Danny O'Connell's goal is key for Cobh Ramblers on the road in Athlone

With the First Division game heading towards a stalemate, Cobh's in-form striker pounced in the closing stages
Danny O'Connell's goal is key for Cobh Ramblers on the road in Athlone

Lee Davitt, Cobh Ramblers, heads clear from Glen McCauley, Athlone Town, in the SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Athlone Town Stadium. Picture: Ray Ryan

Athlone Town 1 Cobh Ramblers 2

COBH Ramblers concluded the 2021 League Of Ireland First Division season with victory at Athlone Town.

It made it three wins on the trot for Darren Murphy’s side, who now will look to start building for an improved 2022 campaign.

Ramblers for the trip to the Midlands were without midfielders David O’Leary and Nathan O’Connell through suspension, along with Charlie Lyons through injury.

Athlone looked the more threatening of the two sides in the opening quarter of an hour. Killian Cantwell headed straight at Cobh keeper Sean Barron, from a James Doona cross. The hosts had another chance as Glen McAuley saw his effort come back off the bar.

Ramblers were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute. Jason Abbott stepped up and he duly converted with a composed effort from the spot. Cobh had a chance to get a second on 31 minutes, as Jake Hegarty headed against the post from a corner.

The hosts responded through a Sobowale strike which forced a save out of Barron, with Shane Barnes threatening for Athlone a few minutes later.

Cobh saw proceedings out and held the lead at halftime, with Darren Murphy’s side generally keeping their shape and also defending well.

Ramblers went close early in the second half, as Hegarty fired just wide from a well-worked Cobh move.

Athlone got back on level terms on 61 minutes, as James Doona fired home well with a low strike to the bottom corner.

The sides exchanged shots on 68 minutes. McAuley went close for Athlone before Cobh threatened Stephen O’Leary got in behind the Athlone defence, before Aidan Friel got back to defend well.

With the contest into the last 10 minutes Cobh went back into the lead. From a swift counterattack, Danny O’Connell showed good determination to eventually force the ball home from close range.

Ian Turner, Cobh Ramblers, in action against James Doona, Athlone Town. Picture: Ray Ryan
Ian Turner, Cobh Ramblers, in action against James Doona, Athlone Town. Picture: Ray Ryan

ATHLONE TOWN: Michael Schlingermann; Aidan Friel, Derek Daly, Dan McKenna, Killian Cantwell, Kurtis Byrne, James Doona, Dylan Hand, Tunmise Sobowale, Glen McAuley, Shane Barnes.

Subs: Adam Wixted for Barnes (70), Oisin Duffy for Byrne (85).

COBH RAMBLERS: Sean Barron; Lee Devitt, Ben O’Riordan, Darryl Walsh, John Kavanagh; Jason Abbott; Ian Turner, Pierce Phillips, Stephen O’Leary; Killian Cooper, Jake Hegarty.

Subs: Danny O’Connell for Cooper, James McCarthy for Turner (both 57), Conor Drinan for Phillips, Darren Murphy for Devitt (both 76), Naythan Coleman for Hegarty (85).

Referee: Marc Lynch.

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