COBH Ramblers manager Stuart Ashton felt a lack of cutting edge played a part in his side’s downfall against UCD at Belfield on Friday night.
The Leesiders were on the brink of claiming their first point of the season until Yoyo Mahdy pounced for an 87th-minute winner in the south Dublin venue.
Despite this late blow, Ashton believes Ramblers had conjured enough opportunities at the opposite end to get something out of this Airtricity League First Division clash.
“We had most of the possession and were probably the better team for 80 minutes or so. We created chances, but we had no finishers on the end of it. One or two were routine saves for the ‘keeper.
"Then we got caught with a sucker punch. A ball into the box, which we haven’t dealt with a couple of times and we’ve been punished for it,” Ashton acknowledged.
“Every team needs to score goals to win games. From that point of view, we need to address that. We’ve put some great balls in the box and unfortunately, we didn’t have people who wanted to score.”
After initially being appointed on an interim basis last June - following the departure of Stephen Henderson - Ashton assumed permanent charge of Ramblers three months later.
It is a relatively youthful first-team squad down in St Colman’s Park with the likes of Paul Hunt (29) and Ian Turner (30) offering greater experience in the current set-up.
While he’d be thrilled to welcome a proven goal-getter into the ranks, Ashton will continue to develop the talent he has at his disposal.
“Everyone is looking for a striker, they’re gold dust. Yes, they’re young lads.
"We’re hopefully teaching them the trade, for bigger and better things. Hopefully, that will come with time. Obviously, if we can get a 25-goals scorer a season, we’ll take one.”
Friday’s result represented a second consecutive defeat for Cobh in this season’s second-tier. They were previously on the receiving end of a 2-0 home reversal at the hands of Drogheda United six days earlier.
Nevertheless, Ashton has overseen considerable growth in the team during their opening two games and remains optimistic about the road that lies ahead.
“We’re creating chances, which is important. Because if you don’t create the chances, whether you’ve got the cutting edge up front, you can’t do anything. From that point of view, we’re going in the right direction,” Ashton added.
“Again, it’s still early days. Obviously no one likes to lose games and we’re the same. We’re bitterly disappointed. Worse scenario tonight, it should have been a draw.”