Liffey Wanderers 0
Cobh Ramblers 2
(After extra time)
NEW signing Nathan O’Connell made it a dream first start by netting an extra time wonderstrike, as Cobh Ramblers progressed to the next round of the FAI Cup, following this opening round encounter against Liffey Wanderers at the UCD Bowl on Sunday afternoon.
Darren Murphy was the person in the Ramblers manager dugout for this cup clash, being appointed interim Cobh boss until the end of the 2021 season following the departure of Stuart Ashton earlier in the week.
For his first game in charge, Murphy handed a Ramblers debut to Nathan O’Connell.
Leinster Senior League side Liffey Wanderers came into this tie intending on causing a cup upset and seeking to claim a League Of Ireland scalp. Sean Noble found a bit of space just past the ten minute mark, firing over the crossbar from a decent position. Clayton Maher put in a fine delivery from a free kick for the hosts on 25 minutes.
Cobh started the game slightly the better side in the opening half, but Liffey grew into the contest and the exchanges for quite even for large portions of what was an captivating opening half.
Ramblers themselves came trying to play on the front foot and looked determined to impress their new boss, with Charlie Lyons heading wide with a glancing effort from an Ian Turner corner kick.
By the half hour mark this contest was still very finely poised. Liffey were by this stage certainly well in this game, with a Maher corner kick causing the Cobh defence a few nervous moments.
One of the better Ramblers moves of the opening half came when David O’Leary did well to set Danny O’Connell away, who crossed for Killian Cooper, but Liffey defended well to avert the danger inside the box.
Ramblers ended the half strongly and they had a great opportunity as half time approached to hit the front. Nathan O’Connell played a fine through ball into the path of Ian Turner, but Liffey keeper Lee Doyle made a great save.
But the sides went in level at the half time break with everything very much still up for grabs for both teams.
Ramblers looked to up the intensity after the break to try and forge an opening. Darren Murphy fired over the bar from a free kick in a decent position on the 60 minute mark, while Ben O’Riordan flashed a headed effort over from a corner kick moments later.
By this stage Ramblers were seeing the better of the exchanges, as Lee Devitt blasted an effort off target from a fine position on the edge of the box.
If VAR was in operation at the UCD Bowl, it could have been required to determine if Cobh midfielder Darren Murphy’s effort went over the line, after what was a rocket of a strike which came down off the underside of the crossbar.
Through a free header Ciaran Griffin headed wide with a glorious chance, as the chances started racking up for Cobh.
Ramblers continued to forge the breakthrough but continued to not punish from the chances created, with Ciaran Griffin going close as Cobh remained piling on the pressure.
With the game in second half stoppage time Cobh were throwing everything at it to score in normal time, Nathan O’Connell went close to converting following good footwork inside the penalty area.
Despite being in large control for the second half, Ramblers could not find the breakthrough and hard work from Liffey took this game to extra time.
A few minutes into extra time Ramblers successfully converted to finally hit the front. Picking up the ball out wide , Nathan O’Connell drifted in before unleashing a cracker of a wonderstrike to the corner of the net.
Ramblers ensured their name was in the hat for the next round draw, when Danny O'Connell finished neatly his first goal for the club inside the box.
Liffey Wanderers: Lee Doyle, Adam Deegan, Curtis Murphy, Dean Murphy, Dylan Roche, Aaron Sheehan, Sean Noble, Conor Riddick, Jason Doyle, Aaron Montgomery, Clayton Maher.
Subs: Blessed Omobojor for Noble (75), Gary Young for Sheehan, Stephen O’Callaghan for Maher (both 81), Anthony Gray for Deegan (99), Giovanni Boccarossa for Curtis Murphy, Paul Mooney for Dean Murphy (105).
Cobh Ramblers: Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Ben O’Riordan, Charlie Lyons, Lee Devitt; David O’Leary; Ian Turner, Nathan O’Connell, Darren Murphy, Danny O’Connell; Killian Cooper.
Subs: Pierce Phillips for Turner, Ciaran Griffin for Murphy ( both 67), Fionn Duggan for Kavanagh (81), Cian Murphy for Cooper (88), Stephen O’Leary for Nathan O’Connell (104).
Referee: Gavin Colfer.