Cobh Ramblers 1 Cabinteely 0
COBH Ramblers kept their hopes of reaching the promotion play-offs alive after this victory over Cabinteely at St Colman’s Park.
Conor Drinan was the hero in the 87th minute, heading home an Ian Turner corner. This win moved Stuart Ashton’s side ahead of Cork City and into eighth place in the table and six points off the play-offs. They still have a good bit of ground to make up, but this result will be much welcomed from a Ramblers perspective, after their recent losses on the road.
Ramblers made two changes from the trip away to Galway United last time out. John Kavanagh made a welcomed return to the Ramblers starting 11 for this particular clash, with David O’Leary also making a return to the Cobh line-up.
For Cabinteely, Pat Devlin handed a debut to goalkeeper Michael Quinn, who is the son of former Republic Of Ireland international Niall Quinn.
Although it was scoreless after the opening 45 minutes, Ramblers had two excellent chances to go into the lead just prior to the break.
Danny O’Connell had an early effort for Ramblers when he flashed an effort over the crossbar from a decent position. Moments later at the other end, Kieran Marty Waters threatened for Cabo, but Sean Barron reacted well to avert the danger.
Around the 10-minute mark, Naythan Coleman went on a good driving Cobh run forward before crossing well, with Jake Hegarty just unable to get the vital touch to put the ball home.
Cabinteely had a decent spell around the quarter of an hour mark and had a few openings. Conor Knight was to tee up Ben Feeney, but he fired wide with a low strike.
The visitors fired another warning shot at the half-hour mark. Conor Knight did well to drift inside before shooting just over with a left-footed effort.
Hegarty had a golden opportunity and by that stage the best opportunity of the first half to put Ramblers into the lead. The former Midleton FC man could not properly connect with his shot from what was a very good position after a Sean Barron long punt forward was diverted into his path.
As half time approached, Cobh had another great chance to hit the front. After a corner kick broke into his path Naythan Coleman headed narrowly over the crossbar from a very good position inside the penalty area.
The home supporters were wondering how Ramblers did not hit the front on the hour mark, John Kavanagh floated a delightful ball into the box, which managed to evade all of the Cobh players looking to attack it.
O’Connell went close again moments later for Cobh, with Jem Campion unable to fire home for Cabinteely as they hit on the break.
Ramblers continued to search for the crucial breakthrough and went very close on 52 minutes.
Ian Turner played a neat ball into the path of Danny O’Connell, with his shot spinning on the turn forcing Cabinteely shot-stopper Quinn into a fine save.
Keith Dalton almost punished the Cobh defence by blasting narrowly wide of the mark, as this was turning into an open and competitive second-half affair.
Ramblers keeper Barron was forced into a good save when Eoin McPhillips' curling attempt went close for Cabinteely heading into the final twenty minutes.
Given where both teams currently side in the table, there was a sense of urgency at either end in search of a winner. Killian Cooper was introduced and went close after linking up well with O’Connell.
Ramblers did manage however to open the scoring with 87 minutes on the clock. From an Ian Turner's corner kick, Conor Drinan positioned himself well and headed in well to the back of the net.
Campion went close for Cabinteely in stoppage time, but Cobh held on for the win.
Attention turns to the FAI Cup next weekend. For Cobh, they will face Leinster Senior League side Liffey Wanderers. That game has been fixed to be played at the UCD Bowl for Sunday next with a 2pm kick-off.