Match stats: #bitored v Shamrock Rovers
Sligo Rovers bounced back from having lost two on the spin with a 2-0 win over St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Setanta Sports Cup on Tuesday.
It takes the overall record so far this season to four wins and three losses.
It also means it’s 12 games since Rovers have drawn a game, going back to a home tie with Cork City last September.
It took 14 games at the start of last season for Rovers to register a draw.
All three losses this year have been by the same 1-0 margin. None of the last 10 wins for the Bit o’Red have involved scoring just the once.
Last year from the 15 away games to other sides in the top half of the league, Rovers had five wins and four losses while six matches were drawn.
In away games only, the Bit o’Red had the league’s best record taking four wins from the nine fixtures and also earning one draw. It gave three more points than the next best sides ,Dundalk and St. Pat’s.
Rovers’ defence on the road was just one goal worse than the sides with the joint-best record, conceding just 14 times in 17 games played.
Only champions, Pat’s, had more clean sheets on their travels with nine compared to Rovers’ eight.
Eleven out of the last 22 away league games have seen a clean sheet kept by the Bit o’Red.
Danny North scored twice to win the Setanta Cup tie against the Saints which takes him to 28 goals in a Bit o’Red shirt.
It was the ninth occasion that he has scored twice in a game compared to scoring once in 10 games.
The last three times he has found the net in a game he has made it a double, they are the 2013 FAI Cup final, the second leg of the win over Crusaders and this week’s victory over Pat’s.
In only two of the 19 games he has scored in for Rovers have we not won. They are in the 1-1 away draw to Glentoran in the 2012 Setanta Sports Cup and in a 1-1 home draw against Derry City in the same season.
Having not previously scored against his former club the Saints, he has now scored against every club in the Premier Division that he has faced bar Bohemians.
From his 28 goal total, 20 have been scored in the second half of games. He has scored three times in league games against Shamrock despite having only started against them once. He has also appeared twice as a sub against them.
David Cawley was used as a substitute on Tuesday against St. Pat’s meaning no player has no started every game so far this season.
The man he replaced, Paul O’Conor, is the only other to have appeared in every competitive game played in 2014.
Danny Ledwith had also played in all games up until the first leg win but he missed out on making it seven out of seven due to injury.
Kieran Djilali made his first start of the season on Tuesday in the Showgrounds with his last start being last year’s FAI Cup final. He is now on a career total of 99 league games.
He had made 69 during his time in England and has since added 30 for Rovers. He has scored five times with the Bit o’Red in league football which is one more than he managed during his time with his five clubs in England.
Including all other competitions his career total is 120 games from which 42 have come since moving to Sligo. Fifty-seven of his 99 so far have been as a starter with 42 when coming from the bench.
Last time out on the road Rovers were beaten in Bray, the last time successive defeats were suffered by the Bit o’ Red on their travels included a loss at Shamrock Rovers when being put out of last year’s EA Sports Cup in Tallaght last August. After that Rovers lost away to Dundalk.
In league games alone it’s much longer with the run going back to April and May 2011 with 44 games being played in between. The second of those losses also happened as visitors to Shamrock Rovers.
It was a 1-0 loss to a Karl Sheppard goal having being beaten at UCD the week previously.
There have been back-to-back losses in the league for Rovers lately with the defeat to Bray followed by another against Dundalk.
It’s been four and-a-half years since the Bit o’Red lost three league fixtures in-a-row. That was in July and August 2009 with the defeats being 1-0 away to Galway United, 4-3 at home to Dundalk and then 4-0 also at home to Derry City.
Three matches without winning however did happen three times last season.
The last time Rovers picked up fewer points from the opening three games to a season was 2009 when just a single point was earned. That year it took six games to get the first win on the board and three of the first five ended as losses.
There have been just two clean sheets in the last 12 away games for the Bit o’Red in all competitions.
They were in back-to-back away wins at UCD and Bohs in September and follows a run of having kept five clean sheets consecutively beforehand.
Paul O’Conor can make the 150th appearance of his career if he takes to the field against Shamrock Rovers. The 26-year-old made the majority of those with his first club UCD during his three-year spell there where he played 93 times. He scored five goals while in Belfield.
The Dun Laoghaire born midfielder spent a year at Drogheda making 49 appearances across all competitions.
He contributed eight goals, more than in the rest of his career together including lastly in the FAI Cup final in vain for Drogheda United. He has yet to open his Bit o’Red account competitively.
Last six results:
2/3/14 PC St. Patrick’s Ath 1-0 Sligo Rovers
8/3/14 LOI Sligo Rovers 2-1 Athlone Town (John Russell, Evan McMillan)
10/3/14 SSC Sligo Rovers 5-0 Crusaders (Evan McMillan, Danny North x2, Ross Gaynor, Liam Flatley)
14/3/14 LOI Bray Wanderers 1-0 Sligo Rovers
22/03/14 LOI Sligo Rovers 0-1 Dundalk
25/3/14 SSC Sligo Rovers 2-0 St. Patrick’s Ath (Danny North x2)
Of the 141 league games played between the two side, Sligo Rovers have 38 wins to Shamrock’s 75. From the 72 games Sligo Rovers have played on the road, there have been 12 wins and 44 defeats.
Two of those 12 wins have come in the last four visits. It started with the 2-1 win in September 2011 which ended a run of 14 games without an away win against Shamrock stretching over a period of 15 years.
The other win was when we last visited on the final day of the 2013 season and came away with another 2-1 win. On both occasions Rovers won having gone behind in the game.
The other two games played in between ended as 1-1 draws. In both of those games the Bit o’Red had gone in front but were pegged back.
It means that Sligo Rovers are four unbeaten away to Shamrock. The only grounds where Rovers have longer unbeaten run in the league are Bohemians in Dalymount Park and Derry City’s Brandywell.
In all competitions and locations Rovers have just one loss in the last five to Shamrock and two in the most recent 11 meetings. They are in the EA Sports Cup last season when losing 3-2 in Tallaght Stadium. The other was back in 2012 on the final day of the Airtricity League season after the Bit o’Red had already been crowned champions.
Last year was the first time Rovers went a full season without losing a league game to the Hoops since the league-winning 1976/77 season and the first in a season of more than two other meetings. It was the 11th ever time in the history of clashes between the two Rovers.
The home side has not managed a clean sheet on any of the last five occasions that Rovers have visited Shamrock. Its 13 games since the Bit o’Red came away without conceding a goal, that was when earning a scoreless draw in Tolka Park in October 2007.
In total the Bit o’Red have played 10 games at Tallaght Stadium including the 2009 FAI Cup final which was against Sporting Fingal. Six of those have ended in defeat, three have been drawn with two wins.
Shamrock Rovers haven’t lost two domestic games at home in succession since the first two games of the 2010 season when St. Pat’s and Dundalk came away with victories. They lost at home to Dundalk on Monday.
The Rovers squad contains four players that have previously been with the south Dublin club in Richard Brush, Danny Ledwith, Joseph Ndo and Aaron Greene. Two of the Hoops squad have played in the north-west in Jason McGuinness and Gary McCabe.
Last six meetings:
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)
25/10/13 LOI Shamrock Rovers 1-2 Sligo Rovers (Aaron Greene, Danny North)