Stat Attack v Sligo
|Sunday, 12 August 2012 17:51|
Stat Attack - Rovers v Sligo:
Shamrock Rovers host Sligo Rovers at Tallaght Stadium in a huge game on Monday night. Sligo have topped the Premier Division table since April and currently have 39 points, one ahead of Drogheda United with two games in hand. Rovers are in third place, 7 points behind them with an extra match played.
Sligo ended Drogheda’s six match winning streak with a 4-1 victory at the Showgrounds over a week ago. Seamus Conneely scored his first league goal for the club, with Romuald Boco and Joseph Ndo also grabbing their first of the season.
Conneely, who scored an own goal in Rovers’ 6-0 FAI Cup win over Galway two years ago, was released by Sheffield United in May and is one of five summer signings by Ian Baraclough. Jeff Henderson (Newcastle United), Ryan Connolly (Derby County), Hugh McFadden (Finn Harps) and Shane McGinty (Finn Harps) have also arrived with Mark McGoldrick joining Athlone Town on loan.
Rovers beat UCD 2-0 at the Bowl on August 3rd, the only team that Sligo have lost to so far and we have won all 3 games since losing to Ekranas, including the League Cup semi-final against Limerick. The Hoops have two cup finals at Tallaght Stadium next month and play Cork City in the FAI Cup Third Round.
Sligo have been knocked out of every cup competition this season – the Setanta Cup semi-final by Crusaders, the FAI Cup second round by Monaghan, the Europa League QR2 by Spartak Trnava of Slovakia and the other League Cup semi-final, 2-1 to Drogheda last Monday.
They had previously reached the last three FAI Cup finals, winning two and the semi-finals of the last three League Cups, winning one. It was the third consecutive time that Sligo went out at the first hurdle of the Europa League, only winning one European game out of 18 in their history, a 1-0 victory over Floriana in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1994.
The Bit O’Red went unbeaten in their opening 12 league games for the first time ever, achieving 11 in the 1936/37 season, when they won the title only three years after being elected. Sligo have the joint most wins (11) and the joint best defence (13 goals), Rovers are the joint highest goalscorers (33).
Sligo are second best away performers, we are the third best home team – only the Hoops and Sligo are still unbeaten at home. We have the joint most home draws (5) and 8 overall has already equaled last year. Rovers have the joint best home defence (6) and second best home goals tally. They have only conceded 6 away, which is the best.
Sligo are second in form with Shamrock Rovers third. Rovers placed joint 5th in home form after three consecutive draws. Sligo are joint second (with ourselves) in away form. The westerners have only failed to score in 2 games and have kept 6 clean sheets. They have not kept a clean sheet in 8 games in all competitions, with one in the last seven in the league.
Rovers have been winning 5, drawing 9 and losing 5 at half time while Sligo have a 5-10-3 record. The champions have scored 10 goals in the first half and 23 goals in the second, it’s 12-20 for them.
All six goals conceded by Rovers at Tallaght Stadium have been in the second half and it has been that way for the last 13 games – the last first half goal conceded in the league here was Bray’s Jake Kelly on September 25, 2011. 5 from this season have come in the last 15 minutes and four of those in the last two mins.
Top scorer Danny North, with 14 goals, has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured cruciate ligament. Their next best goalscorer is Mark Quigley on 4 goals and has he got all of them in the last three games.
30 year old goalkeeper Gary Rogers is ever-present in the league, starting all 18 games and Shamrock Rovers are now the only team in the league without an ever-present player this season.
Paul O’Conor – UCD – 20
Gabriel Sava – Drogheda – 20
Darren Quigley – Bray – 20
Peter Cherrie – Dundalk – 20
Philly Hughes – Shelbourne – 19 (1)
Paddy Kavanagh – Shelbourne – 19 (1)
Robbie Benson – UCD – 17 (3)
Karl Moore – Bohemians – 16 (4)
Mark McNulty – Cork – 19
Dermot McCaffrey – Derry – 19
Gary Doherty – Derry – 19
Gary Rogers – Sligo – 18
Kenny Browne – St. Pat’s – 16 (1)
Brendan Clarke – St. Pat’s – 16 (1)
The referee for this one is Anthony Buttimer. He has taken charge of four Rovers games this season in all competitions, sending off opposing players in the Derry and Limerick (FAI Cup) encounters and awarding one penalty, in our favour. He has handed out 8 yellows for us and 14 for the opposition, including Patrick McEleney’s second.
