ndo, Danny North)
27/9/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  2-0  Shelbourne  (Danny Ventre, Iarfhlaith Davoren)
30/9/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  0-0  Cork City
6/10/13  FAI  Sligo Rovers  3-0  Shamrock Rovers  (Danny Ventre, Alan Keane (pen), Anthony Elding)
13/10/13  LOI  St. Pat’s  2-0  Sligo Rovers
19/10/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  3-1  Drogheda United  (Anthony Elding x2 (1 pen), Evan McMillan)
Of the 140 league games played between the two side Rovers have 37 wins to Shamrock’s 75. From the 71 games Rovers have played on the road there have been 11 wins and 44 defeats.
Rovers last win in Tallaght in September 2011 ended a run of 14 games without an away win against Shamrock stretching over a period of 15 years.
Rovers have lost eight of the last 13 times when playing away to Shamrock Rovers.
Three of the last four games between the sides in the league have ended as a draw. The only exception was the final game of the 2012 season. Before that the previous 12 had all had a winner which included the 2010 FAI Cup final won on penalties by Rovers.
Both of the two league games between the sides this season have ended level. There have only been three consecutive draws between Rovers and Shamrock once and that was when five in a row were drawn starting in the second meeting of 1939 and continuing onto the two fixtures in 1948/49. (Rovers had an eight year absence from the league between 1940 and 1948.)
The 1940 and 1948 seasons are the only times that all league meetings between the teams have been draws.
Rovers defeat on the last visit to Tallaght ended a run of three without defeat in the south Dublin venue of which one was won and two drawn.
It is 12 games since Rovers kept a clean sheet away to Shamrock which was in October 2007. However in the last six away trips there hasn’t been more than one goal conceded in any of the games.
Rovers have played nine times against Shamrock at Tallaght Stadium recording one win and three draws and losing the other five.
The two teams have identical record over the last six league games with four victories a draw and a loss. Only St. Pats with 14 have gained more points during that time.
Anthony Elding has scored in the last two games between the sides. The last player to do so had been Karl Sheppard who scored in the consecutive meetings between the clubs in April and May 2011.
Last six meetings:
13/8/12  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  1-1  Sligo Rovers  (Mark Quigley)
26/10/12  Sligo Rovers  0-2  Shamrock Rovers
3/5/13  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  1-1  Sligo Rovers  (David Cawley)
27/7/13  LOI  Sligo Rovers  0-0  Shamrock Rovers
13/8/13  EA  Shamrock Rovers  3-2  Sligo Rovers  (Kieran Djilali, Anthony Elding)
6/10/13  FAI  Sligo Rovers  3-0  Shamrock Rovers  (Danny Ventre, Alan Keane (pen), Anthony Elding)
Opposition: Shamrock Rovers
Since the teams met in the FAI Cup semi-final Shamrock have played two games drawing one and winning the other.
It has left them one point behind Derry City who are 4th with a win giving them the opportunity to take fourth and the potential European place that would come with it should Rovers win the FAI Cup final.
In league football they have only one loss from their last seven which was when losing 2-0 in Limerick in late September. That has followed a run of three successive losses and five games without winning.
One of those losses was a 4-0 defeat to St Pat’s in Tallaght but they have won all six games there since, three of which have been in the league. The run began with their 3-2 EA Sports Cup semi-final win against Rovers.
The heavy reversal against Pat’s remains their only home loss in the league this season which is along with Rovers and Pat’s the fewest suffered in this year’s Premier Division.
The clean sheet kept in the last home game against Bray wanderers was their first in a home game for eight fixtures since shutting out Limerick back in June.
They have drawn as many games as they have won in the league this year with 13 of each. That is only second to Drogheda though as they have one more with 14. However the next highest total is nine with both rovers and Limerick have.
Shamrock have won on the final day of the season for the last two years (Galway in 2011 and Rovers in 2012) having failed to win any of the previous six prior to that.
Last six results:
24/9/13  LOI  Limerick  2-0  Shamrock Rovers
27/9/13  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  3-1  Drogheda Utd  (Thomas Stewart x2, Gary McCabe)
30/9/13  LOI  Shamrock Rovers  3-0  Bray wanderers  (Mark Quigley, Karl Sheppard x2)
6/10/13  FAI  Sligo Rovers  3-0  Shamrock Rovers
12/10/13  LOI  Derry City  0-0  Shamrock Rovers
18/10/13  LOI  UCD  1-4  Shamrock Rovers  (Shane Robinson, Gary McCabe x2 (1 pen), Thomas Stewart)

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