Recent History: Sligo Rovers v St Pat's Ath
Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic clash this weekend in The Showgrounds once again.
Already this season has seen some dramatic encounters between the sides, with Rovers edging it by two wins to one so far.
Ahead of the meeting on Saturday in what is expected to be the biggest league crowd of the season so far, we look at five matches played between the sides over the last five years.
July 26th 2009, Sligo Rovers 2-0 St Patrick’s Athletic
St. Patrick’s Athletic made the visit to The Showgrounds in July 2009 with Rovers struggling in the league and having not recorded a win over the Saints for almost three years. However a dream start was made when debutant Eoin Doyle, who had just been signed from Shamrock Rovers, latched onto a Conor O’Grady ball and stuck to give the home side an early lead.
Rovers stayed on top for much of the game but had to wait until the hour mark before making the scoreline more comfortable.
A cross from Romuald Boco was put home by another recent addition to the squad, Matthew Blinkhorn, also giving him a first Bit o’ Red goal. There was no way back for the Inchicore club with Rovers getting back to winning ways in impressive fashion.
October 29th 2010, Sligo Rovers 1-0 St Patrick's Athletic
Rovers and Pat’s met on the final day of the 2010 season in The Showgrounds, as they will this year, with on this occasion a place in European football at stake for the home side. The Bit o’ Red had enjoyed one of the best season in many years having already won the EA Sports Cup, challenging for the league title for the final weeks of the season and going on to lift the FAI Cup the following week.
The pressure looked to be telling on both sides with little between them in difficult conditions and not a whole host of chances being created. Pat’s goalkeeper Gary Rogers did a fine job of keeping Rovers out while at the other end the visitors couldn’t find a way past Ciaran Kelly.
But the deadlock would eventually be broken in late, dramatic fashion. In stoppage time a foul on Gary McCabe gave the Paul Cook's team a penalty and the chance for Alan Keane to win the game. He kept his nerve to score with the last play of the game to secure third spot and a place in Europe for Rovers.
April 9th 2011, Sligo Rovers 2-0 St Patrick's Athletic
The sides met early in the 2011 season with both having made decent starts to the season in front over 2,500 at the Showgrounds.
There were several chances for both teams in the first half with the best of them falling to the Bit o’Red. However an excellent performance from current Rovers number one Gary Rogers kept the game at 0-0.
But into the second half former Pat’s player Alan Kirby broke the deadlock smashing home from close range. It was Kirby again scoring to make it 2-0 finishing off a nice move.
The game ended 2-0 with the win putting Rovers at the top of the table.
October 13th 2012, Sligo Rovers 3-2 St Patrick's Athletic
The most famous meeting of the sides in the eyes of Rovers fans took place on October 13th 2013 in The Showgrounds. The Bit o’ Red were just 90 minutes away from ending a 35-year wait for the league title and had the second-placed Saints standing in the way.
The nerves of a packed Showgrounds were quickly eased by a wonderful first half that saw local legend Raffaele Cretaro strike twice in four minutes to put Rovers on the verge of history. However Pat’s fought back in the second half with Christy Fagan halving the deficit after just eight minutes and the levelling the game six minutes later through Chris Forrester.
The game and the league title were once again in the balance as the sides fought it out for a winner. It came in the most dramatic fashion with just a minute left to play. A penalty was awarded to Rovers and up stepped in-form striker Mark Quigley.
He calmly put the ball to home win both the game and league title for Rovers amindt a setting of joyous celebration in Sligo
October 13th 2013, St Patrick's Athletic 2-0 Sligo Rovers
St. Pat’ went into the game knowing that a win would secure them a first league title in 14 years while Rovers were hoping to keep the defence of the league title alive. In a mirror image of the previous season it was first versus second in the table with three games to play.
Despite a decent start from the Bit o’ Red, it was the Saints who took the lead on 33 minutes with a spectacular strike from Greg Bolger setting up a memorable day for the Inchicore club.
The home side kicked on from there and shortly before half-time they had a second through Anto Flood, tapping in from a John Russell pass. Rovers couldn’t find a way back into the game in the second half with Pat’s seeing out the game comfortably until the final whistle blew confirming them as league champions for 2013.
Another dramatic 90 minutes awaits in The Showgrounds on Saturday. Sligo Rovers v St Patrick's Athletic kicks-off at 7:45pm with tickets at turnstiles for home and away supporters.