Cobh Ramblers 3 Athlone Town 2
IN a performance which showcased character and belief, Cobh Ramblers picked up their first league win of the campaign on Saturday night at St Colman’s Park.
During what were at times difficult conditions and Athlone Town clawing back a two-goal deficit, Ramblers were well deserving of their victory, one they hope will properly kickstart their season.
After going close but with nothing to show from their first two games against Drogheda and UCD, Cobh on this night were to get their just rewards for the effort which they put in.
Ramblers went with the same starting eleven from the UCD clash the week previous.
In the Athlone team was former Shamrock Rovers man Joel Coustrain, who spent the second half of the 2019 season on loan at Cork City.
In the opening half, Cobh went from being in a position where they looked well in control, to leaving Athlone come back into the contest from two goals down.
Ramblers did take the lead in the 21st minute. A corner kick was floated in by Dave Hurley, with Bryan Murphy on hand to put the ball home from close range.
Things got better for Cobh a few minutes later when they extended their advantage.
Hurley successfully hit the target with a fine low curling strike from the edge of the penalty area.
On the half hour mark, Athlone were awarded a penalty from a Cobh handball, which was converted by Darren Meenan.
Ramblers then had a great opportunity to score again, but Lee Devitt was to be denied by a good stop by Athlone keeper Aaron Myles.
From being in a good position midway through the opening half, Cobh went in level at the break.
Athlone were awarded another penalty on the stroke of half time, which Meenen duly dispatched into the corner of the net.
Early into the second half, Murphy went close to adding to his tally on the night, when he went close through a strike on the turn.
It looked like things were turning against Ramblers, as they went down to ten men after a straight red card was issued to Dylan Walsh for a late tackle on Athlone’s John Morgan.
But the dismissal seemed to galvanise Cobh, who pushed on for the winner despite the visitors having the extra man.
Devitt was to race through, but his effort was saved by the quick reactions of Myles.
But that crucial strike would arrive for Cobh eight minutes from time. After some neat build-up play, Ian Turner got a well-executed effort away, which ended up in the net.
It was a case at the end of three goals, three different scorers and three points for Cobh on this March Saturday night.
A midweek EA Sports Cup tie against UCC awaits next for Ramblers, before they travel to take on Bray Wanderers in the league next Friday night.
COBH: Paul Hunt: Dylan Walsh, Charlie Lyons, Ben O’Riordan, Kevin Taylor: Pierce Phillips, David Hurley: Ian Turner, Martin Coughlan, Lee Devitt: Bryan Murphy.
Subs: Cameron Harlson for Murphy (71), Darryl Walsh for Coughlan (76).
ATHLONE: Aaron Myles: Evan White, Scott Delaney, Oisin O’Reilly, John Morgan: Harry Cornally, David Brookes: Joel Coustrain, Ronan Manning, Darren Meenan: Adam Lennon.
Subs: Jordan Carr for Meenan (78), Joshua Keane Quinlivan for Cornally (84), Dean George for Lennon (89).
Referee: Mark Moynihan(Dublin).