Rovers’ most booked player in the league is Killian Brennan with 5 and Sligo’s Gavin Peers has also been shown 5 yellow cards. Mark Quigley, Alan Keane and Jason McGuinness have all been sent off while Conor Powell, Gary McCabe, Stephen O’Donnell, Graham Gartland and Chris Turner have seen red for the Hoops, the last two in the 3-0 defeat to Sligo earlier this year.
End to End
Including the 3-1 win over Monaghan in March, Rovers have scored 18 goals in the south end and 16 in the north end of Tallaght Stadium in all competitions this season. It was level before the Limerick game last Monday. Rovers have conceded 8 in the north end and 4 in the south end. We have attacked the north (Square) end in the first half 13/17 times so far and in seven of the last eight games.
League totals are in brackets. Goals by Brennan, Dennehy and Greene vs Monaghan are not counted.
Gary Twigg 18 (16)
Gary McCabe 6 (3)
Billy Dennehy 5 (3)
Daryl Kavanagh 4 (3)
Ronan Finn 3 (3)
Aaron Greene 3 (1)
Chris Turner 2 (1)
Killian Brennan 2
Sean Gannon 2
Ciaran Kilduff 2
Ken Oman 1 (1)
Craig Sives 1 (1)
Colin Hawkins 1
Sean Dixon 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Dean Ebbe 1
League totals are in brackets. Assists by Dennehy, Rice and McCabe vs Monaghan are not counted.
Gary McCabe 5 (3)
Daryl Kavanagh 4 (3)
Aaron Greene 4 (3)
Ronan Finn 4 (4)
Gary O’Neill 4 (3)
Killian Brennan 3
Billy Dennehy 3 (2)
Ken Oman 2 (2)
Stephen Rice 1 (1)
Graham Gartland 1
Chris Turner 1 (1)
Conor Powell 1 (1)
Conor McCormack 1
Stephen O’Donnell 1
Dean Ebbe 1
Craig Sives 1 (1)
Ciaran Kilduff 1
Head to Head
We have only scored one goal in the last four games with Sligo, Gary Twigg in the 2-1 loss on September 9, 2011. Rovers had two players dismissed in that game too – Pat Sullivan and Pat Flynn.
They are the last team to beat Rovers in the league at Tallaght Stadium and 15 games would set a new Tallaght record, surpassing the run from April 2 – September 24, 2010.
Sligo have defeated Shamrock Rovers four consecutive times in all competitions for the first time in history. They have won three league games in a row and are looking for four for the first time since October 5, 1975 to April 10, 1977.
Paul Magee threatened to spoil party at the Showgrounds with a 57th minute header to equalise that day in ’77 but the home side won 3-1 win to seal their second and last League of Ireland title.
