Devastation for Cobh Ramblers after falling just short in playoff bid

Devastation for Cobh Ramblers after falling just short in playoff bid

Disappointment for Cobh Ramblers players Pierce Phillips, Darryl Walsh and Charlie Lyons after the scoreless draw with Shamrock Rovers. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cobh Ramblers 0 Shamrock Rovers II 0

AS the League Of Ireland First Division promotion race went right down to the wire, Cobh Ramblers were to fall heartbreakingly short in their quest to reach the playoffs.

Although results elsewhere were to fall in their favour on this dramatic night, Ramblers crucially were unable to do their own business and fell just shy of the mark.

On a dramatic final night of the season, where every single one of the five games had something on the line, just one Cobh goal would have seen them make the playoffs with Cabinteely, Galway, and Longford all slipping up.

Cobh coach Stuart Ashton and Conor Driinan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cobh coach Stuart Ashton and Conor Driinan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Stuart Ashton went with the same starting XI for Cobh from the side that were victorious away to Longford Town last time out.

The opening half saw Ramblers look the better initially, with Rovers growing into the contest as the first half progressed.

Ramblers began with intent and Conor Drinan went close with a header from close range, after a cross in by Darryl Walsh, with Stephen O’Leary threatening also for the hosts in a decent early spell.

Cobh kept on the front foot and just past the quarter of an hour mark, O’Leary went close through a well-struck effort, which Rovers keeper Leon Pohls saved well.

Although the visitors threatened from a corner, it was Ramblers who were having th

Cobh Ramblers' Pierce Phillips shoots. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cobh Ramblers' Pierce Phillips shoots. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

e better of the exchanges, with Pierce Phillips going close with a rasping effort from outside the box.

Rovers had a penalty shout just past the half an hour mark, but John Ryan was given a yellow card for an adjudged dive, which brought a sigh of relief for the Cobh fateful.

The visiting side was playing a neat brand of football, though, with Kevin Zefi showing his quality. Adam Emaku went close with a free for the Dublin side, but the sides went in scoreless at the half time break.

Cobh had a great opportunity to go into the lead moments into the second half when Drinan was to see his well-struck effort saved impressively by the visiting shot-stopper.

As the hosts desperately continued to search for an opener, Ian Turner was to threaten with a decent opportunity as he flashed his crisp strike just wide of the mark.

In the 55th minute, Ramblers introduced David Hurley from the bench in search of inspiration, as he was recovering from injury.

But Rovers were defending well as a collective, with the home side being kept at bay by the one hour mark, denying Darryl Walsh after good build-up play and a cross-field ball by John Kavanagh.

Cobh Ramblers' John Kavanagh breaking upfield. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cobh Ramblers' John Kavanagh breaking upfield. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The home side kept searching for an elusive goal, with O’Leary not far away from a Kavanagh cross, O’Leary again had a decent shot which was saved, as the chances mounted up for Cobh.

Heading into the final 10 minutes of play, Ramblers threw the kitchen sink at it.

Needing a crucial goal, Drinan went very close with a later effort in second-half stoppage time.

Sadly for Ramblers, that goal did not arrive and it means 2021 will see Cobh playing First Division Football.

COBH RAMBLERS: Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Stephen O’Leary, Charlie Lyons, Ian Turner, Pierce Phillips, Naythan Coleman, Lee Devitt, Conor Drinan, Darryl Walsh, Greg Henry.

Subs: David Hurley for Coleman (55), Darragh Crowley for Turner (62), Chris O’Reilly for O’Leary (79).

SHAMROCK ROVERS II: Leon Pohls; Sam Curtis, Oisin Hand, Cole Omorehiomnan, Adam Wells, John Ryan, Dean McMenamin, Darragh Nugent, Kevin Zefi, Adam Emakhu, Michael Leddy.

Subs: Jamie Doyle for Zefi, Darren Prendergast for Leddy (both 65), Danila Bogdanov for Emakhu (79).

Referee: Marc Lynch.

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