Match stats: Rovers v Shels
Sligo Rovers have gone unbeaten in six games since the 2-0 loss in Dundalk with five wins and one draw.
Rovers will be hoping to make it four victories in succession for the first time since the opening 10 games of the year were all won.
At home Rovers have four wins in a row having had only four wins from the previous 10.
Rovers kept a 16th clean sheet in the league this season against UCD which is five more than last year. It equals the most Gary Rogers has kept in a league season as he also kept 16 for St. Pats in 2010.
It’s the second most in the league this season just one behind St. Pat’s Brendan Clarke who has 17.
Eight of those clean sheets have been at home which is two more than the 2012 total. If no goals were conceded to the end of the season it would equal the club record of 11 in a season at home which was set in 2011.
In total with Rovers. Meath man Rogers has clean sheets in almost half of his games with 35 from 74.
The Bit o’ Red will be aiming for a fourth in a row which will be the joint-best run of the season along with the opening four games of the season against Glentoran, Derry City, Glentoran again and Bray Wanderers then again in March/ April against Bohs, UCD, Shelbourne and Cork City and for a third time in May against Derry City, Bray Wanderers, Mervue Utd and Limerick.
Rovers are now just two minutes shy of going 500 without conceding in the Showgrounds. The last goal conceded was in the Champions League against Molde and is the only one conceded in the Showgrounds in 614 minutes of play.
The five clean sheets in that time in the joint-second longest home run ever and the best in 18 years with one more needed to match the all-time record of six in the final games of the 1993/94 season when Rovers were in the First Division.
The six games on that run were Longford Town (1-0), Cork City (2-0), Kilkenny (3-0), Cobh Ramblers (1-0), Bray Wanderers (1-0) and Limerick (1-0). Mark McLean was the keeper in all six of those games.
The run was ended in the first home game of the next season in a 3-3 draw with Finn Harps in the League Cup.
Only one second half goal has been conceded in the Showgrounds in the last 12 which was from UCD in the 5-1 win seven games ago. It was from Dean Clarke with Rovers already 4-1 up at that stage.
Only two of the eight goals conceded at home this season have been in the second half with 19 games played. That gives Rovers an aggregate score of 21-2 in the second half of home games. 15-6 is the aggregate first half score.
No team has gained more points against the teams in the bottom half of the table than Rovers with 12 wins, three draws and just one defeat. Bohs are the only team to have come away from the Showgrounds with a point with the Bit o’Red having won seven of the other eight.
The UCD victory was the seventh time this year Rovers have scored three or more goals which is equal most along with Derry City and puts us just one goal behind the Candystripes who are also the league’s top scorers.
St. Pat’s are the only team with more home goals than Rovers though the difference is just two and they have played two more games.
Alan Keane made his 40th appearance of the season in the game against UCD, he is the leading appearance maker for Rovers this year and hasn’t missed a game since the final game of 2012.
He and Gary Rogers are the only players to have played every league game this season with Keane only missing on 21 minutes of football when he was subbed off in the 2-0 loss to St. Pat’s.
Rogers can make his 30th consecutive start in the league in the game with the only game he missed since joining the club being the 2-1 defeat in Drogheda in the second to last game of last season.
Gavin Peers made the 282nd appearance of his time with Rovers which moves him into the all-time top 10 list of appearance makers for the club. It takes him ahead of Chris Rutherford and Conor o’Grady who were joint-9th on 281.
He needs just two more to move ahead of Martin McDonnell into eighth spot on the list.
Joseph Ndo made it to 100 league appearances for Rovers in the win against UCD and marked the game with his eighth league goal for the club. Both of his goals this season have been against the Students. His last goal away from the Showgrounds was in the Setanta Cup in April 2011 in a 2-0 win in Portadown. The Bit o’ Red have won 10 and drawn one of the 11 games he’s scored in.
Lee Lynch started his first away game since Cork City in early July on Friday putting him one appearance away from making 50 league apps for the club. He has scored five goals so far all of which have been in the Showgrounds.
Danny North got the final goal against UCD to take him to three in his last six league games.
Raff Cretaro has now made appearance 387 in his time with Sligo Rovers. It makes him the joint-second highest appearance maker in the club’s history with Tony Stenson.
An appearance against Shelbourne would make him the second highest appearance maker for the club of all-time. Only Tony Fagan has now made more appearance for the club than the Tubbercurry Tornado.
