The 4th weekend of action in the League of Ireland continues tonight but we've already learned some things this weekend.
1) Sligo Rovers really know how to punish mistakes and poor teams
On a couple of occasions so far this season manager Ian Baraclough has pointed out that Sligo Rovers haven't been on top form. Against Bohs on Friday an error by Roberto Lopez allowed Raf Cretaro to open the scoring after 2 minutes. As Bohs pushed for an equaliser, Sligo had enough quality in the likes of Aaron Greene (above) to pick Bohs off and Sligo won comfortably. Again last night, Sligo barely broke sweat in beating a poor UCD side with Greene netting twice. Sligo have now won all 6 games, scoring 3 times in four of those games. Tougher tests lay ahead, but with the visit of Shels on Friday, they could have a big gap at the top of the table already.
2) UCD and Shels are in for long, long seasons
UCD picked up their first point of the season on Friday away to Bray. Grounds for optimism? Not really. They played the entire second half against a 10 man Bray team with a sub keeper in after Darren Quigley was sent off for the penalty incident that led to UCD's second goal. It was Bray's first point since their opening night win at home to Shelbourne. Shels stat line reads like this for the season; 5 games played, 3 men sent off, 2 penalties conceded, 1 goal scored, 1 point earned. Neither club have played any of last year's top three yet (Sligo, Drogheda and Pats). It's going to be a long season for both of them.
3) If Derry keep Rory Patterson and Michael Rafter fit, they've every change of challenging
In our weekend preview we wondered if Derry could repeat their away form in the Brandywell. 2 wins and 6 goals later and it seems that way. Patterson has score five, including the lovely finish to a great move against UCD above, and Rafter has scored 4. Both had their injury problems last season and Derry will need to keep them fit for the upcoming busy period. They play Bohs on Friday in front of RTE's live TV cameras.
4) Some Shamrock Rovers fans have no patience
They've played 5 games and conceded only one goal. Granted they've only one win but surely Trevor Croly deserves a little more than five games? Some disagree
@rovershoopdoc on the ball Doc.croly hasn't got a breeze. #crolyout
— davylynch (@davylynch1) March 30, 2013
5) Drogheda United are involved in lots of penalty incidents!
They're currently averaging a penalty per game. Granted 3 of those came in one crazy game against Derry but still, 6 penalties in 6 games? Another late equaliser yesterday at home to Cork City. It all adds up to entertaining games though
The 'weekend' finishes tonight with Pats hosting Dundalk and Limerick hosting Shamrock Rovers. All 4 sides will think they can win, showing how tight the pack is behind Sligo.
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