A pretty eventful weekend of action in week 3 of the SSE Airtricity League. Here's our take-aways;
1) Afternoon TV games have to stop
League of Ireland fans are conditioned to watch football in the evenings. The last 3 live TV games have been on weekend afternoons and all 3 have had flt atmospheres and seen attendances dip. Luckily, the next 2 games on RTE are on Friday evenings so hopefully some normality will return. On Saturday, St Pats (missing 4 regulars) should have put Limerick away before Limerick's 77th minute equaliser confirmed Pats stuttering start to the season. They started last year poorly but they've big tests coming up and they'll need to improve dramatically.
2) Bohs have come back to earth with a bump
After 30 minutes last week Bohs were well on the way to opening the season with 2 wins as they led Drogheda 2-0. Spirits among fans were still high despite eventually drawing that game and they turned up in great numbers for the visit of bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers on Friday. While they competed for most of the game, Rovers were just too strong for them and ran out 3-1 winners. Rovers had an awful away record last season but they've started with 2 wins and 7 goals this season. If they can get results like this away all season, they'll be challengers for the title.
3) Dane Massey hates Sligo
Last year the only opposition player to score a winning goal in the league in Sligo was Dundalk's Dane Massey. On Saturday night he repeated the feat in stoppage time at the end of the game. They're the only winning goals he has scored with Dundalk. The result is huge for Dundalk as they continue to bounce back from the opening day defeat to Drogheda. For Sligo it's the first time since 2012 losing back to back games and they now travel to Tallaght on Friday knowing a defeat to Shamrock Rovers would see them already 6 points behind them.
4) Cork City are very strong at home
In Cork's last 10 home games in the league, they've won and drawn 2. Those draws were against Dundalk (who had won 5 in a row going into that game) and the Champions St Pats. Friday night they finally scored from open play this season and beat Bray Wanderers 3-1. They face the bottom side Athlone Town away next week and the following week they host Shamrock Rovers in Cork. That game may well sell out if Cork and Rovers both win on Friday.
5) The First Division looks like fun this season
On Friday night, Shelbourne's young side went 2 up against Waterford, were clawed back to 2-2, went ahead in the 86th minute only for Lee Murtagh's OG to win a point for Waterford in inury time. Finn Harps beat Cobh 5-0 to follow up their 3-0 win against Shamrock Rovers B last week. Add in the return of football to Galway, Longford's quest for promotion and all the highly touted prospects in the Rovers system and the First division has a lot to offer.