May 06 – L – Shamrock Rovers 1-0 Sligo Rovers (Sheppard)
Jun 24 – L – Sligo Rovers 2-0 Shamrock Rovers
Sep 09 – L – Shamrock Rovers 1-2 Sligo Rovers (Twigg)
Sep 19 – FAIC – Sligo Rovers 1-0 Shamrock Rovers
May 12 – L – Sligo Rovers 3-0 Shamrock Rovers
Mar 02 – L – A – Shelbourne 1-1 (McGuinness)
Mar 05 – SC – H – Glentoran 2-0 (Boco, Quigley)
Mar 10 – L – H – UCD 2-1 (North, McGuinness)
Mar 16 – L – H – Bohemians 1-0 (Lynch)
Mar 20 – SC – A – Glentoran 1-1 (North pen)
Mar 23 – L – A – Monaghan Utd 1-0 (North)
Mar 31 – L – H – Dundalk 3-0 (North 2, Peers)
Apr 06 – L – A – Bray Wanderers 2-1 (Cretaro, North)
Apr 09 – LC – H – Monaghan Utd 3-1 (McMahon 2 OG’s, Gaynor)
Apr 13 – L – H – Derry City 1-1 (North)
Apr 16 – SC – A – Crusaders 0-2
Apr 20 – L – A – Cork City 1-0 (North)
Apr 23 – SC – H – Crusaders 2-1 (Boco, Quigley) AET
Apr 27 – L – H – St. Pat’s Ath 1-1 (Browne OG)
May 04 – L – A – Drogheda Utd 3-1 (Peers, North 2)
May 12 – L – H – Shamrock Rovers 3-0
May 18 – L – H – Shelbourne 3-0 (North 2, Millien)
May 21 – L – A – UCD 0-1
May 25 – FAIC – H – Monaghan 1-3 (Quigley pen)
Jun 01 – L – A – Bohemians 0-0
Jun 26 – LC – H – Derry City 4-0 (Cretaro 2, North 2)
Jun 29 – L – A – Dundalk 2-1 (North 2)
Jul 07 – L – H – Bray Wanderers 1-1 (Keane)
Jul 13 – L – A – Derry City 2-1 (Cawley, Quigley)
Jul 19 – UEL – A – Spartak Trnava 1-3 (Peers)
Jul 22 – L – H – Cork City 2-2 (Quigley 2, one pen)
Jul 26 – UEL – H – Spartak Trnava 1-1 (McGuinness)
Aug 04 – L – H – Drogheda Utd 4-1 (Quigley, Conneely, Boco, Ndo)
Aug 06 – LC – A – Drogheda Utd 1-2 (Lynch)
On This Date
Rovers’ last three games on this date (August 13th) were in the league, beating Drogheda 2-0 away in 2010 and losing 2-1 to Waterford at Richmond Park in 2004. On the opening day of the 1999/00 season, the Hoops won 4-0 against Drogheda at United Park where an 18 year old Shane Robinson scored on his debut.
Tonight’s big game is our 10th to be televised this season and we have lost both Setanta Sports broadcasts, against Derry in the Setanta Cup and Ekranas in the Champions League. This game was originally scheduled for Friday.
Rovers have won their last 4 Monday games in all competitions. In the league, we’ve drawn the last two (plus a draw with Monaghan, the only other Monday league game this year) and the last Monday win was on May 30, 2011, 1-0 at home to Bohemians.
There has only been one Premier Division meeting with Sligo Rovers on a Monday before, 1-1 at Tallaght Stadium on April 26, 2010. That was the last league draw between the sides; Rovers won the next four and then Sligo won the following three.
On Mondays last season, Rovers lost in the FAI Cup on a Monday and beat them in the Setanta Cup Semi-Final 1st leg, both at the Showgrounds.
UCD 0-2 Shamrock Rovers
Gary Twigg’s goal drought ended at 546 minutes. It was out first goal in the first half in 7 games and the first time in six games that the club were leading at the break. Kerrea Gilbert made his first league appearance since the 4-0 defeat Dalymount Park.
Tommy Stewart came on in the second half, his first appearance in a Rovers shirt since the 2010 FAI Cup Final against Sligo. He scored on his last appearance at Tallaght, heading Rovers in front on 51 minutes in the 2-0 win over Drogheda on October 22, 2010.
Billy Dennehy was an unused substitute in a Premier Division game for the very first time in his Rovers career. Until the Derry game, he had only missed three in three seasons, all because of suspension.
Shamrock Rovers had not recorded successive league wins in 14 games until now, the worst run since the first 15 games of 2008 under Pat Scully.
Rovers have three successive clean sheets in the league for the first time since July-August 2011 and it was also back to back away wins for the first time under Stephen Kenny.
Shamrock Rovers 4-1 Limerick (EA Sports Cup Semi-Final)
Ciaran Kilduff made his first start since the title winning night at UCD on October 25, 2011 and scored his first goals since the Drogheda game earlier that month. He has scored 11 goals in 18 (31) appearances in all competitions for Rovers.
Sean Gannon got his second senior goal and Billy Dennehy scored his first since May. The Hoops have reached the League Cup Final for the first time since 1998/99 and it’s the sixth time Stephen Kenny has brought a team to the final.
