Cobh Ramblers 1 Shelbourne 0
A DRAMATIC late winner from Matt Lamb secured a morale-boosting Cobh Ramblers’ victory and also has now opened the door in the First Division title race.
For the second time this season, Ramblers have inflicted defeat on Shelbourne at St Colman’s Park.
It was a wholehearted and spirited display from the Cobh players, who have thrown a spanner in the works for the Shels Premier Division promotion plans.
What a fine job Stuart Ashton has done with Ramblers players as the interim boss. The confidence is high and they are now just three points off sixth-place Limerick.
This was the third win out of the last four games for Ramblers. One would expect this will be the victory which is the absolute sweetest.
Longford Town and Drogheda United are now both well in the title hunt as a consequence, five points behind and both must play Shelbourne in the final few weeks of the season.
Ramblers made one change from the win over Limerick, with Matt Lamb coming into the team in place of Greg Henry.
The opening half was a very satisfactory one for a Ramblers point of view and they had arguably the better chances in the opening 45 minutes.
Cobh had the first effort on goal when David Hurley saw his low effort saved comfortably by Shels keeper Colin McCabe.
Shels went close when Daniel McKenna set up Karl Moore from a free, who saw his shot from the edge of the box tipped over well by Ramblers shot-stopper Paul Hunt.
Hurley got a fantastic effort way on the volley outside the box, which McCabe did impeccably to save. A few moments later, Cobh went close again through another Hurley effort from outside the box.
Shels looked to turn the screw early on in the second half and came out fully determined after the break.
As the visiting pressure mounted, Jaze Kabia went close to netting against his former side, when he hit the post after Ryan Brennan played a neat ball into his path.
While former Dundalk man Ciaran Kilduff headed over from point-blank range inside the penalty area.
Ramblers held their own and put in a disciplined display without the ball to keep Shels at bay. As the conclusion neared, Hunt was called into action and made a world-class stop, while Ben O’Riordan a few minutes earlier had to clear an effort off the line.
It seemed as though it was going to end in a stalemate. But Ramblers had one late push and scored the winner in second-half stoppage time.
Charlie Fleming floated in a cracking cross and Lamb was on hand to head in and spark joyous scenes around St Colman’s Park.
This victory will ensure morale should be high in the Cobh camp ahead of their mouth-watering FAI Cup tie against Dundalk this weekend.
Can lightning possibly strike twice against the Lilywhites at St Colman’s Park?
COBH: Paul Hunt: Charlie Fleming, Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Lyons, Kevin Taylor: Dave Hurley, Matt Lamb: Ian Turner, Stephen O’Leary, Cameron Harlson: Bryan Murphy.
Sub: Andrew Cronin for Murphy (79).
SHELBOURNE: Colin McCabe: Aidan Freil, Oscar Brennan, Luke Byrne, Lorcan Fitzgerald: Daniel McKenna: Karl Moore, Shane Farrell, Ryan Brennan, Jaze Kabia: Ciaran Kilduff.
Subs: Conan Byrne for Farrell (71), James English for Kabia (77), Greg Moorehouse for Moore (89).
Referee: David Dunne.