Stat attack v Limerick
|Monday, 06 August 2012 14:10|
Stats, stats and more stats.....
Shamrock Rovers host Limerick FC for the second time this season, looking to reach our first League Cup Final in nearly 14 years tonight.
The semi-final draw was made on July 9th on Monday Night Soccer and finally we were drawn at home. Rovers have played eight consecutive games in this competition away from home, the only Tallaght tie so far was the 3-0 win over Kildare County in April 2009.
Both teams had first round byes and Rovers beat SD Galway 2-0 at Deacy Park. The club knocked out St. Pat’s on penalties in the quarter-final, after a 1-1 draw at Richmond Park. Limerick beat Cork City 3-0 at home and Bray Wanderers 3-1 at the Carlisle Grounds in the last eight.
Limerick were odds-on favourites to win the First Division this season but Longford Town had topped the table for most of the campaign. They eventually overtook Tony Cousins’ side and maintained their three point lead with a 0-0 draw at Jackman Park on Friday.
They lost 4-0 to Premiership champions Manchester City in yesterday’s friendly, with an estimated 17,000 fans at Thomond Park. The Super Blues completed one summer signing – Slovakian defender Robert Kluciar. The 25 year old, a former U-20 international, arrived from Czech side FC Zenit Caslav and he has helped Limerick to three of their four successive clean sheets.
Rovers brought back two former players. Pat Sullivan has returned from Australia and Tommy Stewart arrived on a free transfer following a spell with Partick Thistle. The 25 year old striker scored 10 in 44 appearances in 2010, most notably in the 1-0 victory over Bnei Yehuda and T’n’S got the title winning goals in Bray. Stewart was a second half sub in the 2-0 win at the UCD Bowl on Friday.
Former Ipswich left back/winger Shane O’Connor also signed for the Hoops, the 22 year old had made only five league appearances for Cork City this year including our 1-1 draw at Turner’s Cross. Ireland Schools international Paul Moffatt joined Bray Wanderers.
The 18 year old midfielder made one senior appearance for Rovers, as a substitute in the Leinster Senior Cup game with Bohemians in March. Lorcan Shannon signed a new contract with the club and went on loan to Dundalk, coming on to set up the equaliser against Cork on Friday.
Gary Twigg, who ended his goal drought at UCD, hasn’t started a League Cup game since the 2010 semi-final. Billy Dennehy hasn’t featured since then either while Oscar Jansson, Pat Sullivan, Ken Oman and Ronan Finn have never played in the competition for Rovers.
Head to Head
Shamrock Rovers defeated Limerick 1-0 in the FAI Cup Second Round at Tallaght in May but we have a dreadful record against them in this competition since leaving Milltown.
The relegation battlers shocked Rovers in 1990/91 at Tolka Park, with a goal from Barry Ryan and Limerick won 5-3 in terrible conditions at Baldonnell in the 2000/01 campaign. Rovers were 3-1 down in 23 minutes and the penalty area resembled a swimming pool in the second half.
The First Division side knocked out Rovers again in February 2002 with a 75th minute volley from Brian Donnellan. It was their third successive top flight scalp and they went on to take the trophy – manager Noel O’Connor said afterwards that the spur for them was a claim that Derry and Rovers had already entered into negotiations to play the final over one leg rather than two.
The most recent meeting was at Hogan Park six years ago, which was decided by a deflected John Lester free kick. The sides first met at Glenmalure Park in the 1981/82 semi final. United, as they were called back then, were fortunate to only concede four as Tommy Gaynor was exploited in the left back position.
The striker joined Rovers the following season but then returned to Limerick to score in both of the 1986/87 group stage games. Rovers secured two victories, by scores of 5-3 and 3-2. The Hoops were two goals down after 20 minutes in Rathbane and 4-2 up at half time. Keith Dignam scored twice on his debut in the home game, the first a free kick from 20 yards and the second a strike from 30 yards out.
Monday, October 26, 1981 – Glenmalure Park – Semi-Final – Shamrock Rovers 4-0 Limerick United (Buckley, Gaffney, Bayly, Maher)
Sunday, September 7, 1986 – Rathbane – Group C – Limerick City 3-5 Shamrock Rovers (O’Brien 2, Kenny pen, Doolin, M Byrne)
Sunday, October 5, 1986 – Glenmalure Park – Group C – Shamrock Rovers 3-2 Limerick City (Doolin, Dignam 2)
Wednesday, December 12, 1990 – Tolka Park – Semi-Final – Limerick City 1-0 Shamrock Rovers
Sunday, November 5, 2000 – John Hyland Park – Quarter-Final – Shamrock Rovers 3-5 Limerick (Grant, Cousins, Francis)
Wednesday, February 27, 2002 – Jackman Park – Semi-Final – Limerick 1-0 Shamrock Rovers
Tuesday, July 4, 2006 – Hogan Park – Quarter-Final – Limerick 1-0 Shamrock Rovers
Rovers have lost one of the last seven League Cup ties to teams outside the top flight, the 2009 quarter-final against Waterford United. The last time we lost a “home” tie was the 5-3 defeat to Limerick 12 years ago. Drogheda and Bray were the only teams to do it at Milltown, both in 1985/86.
