AFTER coming from behind to secure a crucial victory last weekend, Cobh Ramblers will be hoping to secure more points on the board when they travel to face Bray Wanderers on Friday night.
Stuart Ashton’s side got the right response from his team after the Treaty United home game two weeks ago, with Ramblers moving to within four points of the play-off positions following their win over Wexford.
Cobh will now be looking to build on that from their trip to Wicklow and hope for a similar performance and result to their last away outing, the 2-1 win against UCD.
The race for the promotion playoffs looks set to be highly competitive and most teams in the First Division at this stage will still harbour ambitions of finishing in those playoff spots.
“We are looking forward to the game after the result last week,” Ramblers boss Ashton told The Echo ahead of the game Friday in Bray.
“We need to get the consistency there, so we will be going there as always looking for a win. But again that needs to be backed up by our performances, which have been inconsistent.
“So we are hoping we can start putting that right, which we have done in the last few games and we are getting there.
“Gary Cronin will have them(Bray Wanderers) organized and they are a good footballing side. So we know what to expect there and it will be a competitive game as always.
“If we do as we showed last week against Wexford, we had the blip against Treaty, but in the weeks before as well. If we can get those performances then we can be a match for anyone in the First Division on our day.
“That is what we will be working on during the week in training and hoping to take into the game on Friday.”
Ashton added: “That is our aim first and foremost, that we are competitive and we are giving teams a game.
“I think we have done that for most of the season. But unfortunately we have conceded what we would call ourselves silly goals.
“Which is frustrating because we know we are better than that. So we as a group and as a team have got to learn from those things.”
In the attacking third of the pitch, new additions this term such as Killian Cooper, Jake Hegarty and Ciaran Griffin have added to Cobh’s scoring options in attack.
When asked if there is a greater spread to the Ramblers attack this term, Ashton replied:
“Everyone wants to score a goal. But for the group and the team, that we know in situations not only our main strikers can score, but we have got fellas in and around them that are chipping in.
“We are encouraging the guys to get into the box and express themselves. If we can keep doing that, it makes for better results hopefully.”
Bray were held to a 0-0 draw away to Athlone Town last time out.
The threat of the Wicklow side however can be evidenced from their last home league game, which was a 4-0 victory against UCD.
Heading into Friday’s clash, Bray are in the 5th and final playoff position.
That is also currently four points ahead of Stuart Ashton’s side, which showcases the impact a positive Cobh result from this contest could have.
Gary Cronin’s Wanderers outfit are tipped by many to be in the promotion shakeup and with players of the ability of Brandon Kavanagh, Conor Clifford and Gary Shaw on their books, it is clear to understand why.
Shamrock Rovers loanee Kavanagh needs no introduction, having been shortlisted for the PFAI Young Player of the Year and First Division Player of the Year in 2020.
Bray have always been there or thereabouts at the business end of the campaign during Cronin’s reign and they will hope for the same in 2021 Ramblers were victors after a decent showing against UCD in their last trip on the road.
Cobh in recent times have produced great away performances and results in the First Division.
They will be hoping for the same on Friday night.
In terms of the Cobh squad heading into Friday’s game, Dave O’Leary is set to miss out on the Bray game through a shin injury.
While Cian Murphy and Conor Drinan are both also rated as doubtful for the Wanderers clash.
Meanwhile, Cobh Ramblers video analyst Marc O’Neill is departing the club to take up a role at English Premier League side Brighton.