H2H: Drogheda vs Rovers
Two teams fighting against the drop will meet on Friday night at 7:45 in United Park.
Rovers are 11th in the SSE Airtricity League at the moment which is six points behind 9th placed Drogheda United.
The teams have played twice this year with an early home win for Drogheda in March while the Bit o'Red's first three points at The Showgrounds in 2015 were earned against Drogheda.
The last three between the teams at the venue have been close with one draw and a win each. Before that Drogheda had won three in a row with four wins in a row to Rovers previously.
Both teams come into the game without form as Drogheda have got just one point from their last five league games and in the same time Rovers have picked up three.
Anthony Elding returned to the club this week, his last appearance and goal for Rovers came against Drogheda in the FAI Cup final of November 2013. He also scored twice for Derry City against them while his last three league goals with Rovers came against the Drogs.
Rovers moved up the league table thanks to a Dinny Corcoran double giving a 2-0 win over Drogheda United in The Showgrounds.
His goals came early and late in the first half as the Bit o’Red’s top scorer moved to five for the season as he scored in consecutive home games.
There was two changes made to the team that played Cork City last week with Gavin Peers fit again and returning to the heart of the defence with Danny Ledwith taking the place of the injured Jake Dykes.
Rovers made a bright start as with less than a minute gone Alan Keane forced a corner down the right and from it Ledwith played a dangerous ball towards the near post. Corcorand and Peers were both close to getting a touch but the defence managed to scramble it away.
But the opening goal did come early for Rovers on three minutes. David Cawley spotted Corcoran pulling away from his man and played a nice ball in from mid-field. Corcoran headed the ball down onto the box and smashed home from just inside the penalty area.
On eleven minutes the lively Sander Puri sent a cross into the box from the left. Steven Beattie rose well to meet it but couldn’t direct his effort at goal.
Rovers were bossing possession and a long move led to the next chance after 17 minutes. Puri spotted Cawley in room just outside the box and found him, Cawley shot early but the captain put too much height on it.
Shortly after Alan Keane made a good run infield which set up the chance to shoot which he took on, it was hit well but the defender Joe Gorman was able to get his leg in the way and send the ball out for a corner.
There was a quiet period for chances through the second half of the first period with Rovers comfortable with the ball for most of it. Two minutes before the break Puri had a good shot, he beat his man surging in from the left wing and tried to squeeze the ball in at the near post but the keeper Michael Schlingermann was equal to it.
One minute later Corcoran found the Drogheda net again. A superbly deliver ball to the box by the left foot of Ledwith was attacked by Corcoran for an emphatic header past the keeper.
It took until 14 minutes of the second half for another chance to be made and it almost led to Corcoran’s hat-trick. Puri once again tries his luck with an effort from the left of the box which took a looping deflection sending the ball into Corcoran’s path. But as he volleyed the ball coming down from a height he sent it well over the bar.
Just one minute later Beattie out-ran his man on the right side of the box and shot across goal but it ended in the side-netting.
Man of the match John Russell then showed some good wing play on the left to get around his man, Cawley was surging into the box but Russell’s ball to him was just too far in front.
After 72 minutes Beattie again went close with a powerful attempt. He held the ball just outside the box before deciding to take the ball around his man and have a go early but it was wide but a couple of yards.
Sean Thornton looked like Drogs best threat and he put in a good cross to Mick Daly however his head wasn’t near the target. Shortly after Thornton hit the ball from long range but again it went well wide.
Late in the game Rovers had a couple of more chances to cap the win. First on 85 minutes Cawley was found in the box from deep, he looked to score with a low shot about eight yards out but the keeper was down well to push it wide.
With one minute on the clock it again could have been a third for Corcoran. He received the ball on the left of the box shooting low and on target but it wasn’t to be.
Richard Brush made his first save in the first minute of added time and he did well to keep out a low drive from Lee Duffy. John Russell had the final opportunity in added time when he made a good run around Gorman into the box but he shot straight at the keeper.
The win is the first in The Showgrounds for the 2015 SSE Airtricity League season and see Rovers leapfrog Drogheda in the table.
Sligo Rovers: Brush, Keane, Peers, Folan, Ledwith, Beattie (Devaney 82), Wearen, Cawley(c), Russell (Cretaro 90), Puri, Corcoran.
Subs not used: Coulter, Nielsen, Armstrong, McManus, Boylan.
Drogheda United: Schlingermann, Thornton (Rooney 88), Mulvenna, Gorman, O'Reilly, Brennan (Whelan 64), Daly, Marks, Hughes, Walshe (Scott 82), Duffy.
Subs not used: Connolly, Reilly, McGowan
Last 10 league meetings