TONIGHT: League Of Ireland First Division: Cobh Ramblers v Wexford FC, 7.45pm, St Colman's Park.
THE start of a pretty big week in the season of Cobh Ramblers commences on tonight when they entertain Wexford at St Colman’s Park.
This is the first of two home league games in a row for Stuart Ashton’s side, with Longford Town also making the trip to Cobh this Saturday night coming.
Ramblers come into the clash with the South East club off the back of a somewhat cruel blow and defeat away to Cabinteely.
The loss was a tough one to take from a Cobh perspective, especially after a very impressive opening half display against Pat Devlin’s side.
Ramblers have looked good at spells in each of their three games since the re-start against decent opposition in Cabinteely, Bray Wanderers and Galway United.
Although the displays have been good, Ramblers need to be making that count more in terms of finding the back of the net and converting their chances created.
Ashton and his Cobh players will have to pick themselves up quickly, for what looks already like being a must-win clash for Ramblers against Wexford, in the context of Cobh’s season.
Wexford are a side that look an improved outfit in 2020, compared to past years and could even be chasing for one of the playoff spots this term.
Wexford boss Brian O’Sullivan is seeking to change the culture at the club. Ola Adeyemo is a highly rated striker, who has had playing spells at Dundee United, East Fife and Watford FC.
While Kaleem Simon, Jack Doherty and Jay Nwanze could be key men on Tuesday for the South East side.
Ramblers learned in recent days also that they will be facing Dundalk once again at home in the FAI Cup second round.
This will be the third year in a row that Cobh and the Lilywhites will face one another at St Colman’s Park.
Ramblers are sure to be hoping to pull off a repeat of their memorable 2018 EA Sports Cup semi-final victory over Dundalk, who were on that day managed by the now Ireland Senior boss Stephen Kenny.
Giving his reaction to facing Dundalk in the 2020 FAI Cup round two, Ramblers captain Pierce Phillips said when asked would the carrot of such an attractive cup tie prove to be a distraction from their league endeavours:
“I don’t think it will be because we have so many games to focus on before then.
“It is the third time in the last three years Ramblers have drawn Dundalk, so a lot of lads will be familiar with it.
“Cobh Ramblers got the win over Dundalk in 2018, so hopefully we can pull something out of the bag and do the same.
“I think everyone in the squad is hungry, trying to get the playoffs. The set up at the club is a lot more professional.
"There is a lot more structure in place. We are doing video analysis, that was never done when I was here two years ago.”
Before all of that though, Cobh have some key league games on the agenda, starting with the clash against Wexford.
A victory on Tuesday and also in the forthcoming game against Longford Town on Saturday evening next would be a good statement of intent for the playoff aspirations of Ramblers.