Rovers v Dundalk: Preview

 

Sligo Rovers vs Dundalk   

SSE Airtricty League

Game 25

Tuesday September 06 7:45pm

The Showgrounds 

 

Lowdown

Rovers take on the back-to-back league champions Dundalk for the second time this year.

Dundalk have had an incredible month in European football advancing through the UEFA Champions League qualifiers to earn a place in the UEFA Europa League group stages.

But Rovers bring the longest unbeaten home run in the SSE Airtricity League at 11 games to the fixture.

 

Opposition

Dundalk are still on course to become the first time to win the league title three times in a row win since Shamrock Rovers in the mid-80s.

During their european run they showed vulnerability domestically with losses on the road to Bray Wanderers and Galway United.

But since their final tie with Legia Warsaw they have got wins at Wexford Youths and Bohemians as well as advancing over Crumlin United in the FAI Cup.

 

Table

 

Last game

In a tight contest at Oriel Park a stoppage time first half penalty gave Dundalk the win over a determined Sligo Rovers.

League champions Dundalk were frustrated for much of the game by a well-organised Rovers side who could have come away with something having been on top for much of the second half.

Rovers first threatened with a free-kick on 15 minutes. It was awards almost 35 yards about but Kieran Sadlier had the confidence to go for goal and his shot lacked no power but flew just wide of the post.

The Lilywhite’s best chance came midway through the half for David McMillan. The ex-Rovers forward saw the ball drop to him in space inside the penalty area but his mis-hit shot didn’t trouble Micheal Schlingermann.

Two Rovers shots came on 34 minutes. First when Sadlier again tried direct from a free-kick but the wall was able to stop this one. However Rovers maintained the ball and possession came to John Russell, he seen his low effort come off the feet of big defender Andy Boyle and away to safety.

As the half reached its conclusion a good block by Liam Martin forced Darren Meenan’s drive away for a corner. When the ball came into the box the referee blew for a penalty to Dundalk.

Ronan Finn stepped up to take the spot-kick and he hammered it home in the very last act of the first half.

An undeterred Rovers side came out strongly to start the second 45 minutes. With just two minutes gone Martin cut in to shoot low but there was defensive legs in the way to knock the ball away. That seen it fall to Sadlier and he tested Gary Rogers in goals but he was able to save a fairly central shot.

 

 

The Bit o’Red came even closer putting a great move together on 56 minutes. John Russell took possession from Dundalk and sent the ball out left where Martin was on the run. He quickly played the ball into the middle and Jimmy Keohane was rushing in but his shot with the inside of his boot rolled across the face of goal and wide.

Raff Cretaro found his way to the right wing and delivered to the heart of the box, Martin was there for a header which just went off target.

The introductions of Phil Roberts and Jaanai Gordon to Rovers attacking options added impetus late on as an equaliser was sought but ultimately Dundalk held strong to keep the clean sheet and take all three points to top the table.

Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland, Boyle, Massey, Meenan (Mountney 75), O'Donnell(c), Finn, Horgan, McMillan, Kilduff (Shields 58).

Rovers: Schlingermann, Adebayo-Rowling, Leahy, Boylan, Donelon, Roddan(c), Russell (Roberts 69), Keohane, Sadlier, Martin, Cretaro (Gordon 87).

 

Team news

Rovers: Fully fit squad

Dundalk: Injured – Ciaran Kilduff Doubtful – Darren Meenan & Robbie Benson

 

Quotes

Dave Robertson: “Playing a top team like Dundalk is a challenge myself and the players are looking forward to and we said so after the Harps game. Dundalk have a very strong squad and great depth. Stephen Kenny has done a magnificent job there balancing domestic games with Europe.

 

 

“But we don’t fear any team that comes to The Showgrounds. We will be looking to play on the front foot. We view this game as an opportunity to show everyone how far we have come.”

Full interview

 

Head-to-head

Overall

Total

Last

Rovers wins

38

19/03/13

Dundalk wins

53

15/04/16

Draws

28

05/09/15

 

 

Showgrounds

Total

Last

Rovers wins

24

19/03/13

Dundalk wins

18

15/04/16

Draws

17

05/09/15

 

 

Officials

Referee: Paul McLaughlin

Assistant Referees: Robert Clarke & Darren Carey

Fourth Official: Robert Harvey

 

Coverage

Live radio updates on Ocean FM, also available worldwide on oceanfm.ie

Live updates of every kick on our Twitter account, @sligorovers

 

Programme:

Available with all the regular features for €4

 

Sponsors

Match: Applegreen

Ball: Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone

 

Guests

Mascots: Oakfield estate

Ballkids/Half-time game: St. John’s NS

 

Tickets

Tickets will be available at the gate at the following prices:

Adult: €15

Student/OAP: €10

Kids under 12: €5

 

 

 

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