TOMORROW’S trip to the Midlands is crucial for Cobh Ramblers, who face Longford Town in what is a vital contest in the hunt for the promotion playoffs.
With just two games left in the 2020 First Division season, there is plenty at stake now, and Ramblers will know the importance of picking up the three points.
The state of play heading into this weekend’s series of fixtures in the First Division is that Ramblers, on 23 points, are three points off the playoff places and UCD.
What is significant here is though, UCD and Cabinteely will be facing one another.
One or both of those sides will drop points and Ramblers should have a clearer picture of what significance a decent result in Longford will have by then.
Looking ahead to the crunch clash in Longford, Ramblers boss Stuart Ashton told The Echo the team are well set.
“They are all important games at this stage now. We have got to go to Longford and do the job in hand so to speak.
“Obviously we are going there for the win. After last week’s performance [a 4-0 win over Wexford], we are going there with the confidence that we can do that.
“Again we have to be on guard and know that Longford are one of the better sides in the league and we know they always give us a good game.
“We just have to prepare right during the week and make sure that the attitude is right.
“If we do that, we give ourselves a good opportunity of coming away with the right result.
“So hopefully it should be a good match and hopefully we can come out with the right result to keep us in the chase.”
John Caulfield’s Galway United are also still in the playoff chase. But they are not in action this weekend due to Covid-19 related issues.
Galway have three final games which are tough though, away to the First Division title winners in waiting Bray Wanderers and at home to Drogheda United and UCD.
One thing the last few weeks has shown that there is some character in this Ramblers group, as evidenced by the way they have bounced back from bruising defeats.
Stuart Ashton would have been very satisfied with the Cobh response last weekend, after losing in such late fashion the week before against Cabinteely at home.
Down in Wexford, Ramblers looked purposeful and determined from the very outset.
They were clinical in front of goal on the night in the South East and could even have added to that tally if other chances were converted.
All in all, it was just what the doctor ordered from a Cobh point of view.
It was a statement from Ramblers that they intend on remaining in the hunt for the playoff places right up until the very end.
When Cobh and Longford met most recently at St Colman’s Park, it was Ramblers who were to come away with the three points back at the end of August.
Cobh began on that night with intent and they took the lead in the 20th minute, when Conor Drinan was on hand to finish from close range, from a Pierce Phillips cross.
Through a cheeky backheel, Stephen O’Leary doubled the Ramblers’ advantage after getting on the end of a ball into his path from Ian Turner.
Cobh will indeed be hoping for a repeat of their last league win up in Longford back in 2018.
Ramblers came away that night with a 2-1 victory through goals by Denzil Fernandes and Stephen Christopher.
Longford come into the series of games this weekend in 3rd spot in the table, one point behind second placed Drogheda.
The Midlands side were victorious on the road 3-0 against Cabinteely last time out.
Daire Doyle’s side have plenty to play for here and at the very least he will want a Longford victory to consolidate and gain some momentum going into the playoffs.
But Ramblers will be making the trip up there fully intent on tearing up that script and edge Cobh closer to securing a promotion playoff spot.
For Saturday’s game, Cobh have injury concerns over David Hurley, Ben O’Riordan and Darragh Crowley, who will all be assessed closer to the match.