Ramblers are tickled pink after beating Wexford ahead of the new campaign

Ramblers are tickled pink after beating Wexford ahead of the new campaign
Cobh Ramblers' Dave Hurley tries to get away from Wexford's Shane Griffin and Darragh O'Connor, during their pre-season friendly at St Colman's Park. Picture: David Keane.

Cobh Ramblers 3

Wexford 1

COBH RAMBLERS continued their preparations ahead of the 2019 League Of Ireland season with this well-earned victory over Wexford at St Colman’s Park on Saturday.

The Ramblers squad is shaping up very well ahead of the new campaign, with Stephen Henderson and co looking primed for the First Division battle to get underway. Similar to that of the Waterford Munster Senior Cup game, Ramblers rallied after conceding and they turned things around to secure this win.

It was another opportunity for Ramblers boss Henderson to experiment and mull over his options ahead of the start of the new First Division campaign, which starts in less than three weeks time.

Fresh from signing for Ramblers after recently training with Cork City, former Preston man Charlie Lyons got a run out during the opening 45 minutes.

While young players such as James O’Driscoll, Michael O’Rourke, Stephen O’Connor and Matthew Lamb were to showcase what they could be capable of over the season ahead.

Wexford began this particular encounter brightly. Danny Furlong is back at the club with whom he has been a prolific goal scorer for in the past.

Furlong indeed threatened early on, with his effort saved by Paul Hunt in the Ramblers goal inside the opening quarter of an hour.

For their own part, Cobh went close through a header by Jaze Kabia. However, Joe Walshe got down well to save in the visiting goal.

Wexford did well in the opening half and took the lead just beyond the half an hour mark.

After being played in well out on the edge of the box, Emmet Nugent tucked the ball home with what was a neat finish.

A David Hurley curler went wide of the mark for Ramblers late in the half, as it was Wexford who led at the break, after what was generally an even enough contest between these two sides.

Cobh made a number of changes at the half time break. Among those to come on was Darren Murphy, who spent the second half of last season with Limerick in the Premier Division.

That was one of eight changes which Ramblers made for the second half of action.

The screw started to turn in the second 45, as Wexford faded and Ramblers gradually took over.

The hosts got their equaliser and subsequently went in front with a quick-fire double.

First off some deft footwork and a ball in from Kabia found Murphy, who tapped the ball into the back of the net from a few yards out.

Kabia was a potent attacking outlet during the second half and was involved as well with impressive work for the second Ramblers goal, doing well to cut in and set up Cian Leonard, who got into space inside the penalty area before finishing coolly.

Stephen Kenny went close to extending Conh’s lead, but his attempt went off target, before moments later shooting low for an effort which the Wexford shot-stopper was able to gather.

Ramblers were in control by the latter stages and they got a third goal with 10 minutes remaining on the clock.

Following an impressive charge forward and subsequent cross from Stephen Christopher, who was deployed in a full back position on the day, Leonard hit the target for his second with what was a fine headed effort.

Leonard could have ended the game with a hat-trick, but his header was kept out after Wexford sub keeper Corey Chambers was to scramble the ball away.

Ramblers have a friendly against another First Division side in Limerick to look forward to next week at St Colman’s Park.

COBH: Paul Hunt: Stephen Christopher, Greg Henry, James McSweeney, Charlie Lyons: Matt Lamb, Shane O’Connor, David Hurley, Denzil Fernandes, Jaze Kabia, Stephen O’Leary.

Subs: Adam Mylod, Ben O’Riordan, Stephen O’Connor, Michael O’Rourke, Darren Murphy, Cian Leonard, James O’Driscoll and Stephen Kenny for Hunt, Henry, Lyons, Fernandes, Hurley, Shane O’Connor, Lamb and O’Leary (all h-t)

WEXFORD: Joe Walshe: Liam McCartan, Sean Kelly , Darragh O’Connor, Owen McCormack, Shane Griffin(trialist), Emmet Nugent, Danny Doyle, Danny Furlong, Nika Arevadze, Andrew Farrell.

Subs: Mark Birrane for Kelly (h-t), Corey Chambers for Walshe, Ben Brown for Arevadze (both 65), Craig O’Reilly for O’Connor, Ryan Nolan for Doyle (both 75), Ciaran Paige for Farrell (85).

Referee: Jason Mannix.

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