Cobh Ramblers 1 Bray Wanderers 0
A determined display from Cobh Ramblers saw them secure a well-earned victory over Bray Wanderers in this League Of Ireland First Division clash on Friday night at St Colman’s Park.
Among those in attendance for the game was former Ramblers player and current Nottingham Forest assistant manager Roy Keane. He would have gone away satisfied with the attitude shown by the hosts.
Ramblers made one change from the defeat last week to Shelbourne away, with Ian Turner coming in for Stephen O’Leary.
David Hurley had the first sight on goal in the opening stages, when his curling effort went just over the crossbar from outside the box.
Hurley indeed had another good chance around the quarter of an hour mark, when he drilled his effort just wide after a good team move.
Ramblers were to have the better of the opening exchanges, with Denzil Fernandes and Jaze Kabia linking up very well and causing the Bray defence problems.
From the perspective of the Wicklow side, they had their first sighting of the target through a Dean O’Halloran headed effort, which Ramblers keeper Paul Hunt got down to save well.
While Hugh Douglas went close with an effort on the turn in the box, after Paul Keegan put the ball into the box. That was before Dylan McGlade went on a darting run to the box and forcing a save out of Hunt.
Ramblers were more than holding their own and arguably shaded the first half exchanges. They put together the best move of the half that merited an end product. Fernandes controlled well before playing a fine ball to Stephen Christopher, who crossed but Ian Turner saw his shot saved.
All in all it was a decent half from Cobh and one of their better first half displays since their victory over Shelbourne.
Bray came out purposefully after the break and went close when Derek Daly saw his effort come back off the post.
The visitors had Ramblers on the ropes early in the second half, with Douglas seeing a header come back off the bar, while McGlade had another effort saved by Hunt. Bray must have wondered how they were not ahead after that five-minute cameo.
Cobh withstood the storm and it was they that took the lead. After an initial effort on goal from Hurley was parried by Gabriel Sava, Ian Turner reacted quickest to duly apply the finish from inside the penalty area.
The visitors looked to find a response, with Daly especially looking a danger in possession going forward. But Cobh were proved to be disciplined and focused without the ball, as Cameron Harlson came on for his Ramblers debut.
Cobh kept their good wor-krate going right up until the conclusion and they got a deserved reward, with Hunt making a heroic save to deny a late Douglas header.
These are the kind of performances which Ramblers will want to replicate on a more consistent basis over the coming few months.
COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt: Stephen Christopher, Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Lyons, James McSweeney, Kevin Taylor: Greg Henry, David Hurley, Ian Turner, Denzil Fernandes: Jaze Kabia.
Subs: Michael O’Rourke for Henry (77), Cameron Harlson for Turner (84), Bryan Murphy for Kabia (89).
BRAY WANDERERS: Gabriel Sava: Hugh Douglas, Dylan Barnett, Killian Cantwell, Sean Heaney, Paul Keegan, Dean O’Halloran, Phillip Gannon, Dylan McGlade, Derek Daly, Richard Purdy.
Sub: Joe Doyle for Purdy (79).
Referee: Andrew Mullally (Waterford).