Shamrock Rovers -v- ShelbourneThu, Sep 06 2012
Shamrock Rovers picked up their first piece of silverware of the season last Monday, winning the Leinster Senior Cup. They will need to win against Shelbourne on Friday night in Tallaght, if they are to keep up their ambitions of retaining their Airtricity League crown.
Aaron Green’s goal earned Rovers their provincial cup win over Ringsend club, Saint Patrick’s CY on Monday. This Friday’s game will be a battle between two former Ringsend clubs. They have already played each other three times this season with Rovers having beaten Shels in all three of those matches. They face each other twice over the next week.
Last Friday, Rovers came from behind in Cork to win in Turner’s Cross for the first time in a decade thanks to goals from Ronan Finn and Gary McCabe. Gary Twigg missed that win over Cork City due to a hip injury but he is expected to return for Friday’s Dublin Derby. Missing due to suspension will be Billy Dennehy as he picked up his fourth yellow card recently.
It is a busy few days for the Hoops in Tallaght, who are unbeaten in the league at home this season. "This is a big weekend for us,” said Rovers boss Stephen Kenny, “as we have two Dublin derbies between now and Monday, against Shels and Bohs. Every derby game is hard fought, and you don't get a win in them without earning that right.
"The players are in good form in all competitions; we've won seven and drew one from our last eight games. We know we will have to be at our best to get a win against Shelbourne, but we are playing with confidence and the players' work ethic has been very good."
Shelbourne, who have haven’t a win in their last six league games, travel across the Liffey on Friday night to play champions Shamrock Rovers, a team they have lost to three times this season and who are in good form.
Shelbourne slumped to 4-0 defeat early in the season on their only ever league visit to Tallaght Stadium but they weren’t helped by the sending off of their goalkeeper after four minutes or the bizarre own goal conceded just before the half hour that night.
Alan Mathews will be looking for a positive reaction after a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Derry City last week. The Shels manager described the performance that night as “completely unacceptable.” He had strong words for his team after that loss and will be looking for a much improved performance.
“We had an opportunity to score a goal after three minutes – a wonderful chance – we didn’t take it. We contributed to our own downfall by defending poorly for the first goal. We didn’t react positively [to the goals] tonight and that’s what’s most disappointing. We didn’t play well, we didn’t do the basics well tonight and that’s unacceptable”
Friday’s game is the first of two matches against Rovers in a week, with Shels hosting Rovers in the FAI Cup quarter final next week in Tolka Park. Talking about Friday’s league game, Mathews stated that it is “a big game for the club, we’ll be ready and we’ll ensure that we get a better performance than last week”
At this stage of the season, the yellow cards are beginning to mount and Shels will have to do without Gareth Matthews, Kevin Dawson and Brian Shortall who will miss the game having racked up four yellow cards. The trio of Philly Gorman, Chris Bennion and Ian Ryan, who missed the game against Derry due to injury are expected to be fit for the game.
Referee: Derek Tomney.
Shamrock Rovers are on a run of 14 games unbeaten in domestic competitions. Their last domestic defeat was in Dalymount Park against Bohemians at the end of June. They began this unbeaten run with a 4-2 win over Shelbourne in the Leinster Senior Cup at Tolka Park.
Shelbourne have lost three times to Rovers this season conceding 11 goals in those defeats. Shels’ last win over Rovers was a 3-1 win in Tallaght Stadium in the 2010 Leinster Senior Cup.
Rovers have conceded five goals in the last 11 domestic games while Shels have conceded 19 goals in their last 10 games.
Shamrock Rovers 2/5, Draw 3/1, Shelbourne 13/2.
Shamrock Rovers 2-0 Shelbourne.
Shamrock Rovers Injury News: Graham Gartland, Stephen O'Donnell.
Shamrock Rovers Suspension News: Billy Dennehy.
Shelbourne Injury News: None.
Shelbourne Suspension News: Kevin Dawson, Gareth Matthews, Brian Shortall.
Macdara made his debut as a football supporter in Lansdowne Road watching Ireland defeat Liechtenstein. He still believes one day he will see his club Shamrock Rovers win an FAI Cup. You can follow Macdara on twitter @macdarabueller