Cobh Ramblers are facing a tricky trip to title challengers Galway

John Caulfield's side will be heavy favourites against the Cork club
Cobh Ramblers are facing a tricky trip to title challengers Galway

Cobh Ramblers' John Kavanagh goes past Bray Wanderers' Kevin Knight and Daragh Levinston. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

AFTER a free weekend, Cobh Ramblers are back in action with a trip to face John Caulfield’s Galway United tonight.

Darren Murphy’s side suffered a bruising defeat at home to Bray Wanderers last time out, especially so because Cobh were the better side for large parts of the game and had a number of decent goalscoring chances.

Bray had a lot to thank goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness for following a number of saves to deny Cobh.

Ramblers must have wondered how they came away with nothing to show for their efforts but, as they discovered in their defeat to Wexford having led 2-1, football can be ruthless and game management for the 90 minutes is vital.

Realistically, it will be a big task for Ramblers to get something from Eamonn Deacy Park, especially against a strong Galway side that many are tipping to be firm players in the promotion race.

But Ramblers, as proven by going to Tolka Park last term and drawing 2-2 with Shelbourne, can go to promotion favourites and produce results.

Speaking ahead of the trip to Galway, Murphy said of the season to date: “Five games in; I think the performances have been really good. Obviously, the results haven’t been on our side and the table doesn’t lie so we have to look into that.

“Taking chances; I have said it after every game that we need to take our chances. Looking at the teams we have played so far, there is no reason why we can’t kick on and be a side challenging.

“Overall I am pleased with the team, I am pleased with their performances. We have been good in games and we have worked hard.

“It is about putting chances away and putting games to bed; that bit of experience comes after time.

“We have a team with lads making their debuts in the League Of Ireland. You have to be patient with that kind of stuff as well.

“We see the quality that they are going to bring and no one is playing in our first 11 that hasn’t earned it yet.”

Full moon over the floodlights between Cobh Ramblers and Bray Wanderers. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Full moon over the floodlights between Cobh Ramblers and Bray Wanderers. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Galway will head into this weekend’s fixtures three points behind table-toppers Cork City, although Galway have a game in hand.

The men from the west of Ireland suffered a defeat last time out away to Longford Town so they will hope to keep a promotion push on track with victory over Ramblers.

Former Cork City boss Caulfield is into his second full season as Galway manager and without question, promotion has to be the aim for them again.

There are two former Cobh Ramblers players in the Galway side in David Hurley and Charlie Lyons. Both were impressive while at Ramblers and their time at St Colman’s Park proved a useful development ground towards the move to full-time football which was offered to them at Galway.

“John has been around a long time now and he always puts a decent team out on the field,” Murphy said of his opposite number tonight.

“We would be expecting a battle from Galway. They have got some good players. But we have got good players and we have got a good team, we have got a good squad.

“We have got some great lads in our team. We are starting to see them flourish now and once they hit form, we could put it up to any team in that division.”

Off the pitch these are interesting times for the Tribesmen. Members of Galway United were due to vote this week on a proposed takeover of the club by the Comer Group, whose overall fortune is estimated at over €1bn.

When Cobh made the trip to Galway last July, it was Caulfield’s side that were 2-0 victors thanks to goals from Wilson Waweru and current City striker Ruairi Keating.

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