Rovers’ only League Cup triumph came in 1976/77. The Hoops have not reached the final since losing 2-1 aggregate to Cork City in December 1998, which was the fifth time we were runners-up. Rovers have been in 12 semi finals, losing the last three to Sligo in 2010, Bohemians in 2007 and Limerick in 2001/02.
Limerick won this competition in 1975/76, 1992/93 and 2001/02 and they were losing finalists in 1990/91. Limerick have been in 11 semi-finals in history and have also lost their last three – 2004, 2006 and 2011. As a player, Pat Scully was on the losing side with Rovers in that SF defeat at Jackman Park in February 2002.
Scully made his League of Ireland debut in the League Cup, in Shelbourne’s 2-2 draw with Shamrock Rovers on August 14, 1996. He missed the 1997/98 League Cup Final second leg at Tolka Park because of the flu, as Sligo held Shels to a 0-0 draw and 1-0 aggregate victory.
As Kilkenny boss, he went out at the second round in 2005. For Rovers it was the quarter-final in 2006, semi-final in 2007 and second round in 2008. During his reign at Limerick their record is first round in 2009, quarter-final in 2010 and semi-final in 2011.
He has won two trophies as manager, the 2006 First Division title and the Munster Senior Cup, where Limerick beat Cork City 1-0 in the final at Jackman Park, on May 7th this year, with a David O’Leary strike in stoppage time.
In today’s other semi-final, Drogheda United play Sligo Rovers with an afternoon kick off at Hunky Dorys Park. Sligo, the 2010 winners, have reached this stage for four years running. The last time these clubs met in the League Cup was also Drogheda’s last semi-final.
Under Steve Cotterill, Sligo won 3-2 at the Showgrounds on October 3, 1995. The Bit O’Red also beat them 5-2 in the 1993/94 quarter-final, 5-1 in the 1975/76 semi-final and 4-2 in the 1974/75 group stage. Drogheda also made the semis in 1980/81 and have only been in the final once, beating Athlone Town 3-1 at Tolka Park on January 5, 1984.
Kenny has an excellent record in the League Cup, winning it four times with Derry City in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2011. That is only bettered by Turlough O’Connor, who won it five times in the 80’s with Athlone Town and Dundalk.
In two spells with Derry, his record in the competition was Played 22, Won 17, Drew 3, Lost 2, Scored 52, Conceded 19, winning all three penalty shootouts. He only lost to Galway United in 2009 and Shamrock Rovers in 2010.
In 2006, the northerners became only the second team to win the League Cup without conceding a goal. The other was Shamrock Rovers in 1976/77. Derry lost in the second round in 2009 and QF in 2010.
Kenny got Bohemians to the 2004 final but was sacked a month earlier. Bohs went out in the semi-final in 2001/02 and quarter-final in 2003. Longford reached the 1998/99 quarter-final, 1999/00 second round and 2000/01 quarter-final.
The Hoops boss has won 5/6 League Cup semi-finals, those five in succession, including Limerick in 2004 and 2006. In all cup semi-finals in his managerial career, Kenny was unbeaten in seven years until the Setanta Cup elimination in April. In 18 semis over eleven years, he has won 12 ties and lost 6.
Beat Waterford 1-0 in 2000/01 FAI Cup (replay)
Lost 3-2 AET to Derry in 2001/02 League Cup
Beat Derry 2-1 in 2001/02 FAI Cup
Lost 2-0 to Rovers in 2002/03 FAI Cup
Lost 4-3 to St. Pat’s in 2003 FAI Cup (replay)
Beat Limerick 4-1 in 2004 League Cup
Lost 2-1 to Waterford in 2004 FAI Cup
Beat Longford 2-1 in 2005 League Cup
Lost 1-0 to Cork in 2005 FAI Cup
Beat Sligo 5-0 in 2006 FAI Cup (replay)
Beat Limerick 3-0 in 2006 League Cup
Beat Hibernian 1-0 in 2006-07 Scottish Cup (replay)
Beat Ayr United 1-0 in 2007-08 Scottish League Challenge Cup
Beat Galway 2-0 in 2008 League Cup
Beat Galway 1-0 in 2008 FAI Cup
Beat Sligo after 3-3 draw in 2011 League Cup (penalties)
Lost 3-2 on aggregate to Derry in 2012 Setanta Cup
Beat Shelbourne 4-2 in 2012 Leinster Senior Cup
Gary McCabe scored two first half penalties in the League Cup victory over SD Galway on Easter Monday. Rovers had not scored two in one game since the 4-2 win over UCD at Belfield on August 24th, 2007.
Tadgh Purcell was felled in the box in the 13th minute and scored the resulting penalty. With six minutes left, Eoin Doyle was bundled over and Andy Myler completed his hat-trick by converting another spot kick. Rovers had been awarded two in one game twice since then, Sporting Fingal in 2009 and UCD in 2011 (both FAI Cup) but only scored one.
The last Hoop to score two pens in a game was David Campbell, in the 2-1 win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park on February 24, 1991. Keith Brady handled Derek Tracey’s volley in the 14th minute and stand in referee Oliver Cooney pointed to the spot.
Paul Byrne equalised for the home side with a volley in the 30th minute but there was another handball in the last minute by Liam Dunne. Bohs then paid the double penalty as the former Northern Ireland international midfielder stepped up to score his second of the game.