With Ardee Celtic in the midst of a four-way tussle for the NEFL Division One title and Square embroiled in a very tight battle to avoid the drop towards the foot of the table, Sunday’s game will surely be most important derby clash in years. It always draws a crowd and this time it will be no different. Here, we look at some of each club’s facts and figures from this season and derbies past.
Ardee Derby – Facts & Figures
- The last five Ardee derbies (first team only) have seen 28 goals scored and five red cards brandished.
- In those five games, Ardee Celtic have scored 16 of the goals, with Square notching 12. Four of the five red cards were shown to Square United players.
- September’s league meeting (3-3) was the first time in four meetings that neither side saw players dismissed.
- There have been hat-tricks in games between the two sides in each of the last two seasons. James ‘Mario’ McMullen scored three in a 4-0 cup win in February 2016 while a year earlier Dean McLoughlin scored a treble as Square ran out 5-2 winners at the Boys School Field.
- Square duo Brian Corcoran and Derek Minogue have recent form in this fixture. The Collon native has scored three goals in his last three appearances in the derby. Minogue scored a brace in the 5-2 win two years ago – Square’s last win over their rivals.
- For Ardee Celtic, Robbie Reynolds has scored three in his last four derby appearances.
- Square take to the field on Sunday having played only two games in the last seven weeks.
- In that time, games against Ardee Celtic and OMP United were postponed and Square were awarded three points from their called-off game away to Athboy Celtic last month. The NEFL deemed the Meath men guilty of a ‘no-show’ on the day, meaning United were handed the points.
- 10 of the points Square have won in the league this season have come away from home. They’ve taken only two points on home soil – a 2-2 draw with Kentstown Rovers and a 1-1 draw vs Johnstown last time out.
- In six home games, Square have struck just eight goals – but in keeping with their good away form, they’ve scored 17 in eight away matches, an average of 2.1 per game.
- 10 of Square’s 25 goals have come against teams currently in top six of the NEFL O’Neill’s Sportswear Division One.
- Forwards Chris Kelly and Derek Minogue are Square’s joint top goalscorers in the league this term – both with five goals to their name.
- Square have yet to keep a clean sheet in league action this season.
- No United player has started every league game this year – but Mikey Nulty, Robbie Reynolds and Declan Butler have for Sunday’s opponents Ardee Celtic.
Square United – Top Goalscorers
- 5 – Chris Kelly, Derek Minogue
- 4 – Jonny Sheridan
- 3 – Andrew Egan
- 2 – Kian Moran
- 1 – Aaron Kerley, Alan Kirk, Andy Rogers, Brian Corcoran, Jamie McKenny, Evan Farrell
- Ardee Celtic take to the field on Sunday having not played for a month. Their last fixture was a 4-3 win against Johnstown in Ardee at the end of February.
- Despite being close to the top of the division all season, Ardee Celtic hit the summit of the league for the very first time that day thanks to their 4-3 win over Johnstown.
- Celtic have lost just once in the league all season – that was a 2-1 loss away to Woodview Celtic.
- With just 17 goals conceded in 16 games, no team has conceded fewer goals than Ardee Celtic in the second tier.
- They have drawn five of their 16 games this term – no side has drawn more games.
- Just six of their 35 point tally have come on the road this season with Ardee Celtic having taken 29 points from 33 at home.
- However, the club have now played all 11 home games. They have played just five away so far in 2016/17, with Sunday’s derby the first of six consecutive away games to finish the campaign.
- Only title rivals OMP and Square United have stopped Ardee Celtic from taking maximum points at Townparks in 2016/17.
- The Deesiders have averaged 2.8 goals per game at home in the league but have some making up to do away from home with their average at just 1.6 goals per game on the road.
- 11 of Ardee Celtic’s 39 league goals (28%) this year have been scored by a Robert (Reynolds x6, McNeice x3 and Taaffe x2).
- Of Reynolds’ six goals, five of them have come from the penalty spot whilst the other was a free kick – in the return fixture against Square.
Ardee Celtic – Top Goalscorers
- 7 – Lorcan Myles
- 6 – Robbie Reynolds
- 5 – Gareth Kane
- 4 – Stephen O’Brien
- 3 – Dean Gaynor, Fintan Clarke, Robbie McNeice
- 2 – Robert Taaffe, Tristan Knowles
- 1 – Graham Tighe, Mikey Nulty, Eddie Burke, OG