BEFORE being hit by the ‘sucker punch’ of a 75th-minute goal from Shane Barnes, Cobh Ramblers manager Stuart Ashton felt they were more than a match for First Division leaders Cabinteely last Friday.
Having generated a number of chances in the opening period, the Leesiders looked good value for at least a point in Stradbrook. That was until Pat Devlin’s side struck a decisive blow in the closing-quarter to ensure Cobh returned home empty-handed from their latest trip to the capital.
“I thought we were the better side first half. Into the second half, they re-jigged things again. They re-jigged things halfway through the first half as well. I thought we were the better team up until then. They came into it in the second half,” Ashton remarked after the game.
“We expected they were going to have a spell somewhere in the game, because of what they are and who they are. From that point of view, we knew something was going to come along. The goal probably came out of nothing. In fairness to them, they were good on the counter-attacks, but I felt most of the night we dealt with that.
“They took their chance and we didn’t take ours. Football is harsh on you. If you don’t take those, you get left behind. They’ve taken theirs, they’re top of the league.”
Cobh had displayed remarkable resilience in the face of adversity at home to Galway United six days earlier when a Charlie Lyons goal (his second of the game) earned them a share of the spoils in the dying moments.
However, Ashton was disappointed that his side didn’t show the same resolve upon falling behind to the high-flying Cabinteely.
“After the goal, we didn’t show the character that we have there. We were disappointed with the goal obviously. They lost their heads and lost our shape on the pitch. We’ve been a goal behind in other games, we’ve shown the character and we’ve come back into it. Overall, that last 15 was very disappointing for us. After what we had done up until then.”
Cobh will continue their search for a first win post lockdown against Wexford at St Colman’s Park on Tuesday evening.
As frustrating as some recent results have been, Ashton believes his squad are capable of turning their fortunes around.
“We’ve got to keep what we’re doing. I’m coming here talking to the media and everyone is saying ‘you’re playing well, you did well’, but we still haven’t got a win. We have to keep looking at it. I’ve got to keep encouraging the boys, that what they’re doing is right and we have to cut mistakes out,” Ashton added.