Cobh Ramblers 3 Wexford 2
COBH Ramblers climbed above Cork City in the SSE Airtricity League First Division table and into eighth place as they came from behind to defeat Wexford 3-2 at St Colman’s Park on Saturday evening.
Paul Fox’s first-half finish had given the bottom club the lead but second-half goals from Charlie Lyons, Killian Cooper and substitute Ciaran Griffin was enough to earn Ramblers their fourth win of the season despite Lorcan Fitzgerald’s late consolation.
Rams manager Stuart Ashton made three changes to his starting 11 that were beaten 2-0 by Treaty United last weekend with Cian Murphy, Stephen O’Leary, and Killian Cooper replacing Darryl Walsh, James McCarthy, and Conor Drinan.
The home side started brightly and they created their first opportunity inside two minutes but the lively Stephen O’Leary sent his shot from the edge of the penalty area looping just wide.
Ian Ryan’s side may still be cut adrift at the foot of the division but they have been a lot more competitive since the former Shamrock Rovers, and Shelbourne defender took over back in the middle of May.
The visitors restricted and nullified the threat of the Rams, who needed to move the ball a lot quicker, and they were the next to go close to breaking the deadlock midway through the first half.
Evan Farrell found himself in space on the right and with the ball at his feet but his quick snapshot from distance sailed over the crossbar.
That near-miss seemed to finally spark the game into life as Cobh then had a shot of their own at the other end of the pitch moments later but Lee Devitt’s ambitions weren’t rewarded as his long free-kick drifted harmlessly wide of the target.
Then just shy of the half an hour mark Wexford created the best opportunity of the first half at the end of the best-attacking move from either side in the first 45.
Good play in the build-up and a clever pass through the heart of the Cobh defence by Farrell released Jack Doherty inside the box but the striker’s powerful strike from an increasingly tight angle flashed across the face of goal.
Centre-back Paul Cleary twice rose highest in quick succession to stop Cobh’s dangerous deliveries from causing too many problems as the hosts continued to struggle for creativity.
And with the first half drawing to a close, they were punished as Wexford deservedly took the lead through Paul Fox.
Striker Kyle Robinson broke clear on goal and was unfortunate to see his shot come back against the far left upright but Fox was alert to the rebound and squeezed it in past the recovering defenders on the line.
And they nearly doubled their lead in injury time but goalkeeper Sean Barron did brilliantly to tip Jack Doherty’s close-range volley wide of his near post.
Ramblers were forced to play in their changed strip of white jersey and socks with light blue shorts due to referee Alan Patchell deeming their usual home strip to be too similar to Wexford’s away kit.
After more than likely being on the receiving end of some strong words from Stuart Ashton during the break, Cobh started the second period with a change in intensity compared to the first.
And they levelled the scores just three minutes after the restart in a similar manner to the goal they conceded.
Darren Murphy’s free-kick cannoned against the base of the left post and Charlie Lyons reacted well to slot the ball into the net from six yards for his second goal of the season.
The momentum was now with Cobh and shortly after Jake Hegarty was denied by a sensational save from Jimmy Corcoran, they completed the turnaround on the hour with Killian Cooper heading across the line after Lyon’s initial header hit the bar.
They had to survive a couple of scares before finally wrapping up the three points with 14 minutes remaining when substitute Ciaran Griffin nodded Ian Turner’s cross into the bottom left corner although Wexford would score again in injury time through Lorcan Fitzgerald.