Disappointment for Cobh Ramblers in opening night loss to Drogheda

Disappointment for Cobh Ramblers in opening night loss to Drogheda
The Cobh Ramblers players have words with referee Oliver Moran against Drogheda United in the First Division league game at St Colman's Park. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cobh Ramblers 0 Drogheda United 2

IN front of one of the biggest league crowds at St Colman’s Park in quite a while, Cobh Ramblers got their 2020 League Of Ireland First Division campaign off to a losing start against Drogheda United.

Drogheda have proven to be a bogey team for Cobh and they proved so yet again, this the seventh game in a row that the Louth side have inflicted defeat on Ramblers.

Against one of the promotion favourites for 2020, Ramblers were more than a match for well over an hour and will have some positives to build on in the coming weeks.

But Drogheda were to assume control for the remainder once they had taken the lead.

Cobh Ramblers' Pierce Philips wins the ball from Drogheda United's Chris Lyons. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cobh Ramblers' Pierce Philips wins the ball from Drogheda United's Chris Lyons. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

The Ramblers team gave starts to new additions in Pierce Phillips, Lee Devitt, Martin Coughlan and Dylan Walsh. While it was a 100th Ramblers appearance for Ben O’Riordan.

The opening half of this contest was generally a tight affair, with very little to separate the two teams.

Ramblers sought to try and get the ball down and play it when they could.

Although not forcing the Drogheda keeper into many major saves, Cobh did cause a few heart in mouth moments for the visiting defence.

Ian Turner put in a good ball from a corner, which was headed just off target by Phillips.

While in the 26th minute, Ramblers broke well and a good cross from the wing by Dylan Walsh just evaded the onrushing Cian Leonard.

Chris Lyons went close for Drogheda after drifting in from the wing. While Mark Doyle saw his close-range effort saved by Ramblers keeper Paul Hunt, after getting on the end of a good ball into the box by Jake Hyland.

Lyons scored 14 league goals for Drogheda last term and one could see why by the quality of his strike which put the visitors in front after 52 minutes.

It was a beauty on the turn from 20 yards out, which evaded the reach of Hunt and ended up in the bottom corner.

Drogheda assumed control of proceedings for a good stretch by that point. Doyle went close after unleashing a low effort inside the box.

While Hyland was to fire over the crossbar from a corner kick for the visitors shortly afterwards from a Sean Brennan corner.

Cobh Ramblers' Martin Coughlan gets ahead of Drogheda United's Mark Doyle. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cobh Ramblers' Martin Coughlan gets ahead of Drogheda United's Mark Doyle. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

For the hosts, Coughlan saw a drilled effort saved by Odumuso in the visiting goal.

But Cobh’s task was made tougher, as they went down to 10 men after Lee Devitt was given his marching orders by referee Oliver Moran for a second yellow card.

Things were to get worse for Ramblers heading into the final ten minutes, as Drogheda were awarded a penalty kick when Lyons was taken down in the area.

Sean Brennan stepped up to take the spot kick and he dispatched it coolly. Although Cobh forced Odumuso into a quick double save late on, they on this occasion came up short.

COBH: P Hunt: D Walsh, B O’Riordan, C Lyons, K Taylor: P Phillips, D Hurley, I Turner, M Coughlan, L Devitt: C Leonard.

Subs: B Murphy for Leonard (68), A Foley for Turner (80).

DROGHEDA: D Odumuso: J Brown, J Tuite, D Prendergast, C Kane: J Hyland, R O’Farrell: A Wixted, L Heeney, M Doyle: C Lyons.

Subs: S Brennan for O’Farrell, B Bermingham for Wixted (both 66), H Douglas for Brown (87).

Referee: Oliver Moran.

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