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5 Things We Learned From Week 8 Of The Airtricity League

John Dodge
By John Dodge
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Another topsy-turvy week in the Airtricity League saw goals and incidents galore.  Here's our pick of the week's take aways.

1) Shamrock Rovers are in trouble.

Back in week 4 we joked that some Rovers fans were being a little premature with criticism of Trevor Croly.  In  the 5 games that followed they thumped Bray 7-0, drew with Limerick and Drogheda and now have lost the last 2 too. While losing by a goal in Derry is nothing extraodrinary, losing 2-0 to UCD on Friday night certainly is. Before Friday's game UCD has picked up one point all season, and that came against a Bray side playing with ten men from just before half time.  In fact before Friday, UCD had only conceded less than two goals on one occassion (a 0-1 defeat at home to Pats).  Croly's Rovers are now in 7th place  with both Cork and Bohs having an opportunity to leapfrog them on Monday.  So desperate were Rovers for a point on Friday that Croly urged keeper Barry Murphy to go forward for an injury time corner.  It didn't work out the way he had hoped.



2) Derry and Pats can both challenge this year

After an entertaining game in Inchicore, both sides came away thinking they can push on and challenge leaders Sligo Rovers for the title. If Pats beat Bohs in Richmond Park on Monday, only 3 points will seperate the top 3 after ten games played.  Pats will feel they should have beaten Derry to add to last week's scalp of Sligo and would have only for two superb saves from Derry's Ger Doherty. Derry were clearly happy with the point away from home at the final whistle. They host Limerick next week before a big game on Sligo on the May Bank Holiday Monday.


 3) Sligo Rovers are sick of the sight of Drogheda United

In 11 days, Drogheda became the first side to beat Sligo in 2013 (also the first side not to lose...), knocked themout of the Setanta Sports Cup and, last night, ended their 100% home record with a 95th minute equaliser in a dramatic game in the Showgrounds.  Drogheda had taken the lead through the ever-green Fabio O'Brien before the league's top scorer Anthony Elding equalised.  That set in motion an incident between Drogheda fans and Ross Gaynor which saw the winger-turned-fullback sent off.  Aaron Greene thought he had won it for the Champions in the 90th minute before Graham Rusk popped up to snatch a late, late point.  Sligo travel to Tallaght next week and even with the home side's current woes, another tough test awaits.

4) Bohs won't be in relegation trouble

Last week we mentioned the troubles the bottom 4 sides were having against the top 8 (which made the UCD win even more shocking) so games between the bottom 4 were to be crucial.  Bohs have now played the other 3 teams and beaten them all leaving them 6 points aheads of 3rd from bottom UCD.  Shels remain unbeaten in Munster adding a point in Limerick to their injury-time-earned point in Cork last week. Shels played the last 83 minutes with 10 men too as Robert Bayly joined the list of Shels sendings-off.


5) Longford look to be favourites in the First Division.

A couple of weeks ago it looked like the First Division would be fought between as many as 5 teams.  Since then Longford have opened up a 6 point lead with David O'Sullivan scoring the winner against Salthill with his 9th goal in 8 games so far.  Next week they travel to pre-season favourites Waterford who have won 3 of the last 4.  If Waterford are to have any hope of catching Longford for the top spot, they can't afford to lose that game.





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