COBH Ramblers interim manager Darren Murphy was a proud man as he reflected on his side’s commendable 2-2 draw with Shelbourne in the SSE Airtricity League First Division at Tolka Park on Friday.
Despite being all of 23 points behind the Dublin outfit in the second-tier table, the Leesiders defied the odds to come away with a share of the spoils. This result now leaves Ramblers just two places and eight points off the promotion play-off spots with 10 games still to play.
“Really proud of the lads. I said it to them inside, we had a game plan and we stuck to it. I thought we carried it out really well. For me, the outstanding part was the work-rate,” Murphy acknowledged after the game.
“Obviously Shels are a really good side, a really good football team. You can see why they’re top of the league. Every point matters going into the last series. We’re going game-to-game at the moment and that’s all we can do. Probably judge it over 10 games and see how it goes.”
Following their heroics against Liffey Wanderers in the FAI Cup five days earlier, namesakes Danny and Nathan O’Connell were once again on target - cancelling out Shels strikes from Michael O’Connor and Dayle Rooney respectively. Murphy is understandably thrilled with the recent contributions of the duo, who were recruited mid-season by his predecessor Stuart Ashton.
While he was in the dugout for the Cup win over the aforementioned Liffey Wanderers, this was Murphy’s first outing as temporary head coach of Ramblers. A former player with the St Colman’s Park side, he also served as the club’s U19 boss more recently. Friday’s game brought back fond memories for the 36-year-old.
“I actually made my debut here as a player as well for Cobh Ramblers. Interesting fact for anyone that wants to know! I really like this pitch. I always liked it when I was playing. It’s a massive step up and as I said, we’re just going into it game-by-game and see how we get on. Try to give these lads as much experience and knowledge as we can,” Murphy added.
“From everyone, from the backroom inside and the players in the squad, we’re just really proud of our performance. That’s all we asked for at the end of the day, for them to empty their tanks and give it their all. They did tonight again.”