Another week of action in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division but still that old familiar pattern with wins for Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers and Cork against Derry, Longford Town and Cork respectively. Now they were all made work hard for their wins but they remain locked in their own three horse race for the title. In the First Division Finn Harps continue to lead the way as they won 3-2 away against Cobh Ramblers. This was a notable win for Harps as it is an incredibly long and arduous journey from the top of the country to the bottom and usually can take them anywhere from 6-8 hours on a bus. Cobh is a beautiful part of Ireland and apart from being the home town of Roy Keane; it is notable as well for being the last docking point of the Titanic as it undertook its doomed Maiden voyage!! The quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup were held on Monday and Tuesday with Dundalk, St. Patrick’s Athletic, Galway United and Shamrock Rovers all booking their place in the last four, Dundalk are the holders.
It was a good weekend for Sligo Rovers who finally recorded their first home league win of the season as they beat Drogheda United 2-0 in the Showgrounds last Saturday night. Dinny Corcoran got both goals in a game where Rovers were solid if not spectacular but all that matters was getting the win and keeping a clean sheet. That should stand them well ahead of their trip to the Brandywell to take on Derry City this coming Friday evening. This is the North West derby and a crucial game for two sides who’s season has been disappointing so far to say the least. Kick-off is at 9:45pm Estonian time and as always there will be full live commentary on Ocean FM and you can listen in Worldwide through their website www.oceanfm.ie.
Sander Puri kept his first team place and played well, he’s starting to grow in confidence and take players on and has finally nailed that starting place that he needed. If he continues like this he shouldn’t be long until he is called back into the national team squad. Maybe it’s time that Magnus Pehrsson made a trip to Sligo to check on his form!
One disappointing aspect from the game on Saturday was the crowd which was just over 1,000 people. I know that there are a multitude of reasons for this and that supporters have been disappointed with results and the style of football that the team is playing but the reality is that the club cannot compete with the likes of Dundalk and Cork on crowds like this. When you consider that the bulk of those attending were season ticket holders, it means that the gate receipts would have been paltry. If crowds continue at this rate then the club will find itself under financial pressure and having to cut costs, that is the cold harsh reality of football and I would imagine it is the same in Estonia as it is in Ireland.
The club had made an effort to drum up interest as well by releasing a really well done simple and effective promotional video but frustratingly for them it had minimal impact.
Interesting to note the piece here on Rumori di Spogliatoio about the counting of crowds and accuracy of attendances, this was a not too recent debate in Ireland as well and I will write more about this next week.