This was Rovers’ biggest League Cup win since the 6-1 victory over Longford Town at Tolka Park in January 2002 and the biggest against Limerick since the 7-3 win at the RDS in October 1993.
New Signings #9 – Pat Sullivan
Although he is not really a new player, Pat Sullivan became Stephen Kenny’s first summer signing on June 5th. His youth career began at Leicester Celtic and he played for the Shamrock Rovers Schoolboys team, under 15, 16, 17 and 18. Rovers hadn’t the underage set up that the club now has and he moved to UCD in 2002.
Sullivan attended the college on a sports scholarship and studied Sports Management whilst playing LOI football, scoring his first ever goal on September 20th, the winner in UCD’s 1-0 victory over St. Pat’s. Tony McDonnell split the Saints defence with a promptly taken free kick to the teenager on the left wing, who controlled the ball well before drilling a shot from 14 yards past James Gallagher.
Sully moved to right back because of injuries in the squad and it proved to be his best position. UCD were relegated in 2003 and promoted from the First Division in second place a year later. He scored 3 goals in 95 league appearances over three seasons with the Students and was on the scoresheet in their 5-0 win over Drumcondra in the 2004 FAI Cup Second Round.
Sullivan signed for Drogheda United in 2005 during a successful period for the club but he was plagued by injuries, only playing 6 league games. He resurrected his career at Longford, scoring twice in 28 starts in 2007. The Town were relegated that year but did reach the FAI Cup Final under Alan Mathews, losing 1-0 to Cork City on December 2nd at the RDS.
Already on a booking for dissent, Sullivan was sent off late on for a reckless challenge on Leon McSweeney to earn his second yellow of the afternoon. Along with Mathews, he moved to the south coast in 2008, making 24 appearances for Cork and starting in the 2-1 win over Glentoran in the Setanta Cup Final.
Against Rovers, his long throw in was the provider for Liam Kearney’s goal in the 1-1 draw in May and he was stretchered off in his side’s 3-0 defeat in August. As the financial fiasco unfolded at Turner’s Cross, Sullivan secured his release on July 29, 2009 and immediately signed for the Hoops.
He made his Rovers debut in the 2-1 win over Derry City at Tallaght Stadium on August 2nd and made 63 (3) appearances in all competitons over three seasons, with 3 goals, 9 assists (all in 2011), 23 yellow cards and three sending offs.
He saw red in injury time in the win over Galway in August 2009 and ironically as he walked off the pitch it was announced that he had won the Man of the Match award. He gave away an 85th minute penalty in the 1-0 win over Bohemians two months later. Jason Byrne blazed it over the bar and Sullivan was shown another yellow for gesturing at referee Alan Kelly.
He scored one of the fastest goals in Tallaght history against his former club Cork but Bohemians went on to win the League of Ireland title. The 29 year old made just two league appearances in 2010. He scored the only goal of the game at Terryland Park on April 26th but suffered a cruciate ligament injury which kept him out for the remainder of the season.
2011 was a completely different story as he made 49 starts, more than any other player, 32 in the league which was the joint highest with captain Dan Murray. He was sent off for punching the ball away in the 2-1 defeat to Sligo in September but Rovers won back to back titles at the UCD Bowl in October, having lifted the Setanta Cup in May.
Sully will be forever remembered for his spectacular volley in the 2-1 over Partizan Belgrade on August 25th of last year as Rovers became the first Irish club to reach the group stages of a European Competition. Gary McCabe’s corner was headed clear and the Dubliner connected from 25 yards to equalise.
The goal was shown on sports bulletins all around the globe and was even named as ‘High Performance Moment of the Day’ on Fox Sports in the USA. Stephen Rice poked in his shot against Tottenham Hotspur as Rovers famously took a second half lead at White Hart Lane only to lose 3-1.
Sullivan was named Player of the Month in August, in the PFAI Team of the Year for 2011 and won the 2011 League of Ireland Player of the Year. In addition to that, his performances were acknowledged by his Rovers teammates as he took the Players’ Player of the Year award.
He then followed former assistant manager Jim Magilton down under, travelling to Australia and briefly playing for Victorian Premier League club Southern Stars.