Match Preview: Rovers Women host Shelbourne on Saturday

Sligo Rovers will go for back-to-back victories when they host Shelbourne in the Women’s Premier Division on Saturday,  5pm, as the campaign reaches the half-way stage of the season, writes Conall Collier.

Defending champions Shelbourne return to the Showgrounds this weekend sitting in third place, three points adrift of leaders Peamount Utd.

The Dublin side enjoyed a 2-0 home win last Saturday against DLR Waves with a brace of goals from Jemma Quinn, her first goals of the season, but she had to wait until the 87th minute for the vital second goal against a side that has struggled for consistency.

Influential for Shelbourne were the duo of Alex Kavanagh and Christie Gray and they will both be aiming to deliver another positive performance at the Showgrounds this weekend.

The Bit O’Red emulated that 2-0 scoreline with a first win of the season away to Cork City last Saturday as they dominated the opening half and created numerous chances.

Casey Howe scored twice in that opening half for Sligo Rovers and a solid defensive performance after the break kept the lead intact as a first clean sheet of the season was achieved.

Shelbourne will pose a completely different challenge for Steve Feeney’s side, but the confidence that the victory in Cork will provide for the players will be a key factor for the Bit O’Red.

Noel King’s side will adopt an ultra-cautious approach to this test as they will be aware of what happened on the last occasion they visited the Showgrounds for what turned into a thriller and a nightmare for the Dublin women.

The action was live on TG4 last season and it all looked quite straightforward at the interval with Shelbourne leading by 2-1, but the hosts on that occasion quite literally produced the performance of the season with two sensational second-half goals to shade the verdict.

This encounter will be the 10th of a 20-game campaign, and it’s one that Shelbourne cannot afford to lose if they want to hang on to the coat tails of the top two and keep the chasing duo of Galway and Bohemian FC at bay.

That will increase the intensity on the pitch in what promises to be an enthralling 90 minutes as Sligo Rovers will also be on the scent of another win as they bid to move out of the bottom two.

Kick-off is at 5pm and the action is on LOITV.