Wexford FC 1 Cobh Ramblers 2
COBH Ramblers picked up their first victory of the 2021 First Division campaign against Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night.
An impressive opening half performance set Ramblers on their way to a crucial win and what they hope will kick start their season.
From last week’s Munster Derby draw away to Treaty United, Stuart Ashton made three changes to his Cobh side for the trip to Wexford, as a number of Ramblers players missed out through injury.
Chris O’Reilly and Killian Cooper came in for the maiden starts of this season, while the longest-serving Ramblers first-team player Ben O’Riordan also made a return to the Cobh 11.
Cobh had the upper hand in the opening stages and Ian Turner got a brilliantly struck effort from long range away in the opening minutes of the contest, but Wexford keeper Jimmy Corcoran was on hand to tip the ball over. While Ramblers also went close through a header by Cian Murphy which was also well saved.
Ramblers went into the lead in the ninth minute, as Ciaran Griffin finished cooly to an empty net, after dispossessing the Wexford shot-stopper outside the box.
The visitors continued their bright opening to the game and showing good work rate on and off the ball, with Turner going close with a header from a Darryl Walsh cross.
Wexford had their first proper sighting of goal when Jack Doherty ran into the box and tried to get an effort away, but Murphy did well to put him under pressure in the Cobh defence.
On the half-hour mark, Ramblers had a pair of efforts within moments of each other from Griffin and John Kavanagh, which both went wide of the mark.
Cobh had a great chance to double their lead through O’Reilly, who controlled and turned well to get a strike away that went narrowly wide. Turner got a well-struck Ramblers effort away inside the box which was saved.
The away side would double their lead just before the break. Killian Cooper was to open his Cobh scoring account, with a great run into the box and a fine finish to the bottom corner. That capped off a very decent opening half Ramblers performance.
Wexford made attacking substitutes at halftime to try and turn the tide, with Success Edogun making a difference right away for the hosts, who upped the intensity upon the restart.
Paul Fox fired over from the edge of the box on the hour mark, as they continued to ask questions of the Ramblers defence.
From a Cobh point of view, David O’Leary blasted a long-range effort not far away off target as the game headed into the final 20 minutes.
Although Wexford were still searching for a route back into the game and putting the pressure on, Ramblers went close for a third with a Turner shot saved by Wexford keeper Corcoran.
Heading into the final 10 minutes, Wexford went close as Luke Turner headed just over from a Jack Doherty free-kick, while Edogun also was to threaten with an effort of his own.
At the other end, Cooper had a good chance to get another for Ramblers, but his effort was saved.
Wexford did get a goal back late on, as Kyle Robinson headed in to ensure a grandstand finish. While Kevin Williams went close for Cobh in the dying stages.
Jimmy Corcoran, Dan Tobin, Alex O’Hanlon, Luke Turner, Paul Cleary, James Carroll; Conor Crowley, Karl Manahan, Paul Fox, Harry Groome, Jack Doherty.
Success Edogun for Groome, Karl Fitzsimons for Carroll (both h-t), Kyle Robinson for Manahan (66).
Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Darryl Walsh, Lee Devitt, Ben O’Riordan, Ian Turner, Killian Cooper, David O’Leary, Cian Murphy, Ciaran Griffin, Chris O’Reilly.
Naythan Coleman for Griffin (79), Kevin Williams for Turner, Jake Hegarty for Cooper (both 87).