Match day stats: Crusaders v Rovers
Sligo Rovers are preparing for fifth consecutive appearance in the Setanta Sports Cup.
Only St. Patrick’s Athletic and Glentoran have appeared in the last five editions of the competition.
The four previous outings have seen the Bit o’Red lose at the semi-final stage.
Pats, Shamrock Rovers, Crusaders and Drogheda United have been the teams to prevent Rovers reaching the final which makes Crusaders the only side from the Irish league to defeat Rovers in the competition.
In total Rovers have played 17 games in the competition winning nine, drawing two and suffering six defeats.
Since the loss to Crusaders in April 2012 the Bit o’Red have won four out of five games played.
From the 10 games which Rovers have played against clubs from the Irish league eight have been won with one draw (against Glentoran in 2012) and the one loss against Crusaders.
The five away games have produced five wins, a draw and a loss.
Rovers full record away to Irish League sides is as follows:
Group stages: 3/10/09 Cliftonville 2-3 Sligo Rovers (Rob Turner x2, Dean Marshall)
Quarter-final: 4/4/11 Portadown 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Daryl Horgan, Joseph Ndo)
Quarter-final: 20/3/12 Glentoran 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Danny North(pen))
Semi-final: 16/4/12 Crusaders 2-0 Sligo Rovers
Quarter-final: 3/11/13 Glentoran 0-3 Sligo Rovers (Lee Lynch, Raf Cretaro, Liam Martin)
In this stage of the competition last year Rovers beat Glentoran 8-0 on aggregate which is the biggest two leg winning margin in the history of the competition.
All previous quarter-final appearances in the tournament have ended victorious.
2011: Rovers 3-0 Portadown Portadown 0-2 Rovers (Agg 5-0)
2012: Rovers 2-0 Glentoran Glentoran 1-1 Rovers (Agg 3-1)
2013: Rovers 5-0 Glentoran Glentoran 0-3 Rovers (Agg 8-0)
Joseph Ndo has played more games in the competition than any other player in the squad with 21(eight with Rovers) while Raffaele Cretaro has the most goals with four (two for Rovers).
Lee Lynch has scored the most goals for Rovers in the Setanta Cup with three.
Eric Odhiambo and Sean Maguire are the only players in the squad yet to make an appearance in the Setanta Sports Cup.
Alan Keane has started in the last 10 games in succession in the Setanta Cup since missing the tie away to Portadown in April 2011.
Raf Cretaro and Aaron Greene both won the competition with Bohs in 2010 while Richard Brush and Danny Ledwith won it last season with Shamrock Rovers. Ledwith played the 90 minutes with Brush an unused sub while fellow new signing Paul O’Conor came off the bench for runners-up Drogheda.
The FAI Cup winners finished the 2013 season on a run of just on loss in 13 games which included 10 wins.
That defeat was to champions St. Pat’s.
It is also the only defeat in the last five away games played. The overall record in away games last year from 22 games was 11 wins, seven losses and four draws.
Pre-season has seen four games for Rovers against three First Division sides and Irish League club Ards. Three of those games have been won with just the first friendly against Galway FC lost.
It has seen plenty of goals with 11 scored and eight conceded, though just one conceded in the final two.
Danny North has led the scoring with three, one in each of his appearances and the opening goal on every occasion.
New signing Paul O’Conor is just behind registering two goals. Fellow new signings Eric Odhiambo and Danny Ledwith have also got their first goals in a Rovers jersey.
2014 pre-season results:
1/2/14 Galway FC 5-3 Sligo Rovers (Danny North, Paul O’Conor, Joseph Ndo)
7/2/14 Ards 2-3 Sligo Rovers (Danny North, Eric Odhiambo, Jeff Henderson)
15/2/15 Sligo Rovers 3-0 Finn Harps (Danny North, Paul O’Conor, Danny Ledwith)
19/2/14 Sligo Rovers 2-1 Galway FC (Greg Rutherford, Alan Keane (Pen))
Of the 71 opening day games played by Rovers there have been 26 wins, 17 draws and 28 defeats.
There has been only one opening day defeat in the last nine years which was 3-1 against St. Pats in 2008. Six of those nine games were wins.
Rovers best ever result in the first game of a season was on 25/8/35 when beating Bray Unknowns 8-2 in the Shield at the Showgrounds which included a hat-trick from Harry O’Neill.
The worst ever first day result was a 9-1 loss to Dundalk away from home in the City Cup on 17/8/58.
This will be the third time Rovers first game of the season has been a Setanta Sports Cup fixture.
The last 10 opening fixtures have been as follows:
18/3/04 LOI Dundalk 1-0 Sligo Rovers
19/3/05 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-1 Kildare County (Michael McNamara x2)
18/3/06 LOI Sligo Rovers 1-0 Bohemians (Adam Hughes)
9/3/07 LOI Galway United 0-2 Sligo Rovers (Gary Curran, Jason McCartney)
7/3/08 LOI St. Patricks Athletic 3-1 Sligo Rovers (Jamie McKenzie)
7/3/09 LOI Sligo Rovers 1-1 Cork City (Stephen Parkhouse)
27/2/10 SSC Sligo Rovers 3-0 Cliftonville (Danny Ventre, Eoin Doyle, Padraig Amond)
4/3/11 LOI Derry City 0-1 Sligo Rovers (Aaron Greene)
2/3/12 LOI Shelbourne 1-1 Sligo Rovers (Jason McGuinness)
3/3/12 SSC Sligo Rovers 5-0 Glentoran (Lee Lynch x2, Anthony Elding, Ryan Connolly, Evan McMillan)
Joseph Ndo can make the 300th appearance of his time playing in the League of Ireland.
His debut was for St. Pat’s on March 19th against Derry City and he had spells with Shelbourne, Bohs and Shamrock Rovers after that before joining Rovers in April 2010. He made his Rovers debut at the home of his first club St. Pat’s on April 23rd.
He has gone on to make 137 appearances for the club scoring 11 goals. Of his 299 appearances 224 have been in the league, 16 in European competition, 22 in the FAI Cup, 16 in the EA Sports Cup and 21 in the Setanta Sports Cup.
The Setanta Cup is the only domestic trophy he has yet to win coming closest when playing for Shelbourne as they lost 2-0 to Linfield in the inaugural final in 2005.
The meeting in 2012 was the first ever between the clubs. That means that the head-to-head record is tied at one win each.
Crusaders gave themselves a 2-0 advantage by winning the first leg at home with a goal in each half from David Rainey.
Rovers levelled the tie after 90 minutes back at the Showgrounds forcing the game into extra-time but a penalty by Colin Coates put Crusaders through to a final they would go on to win.
16/4/12 SSC Crusaders 2-0 Sligo Rovers
23/4/12 SSC Sligo Rovers 2-1 Crusaders (Romuald Boco, Mark Quigley) (AET)