COBH RAMBLERS bring the curtain down on a very successful first half of the season when they face Wexford Youths at St Colman’s Park tomorrow night with a 7.45pm kick-off in Cobh.
Stephen Henderson’s boys are just two points behind leaders, Waterford at the top of the First Division promotion and they have been further encouraged by a battling 0-0 draw with the Blues in their last home outing last weekend.
The status quo has remained at the top in the race to be crowned First Division champions and only the winners gain promotion to the top flight at the end of the season with three Premier Division clubs going in the opposite direction at season’s end.
Cobh boss and snappy dresser Henderson says that his young side, with an average age of 23, can stay the course when the football resumes on June 25 and feels his charges are actually getting better and better with each passing fixture.
“We are in this promotion battle with Waterford and UCD or whoever for the long haul and I have no doubts about the staying power of Cobh Ramblers.
"In fact, I have no doubts about the club’s ability to survive in the top flight if we were to go up at the end of the season.
"We went very close to it last year losing in the play-offs to Drogheda United and that whole experience will stand to us when we get to the business end of the season this year.”
Ramblers will be missing injured stars Karl Caulfield and Cian Kingston again tomorrow night in their last home game before the break.
But club captain Chris McCarthy is back from suspension and came on as a late substitute for Craig Donnellan in last Saturday night’s goalless draw with Waterford.
“Wexford will be tricky opponents for us because no one bar Longford Town have hammered them and the week before they beat Shels’ so they are hard to predict.
"They will be hurting from that heavy loss to Longford and we have to be wary of a backlash tomorrow night,” he added.
“In general, they are a fairly physical side, a bit like Waterford.
"They have a way of playing and they play to their strengths but we stood up to a full-time outfit in Waterford last week and there’s no reason why we can’t do the same tonight and chase a win.
"Waterford are playing away to Athlone Town and that could be an interesting match too,” he added.