Cobh Ramblers 1 Shelbourne 2
DESPITE what was an improved performance from Cobh Ramblers, they were to suffer defeat at the hands of Shelbourne at St Colman’s Park on Saturday night.
It was another cruel blow for Ramblers in the 2021 campaign, who once again went close with a commendable effort, but ended up with nothing to show for their work.
Cobh, who came into this particular contest still searching for their first home victory of the 2021 season, made two changes from the defeat last time out away to Cabinteely, with Charlie Lyons and Conor Drinan coming in for Darryl Walsh and Jake Hegarty.
Shels made one change from their last outing, with McAuley in for the suspended Mikey O’Connor.
The opening half saw a great display produced by Ramblers. The home side were to go into the lead and could easily have extended that advantage if it was not for a missed penalty kick.
From a Cobh perspective, Killian Cooper did put the ball into the net after eight minutes played, but it was ruled out for offside. But it was a bright start from the home side, who looked determined in the early exchanges.
Shelbourne had their first big opportunity around the 10-minute mark, as Ally Gilchrist headed just narrowly over in the box from a corner kick by Kevin O’Connor. That was moments after Yoyo Mahdy blasted an effort wide of the mark for the away side.
By the midway stage of the opening half, Shels were looking to find a route back into the contest, but they were facing a Ramblers side who at this stage were producing a very solid work-rate. Ryan Brennan, who scored the winner for Shels last time out against Athlone Town, was unable to steer his headed effort on target from another corner kick effort for the visiting side.
But it was Cobh that were to strike and go into the lead around the quarter of an hour mark. Following a well-worked move and good ball across by Ian Turner, Conor Drinan was to steer the ball home with a neat close-range finish.
Ramblers were to have another effort around the 30-minute mark in the contest, as John Kavanagh was not too far away with a well-struck shot from long range.
Cobh were handed the perfect opportunity to double their advantage when they were awarded a penalty kick, following a Shelbourne handball.
Charlie Lyons stepped up to take the spot-kick but Shels shot-stopper Brendan Clarke was to make a very impressive save to keep the penalty out, while also showing great reactions to deny an effort on the rebound by Turner.
As the opening half edged towards the conclusion, Drinan went close with another chance for Ramblers, doing well to turn before going close with his strike.
Lee Devitt had a good early second-half opportunity to get on the score sheet for Cobh, but he was unable to score.
The away side, who looked to turn the screw and up their intensity going forward after the break, went very close through a well-worked move and a Glen McAuley effort, but Sean Barron in the home goal was to make a fine save.
But the Shelbourne second-half pressure paid off and they were to find an equalizer through John Ross Wilson. After good work from Farrell, his deflected shot found the bottom corner of the net.
It was end-to-end stuff in the second half, with both sides pushing on in pursuit of a winner.
Following the concession, Cobh looked to regroup and David O’Leary tested the away shot-stopper with a well-struck effort.
Heading into the final twenty minutes of play, George Poynton had an opportunity and a half to put Shels into the lead, but Barron was to make an excellent close-range save to keep him out, with Shane Farrell also going close.
Through a well-worked move, Shelbourne were to strike for the winner through a well-taken Ryan Brennan header.
Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Charlie Lyons, Cian Murphy, Naythan Coleman: Lee Devitt: Chris O’Reilly, David O’Leary, Ian Turner, Conor Drinan: Killian Cooper.
Darryl Walsh for Coleman (58), Kevin Williams for Drinan, Darren Murphy for O’Leary (both 85).
Brendan Clarke; Alexander Gilchrist, Luke Byrne, Michael Barker, Kevin O’Connor: Shane Farrell, Ryan Brennan, JJ Lunney, Brian McManus: Yoyo Mahdy, Glen McAuley.
John Ross Wilson for Barker, George Poynton for Mahdy (both 55), Dayle Rooney for McAuley (83).