His 68 goals in those games make him the third-best goalscorer in the history of the club only behind Johnny Armstrong and Padraig Moran. He has scored in three of the last four games in the Showgrounds each of which have been the game’s opening goal. The three goals are half the total the Bit o’ Red have scored in those four games.
Last six results:
24/8/13 FAI Sligo Rovers 1-0 Cork City (Gavin Peers)
31/8/13 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-0 Limerick (Raf Cretaro, Danny North)
3/9/13 LOI Drogheda Utd 1-1 Sligo Rovers (David Cawley)
7/9/13 LOI Bohemians 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Gavin Peers, Aaron Greene)
15/9/13 FAI Sligo Rovers 1-0 Derry City (Raf Cretaro)
20/9/13 LOI UCD 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Kieran Djilali, Joseph Ndo, Danny North)
The Bit o’ Red are unbeaten in seven against Shelbourne with the Dublin side’s last win being back in 2006 before their relegation. Those seven games included six victories for Rovers (counting the Cup final penalties win). The last four meetings between the clubs have been wins for Rovers all by at least a two goal margin. Shels have notched just one goal in those four.
Rovers have won both of the last two fixtures between the sides in the Showgrounds having gone 22 years without winning a home league game against Shelbourne and a total of 15 winless games.
It’s 22 games since there has been a scoreless draw between the teams which is the longest run for both sides without a 0-0 draw against another team in the division.
Another win for Rovers would make it five in a row for the Bit o’ Red making it the joint best winning run against another team along with Derry City.
The champions will be hoping to win three in a row at home to Shelbourne for only the third time ever. The only other times were in Shels first four visits to the Showgrounds between 1937 and 1940 and then a three game winning run from 1980 to 1982.
The only player still with Rovers that played in Shelbourne’s last win over Rovers in November 2006 is Gavin Peers. There are no players from the Shels team still with the club today but Rovers Joseph Ndo did play for them that day.
Last six league meetings:
28/6/13 Shelbourne 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Seamus Conneely, Kieran Djilali)
6/4/13 Sligo Rovers 2-0 Shelbourne (Anthony Elding x2)
17/8/12 Shelbourne 1-3 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness, Gavin Peers, Mark Quigley(p))
18/5/12 Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shelbourne (Danny North x2, Pascal Millien)
2/3/12 Shelbourne 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness)
6/11/06 Sligo Rovers 0-2 Shelbourne
So far this season:
Winning in Tolka Park in June made it four league wins in a row against Shels for the first time ever for Rovers.
It also means Rovers can complete a clean sweep with a win this weekend. Rovers have already done so against Derry and UCD last week and Shels are the only other team Rovers so far have a 100% record against. It was only done against one team last season which was bottom club Dundalk.
The last time Rovers went a full season without letting in a goal versus Shelbourne was 1977/78.
Seamus Conneely’s only goal so far this year was against Shelbourne.
Shels currently sit bottom of the league five points off the safety of 10th place where the team who defeated the 3-0 last week, Bohs, currently sit.
Although their defence has a better record than the sides around them they are the league’s lowest goalscoreres with just 18 from 27 games. That’s six less than the next worst side Bohemians.
They have lost their last three games by an aggregate of score of 10-2 and the only win they have from seven games in the FAI Cup with a 1-0 home win over non-league side College Corinthians.
That winless run included five in the league which was after a run of three successive wins in July which was their best Premier Division run since August/September 2006. It was part of a five game unbeaten run which was their best since 2006 also.
Shelbourne lost in their last away game which was against St. Pat’s 1-0, they hadn’t lost in four away games before that.
They have also not conceded more than a single goal in an away game in their last nine trips since conceding four on their previous visit to Richmond Park on April 15th.
Last six results:
9/8/13 LOI Shelbourne 1-2 Dundalk (Graham Gartland)
16/8/13 LOI St. Patrick’s Ath 1-0 Shelbourne
23/8/13 FAI Shelbourne 1-0 College Corinthians (Dean Kelly)
30/8/13 LOI Shelbourne 1-2 Shamrock Rovers (Dean Kelly (pen))
13/9/13 FAI Shelbourne 1-5 Dundalk (Lee Murtagh)
20/9/13 LOI Shelbourne 0-3 Bohemians