WITH Shelbourne making the trip down, Cobh Ramblers will be playing host to one of the favourites for promotion in the 2021 League Of Ireland First Division on Saturday night at St Colman’s Park.
From a Cobh perspective, they will be hoping for an improved performance and result against the Dublin side.
Ramblers have lost two of their home games 4-0 this campaign, along with a draw over Bray and Stuart Ashton’s side will be hoping desperately they can start turning their fortunes around on home turf sooner rather than later.
Cobh in fact have to go back to August of last year for the last occasion they were victorious at St Colman’s Park, a win against now Premier Division side Longford Town.
Last time out, Ramblers were to suffer a late defeat to Cabinteely, in a game that saw Cobh create a number of decent chances.
Conceding with just a few minutes late was a blow, as it looked like another game where the Ramblers performance would have warranted at least a draw, if not all three points.
Cobh have conceded a total of 14 goals to date, with only Wexford leaving in more.
While Ramblers have in the attacking sense scored only five goals so far, which is the lowest in the First Division other than Wexford.
Ramblers have been competitive for the most part on the majority of their games to date, but ultimately the results have not gone the way they would have liked and there is still room for improvement.
Cobh have been competitive and there have been positive aspects to the majority of their performances, but ultimately errors have proved costly.
Speaking during the past week, Cobh Ramblers attacker Conor Drinan feels that given the competitive nature of the 2021 First Division, the side will need to be switched on and focused to achieve positive results.
“I suppose with the First Division this year and last year, no matter where you go teams are going to be tough.
“There are no easy games in this division. I suppose the First Division has strengthened this year.
“That includes ourselves as well. So I reckon that no matter where you go, it is just you have got put in a performance.
“Weather that is away from home or at home, you are going to have to be at the top of your game to get a result in this league.
We feel if we can perform to the best of our ability, we are capable of beating anybody.
“I always like to get on the scoresheet and assist my teammates. So I am just hoping I can provide all of that.”
Shelbourne prior to the 2021 First Division season commencing were seen as the favourites in the eyes of many for promotion.
One look at the quality and ability of the squad manager Ian Morris has to choose from tells you why.
Yoyo Mahdy knows all about scoring in the First Division, having scored on a very regular basis his time at UCD.
This was quite a statement signing for Shels, who fought off Premier Division clubs for his signature. Former Premier Division and FAI Cup winner at Cork City in Kevin O’Connor also is with Shelbourne, while the likes of JJ Lunney, Ryan Brennan and Luke Byrne are also among those who bring plenty of experience and quality to the Reds.
Shels won 1-0 at home last week at Tolka Park against Athlone. On the road, they won 3-1 both against Cork City and also against Cabinteely.
Along with UCD, Shelbourne are the only remaining unbeaten team in the First Division this season.
Cobh will be hoping for a repeat of their most recent home meetings with Shels, with Ramblers winning both of their meetings against the Reds in 2019 at St Colman’s Park.
Matt Lamb headed in a second-half stoppage-time goal for a 1-0 success in August of 2019. While in March of that year Ramblers also won 2-1 at home against Shelbourne, with Denzil Fernandes and Jaze Kabia both on the scoresheet against a club they both would shortly afterwards make the move to sign for.
Starting with this Shelbourne clash, Ramblers will hope to find that big display from somewhere within them and hope they can turn St Colman’s Park back into a venue where sides can expect a difficult evening of football.