ALTHOUGH they had to withstand a strong finish from Cobh Ramblers, in the end, Athlone Town came away from St Colman’s Park with the three points on Saturday evening.
From a Ramblers perspective, it ultimately was a night of regret and frustration, as they were to lack the end product in front of goal in order to find the back of the net.
Reflecting on his side’s opening home league game of 2019, Cobh manager Stephen Henderson cut a frustrated figure that his troops were unable to forge an opening.
“I thought we started the game really well and put them under a lot of pressure. I remember Pat Dolan, when I went to Cork City there a few years ago, Pat used to say 'who is going to be his hero tonight?'
“What he meant by that was who was going to be the guy who got he head onto the ball and put it into the back of the net.
“That is what we were looking for here tonight. We had no heroes here tonight, we had nobody that would go and attack some of the crosses that went into that box tonight.
“Some of the crosses were phenomenal, whether that was from open play or from the frees that Matt Lamb was putting in.
“That is crying out for someone to go and aggressively attack them. It’s a hero we were looking for.
“We didn’t have any tonight. If you look at the goal, Athlone got one decent cross into the box and the smallest player on the pitch gets across my defender and scores.
“Credit to him it was a great goal. But we had about eight or nine opportunities to do the same thing tonight and we didn’t take it. So overall I am very frustrated.”
As for the positives which Ramblers could take from Saturday’s defeat, Henderson added:
“We played well. We got battered last week against Drogheda and I know it was different circumstances. So we wanted to see how we would react to that.
“I thought we done alright. The pitch was in danger and we had to play a certain way. We didn’t want to take risks on the ball, there were bobbles all over the pitch tonight.
“I thought we done that quite well. We looked to get the crosses in. We played with two up front, with Ian and Jaze up there.
“We were looking for people to go into the box and put their head on it. Just didn’t happen, so very frustrating.
“We were just standing there waiting to see what happens. So we have to try and work on that and see how that goes for Tuesday night against Limerick.”