Shamrock Rovers II 0 Cobh Ramblers 1
CONOR Drinan’s 68th-minute goal was enough to give Cobh Ramblers maximum points in a tense First Division clash at Tallaght Stadium last night.
This represents a fourth successive league victory for Stuart Ashton’s side, who are now just three points behind new pace setters Drogheda United at the summit of the table.
Since losing out to Cabinteely on their last trip to the capital, Cobh have been in a rich vein of form. Consecutive wins over Wexford, Longford Town and Drogheda bolstered their promotion credentials at the midway mark in a truncated campaign.
By contrast, Rovers were six points adrift of the Leesiders in advance of this contest. Yet it was Aidan Price’s hosts who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession during the first quarter.
While the Ramblers defence were resolute initially - skipper John Kavanagh leading the charge - Sean Barron was forced off his line to thwart raiding Hoops attacker Thomas Oluwa in the 19th-minute.
David Hurley was doing his utmost to Ramblers into the game from an attacking perspective and his acrobatic strike on the turn tested the mettle of Rovers netminder Leon Pohls.
The visitors looked set to break the deadlock on the stroke of half-time when Hurley’s corner was headed towards the target, but the Rovers rearguard cleared the danger in the nick of time.
As a consequence, the sides remained scoreless at the end of a lively opening period. Ramblers centre-forward Naythan Coleman was gradually becoming more involved in the play and he headed just over from close-range on the resumption.
Despite being pinned back on a number of occasions by Cobh’s high pressing game, Rovers maintained a potent threat in the final-third. Barron produced a confident save from Oluwa just past the hour and also denied Dean Williams after he was released on goal off a subsequent attack.
The latter stop was particularly important as it directly preceded the Cobh breakthrough. When the ball broke free off Kavanagh’s free-kick on the right side, Conor Drinan drilled home in confident fashion.
Although Rovers kept plugging away in the dying moments of the action, Cobh ultimately held firm to extend their impressive winning run.
Leon Pohls; Jordan Tallon (Aidomo Emakhu 73), Sean Callan, Adam Wells; Max Murphy, Brandon Kavanagh (Kevin Zefi 61), Sean Brennan (Aaron Bolger 61), Darragh Nugent, Peter Adigun; Thomas Oluwa (Michael Leddy 81), Dean Williams.
Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Lyons, Lee Devitt; Greg Henry, Stephen O’Leary (Martin Coughlin 91); Ian Turner, David Hurley, Conor Drinan; Naythan Coleman (Christopher O’Reilly 73).
Rob Dowling (Dublin).