COBH Ramblers boss Stuart Ashton was proud overall of the efforts from his side against League Of Ireland Premier Division kingpins Dundalk at St Colman’s Park.
Although it was a deserved victory in the end, Dundalk knew they had avoided a potential banana skin in Cobh, given the recent form and off-field situation at the Louth club.
“I am proud of the lads there today. We gave it everything and we were committed. Up until the goal in the first half, I thought we had the better chances and they were uncomfortable with that,” said Ashton.
“Their class came with the players they had and the team that they are. Moments of lapse from us and bump, we were 1-0 down. From then they had their tails up and it was an even harder battle for us then.
“Second half, I don’t think we did enough to get back into it, but we were still in the game, up until the penalty,” said Ashton.
That spot kick for Dundalk was a controversial one, with strong protests from the Cobh players following the decision of the referee.
Giving his thoughts on the decision, Ashton felt that it was most certainly a contentious decision. “From our viewpoint, he looked to go down very easily and the reaction of the players said that he dived. I have yet to see any video of it at the moment, but the lads are saying that he dived. For us he went down too easy.”
As for what positives Cobh can take from this Dundalk cup clash and into their First Division season, in which they are still in the promotion playoff hunt, Ashton added: “We were organised, we were committed. A lapse for a moment cost us for the first goal, but we have got to take the positives out of the first half. The second half we knew we had to put it up to them even more so to speak, but we didn’t really do that.
“At 1-0, Dundalk showed why they are the top team they are. They kept the ball from us and a little bit of professionalism here and there.
“That is part of the game and that is something our lads have to learn, if they are going to play at the higher level.
“I am proud of the lads tonight and they worked well. We have got to take this now and move forward from our experiences there.
“We know we can play better at times because when we did today, we did ok with it. We have got to try and get that more consistent now from here and into our league games. Hopefully see where that takes us in the league.”