Shels end Cobh’s 14-month record as Ramblers fail to close the gap on Waterford

Shels end Cobh’s 14-month record as Ramblers fail to close the gap on Waterford
Cobh Ramblers' Cian Coleman tries to get past Shelbourne's Niall Lanigan, during their SSE Airtricity League first division clash at St Colman's Park. Picture: David Keane.

Cobh Ramblers 0

Shelbourne 1

COBH RAMBLERS lost their 14-month unbeaten home record when they produced their poorest display of the season in this SSE First Division clash against an improving Shelbourne side at a sunny St Colman’s Park on Saturday night.

The game was decided by a James English 62nd minute penalty but, in truth, the famous old Dublin club deserved their win on the night. In fact, they might have won by more if they had taken just some of their second half chances.

It was no surprise then that a very disappointed Cobh boss Stephen Henderson had strong words to say to his side in the home dressing room after the full-time whistle, as they created very few clear-cut opportunities over the 95 minutes.

With the league leaders Waterford losing their first match in 16 outings just 24 hours earlier (2-3) away to UCD, Ramblers had the opportunity to close the gap at the top of the table with the Blues five points clear before kick-off.

This was the third clash of the campaign between the clubs, with Shelbourne snatching a last-minute equaliser with a freak Adam Evans goal in a 1-1 draw back in early March here in Cork.

But Cobh picked up three important points with a lone Karl Caulfield strike giving them the points at Tolka Park in the last weekend of April.

Owen Heary’s side travelled south on the back of a very good 2-1 win at UCD the previous week, but he had to select without the suspended duo of James O’Brien and former Cork City midfielder David O’Leary.

Cobh Ramblers' Chris McCarthy sets up an attack under pressure from Shelbourne's Adam Evans. Picture: David Keane.
Cobh Ramblers' Chris McCarthy sets up an attack under pressure from Shelbourne's Adam Evans. Picture: David Keane.

The home side had the better of a scoreless opening half, but it was Shelbourne who were the team on top after the break.

Evans, who had scored on their last visit this season, went close just after half time when his shot from 15 yards was blocked and flew out for a corner.

Then came the crucial goal just after the hour mark.

Shels centre-forward English took on Ramblers’ centre-back James McSweeney as the attacker attempted to cut along the endline contact was made and English went down so Mayo referee Damien McGrath pointed to the penalty spot.

The Shelbourne number nine picked himself up and sent the ball into the left corner as goalkeeper Hunt went the other way.

That was the first league goal conceded by the Cobh captain in three and a half months on home soil, the last team to hit the net at St Colman’s Park were Athlone Town in their (1-5) defeat on March 18.

This was English’s fifth league goal of he season and set up the win because after that, there was only going to be one winner, as the visitors created all the chanced in the closing half hour.

English should have had a second goal, but he shot over the crossbar from 12 yards when in a good position, Hunt dived to his right to save a low shot from substitute Lyons.

The home goalkeeper then made a fine tip over save to keep out an Evans pile driver from an acute angle, as the Dublin side pushed to increase their lead.

Ramblers manager Henderson introduced three substitutes but experienced centre back Alan Byrne won every ball in the air and goalkeeper Dean Delaney was rarely threatened as Cobh lost their long unbeaten home record.

They remain, as the weekend started, five points behind the top side Waterford who they meet twice in the remaining 11 league matches.

One feels that they should get a response from the vocal urgings of boss Henderson, who gave his young squad a verbal lashing after the defeat.

They have the chance to get back up on the horse at home to Athlone Town next Saturday night.

COBH: Hunt; McSweeney, O’Riordan, C McCarthy; Fleming, Coleman, Donnellan, Abbott, McNamara; Mylod, Swords.

Subs: Whelan for McNamara (68), Lowth and Murphy for Fleming and Donnellan (both 82), Christopher, O’Donnell, Sadys.

SHELBOURNE: Delaney; O’Connor, Byrne, Pendergast, McEnteer; Kavanagh, Lanigan, Murphy, Grimes; English, Evans.

Subs: Hughes and Lyons for Murphy and Grimes (both 60), Ashe for English (90), Molloy, Brown, Rooney, Quinn.

Attendance: 359. Referee: Damien McGrath (Mayo).

More in this section

Sponsored Content