COBH Ramblers face off against Athlone Town in a League Of Ireland First Division basement battle at St Colman’s Park on Easter Monday at 4pm with both sides desperately in need of a victory.
Athlone can overtake the hosts with a win. There have been glimpses here and there of promising play by Ramblers, but crucially that has not materialised into consistent performances and results so far.
The reality is Cobh have now lost seven out of their nine First Division games so far this season, with seven goals scored and 19 conceded.
Ramblers are now six points behind seventh-placed Bray Wanderers (on 10 points) and eight behind the current holders of the final playoff place Treaty United. Those facts do not make for great reading.
However, when speaking last week to the local media, Ramblers boss Murphy urged Cobh supporters to remain patient and to stick with this team.
“The club is working hard off the pitch and there is a lot going on. They want players on the pitch that perform and go out and give it everything. That is what the players are doing.
“That is the message to the Cobh Ramblers fans, is keep with them. They are good lads and they will keep going for you.”
Athlone Town and manager Martin Russell parted ways over the past week in the aftermath of the Midlands derby defeat to Longford Town.
The Director of Football at Athlone Dermot Lennon, a former player and manager at the club, will take temporary charge of the first team while the club carries out its recruitment process for a new full-time manager.
Even though results have not been very good, Athlone have produced glimpses of promising play in the attacking third. Thomas Oluwa, Carlton Ubaezuonu, Glen McAuley and former Cork City and Cobh man Stephen Kenny are players to keep an eye out for.
Athlone make the trip to Cobh off the back of playing at home to Treaty United at home last Friday night.
That ended in a 1-1 draw. After Athlone had taken the lead through a goal from Success Edogun, Treaty equalised in the 89th minute through a goal from former Ramblers man Stephen Christopher.
When the sides met a few weeks ago, Ramblers secured the victory on the road in Athlone in the most dramatic of circumstances. Losing 2-1 after 89 minutes, Danny O’Connell slotted home to equalise, before Beineón O'Brien-Whitmarsh netted with a 94th-minute winner.
Cobh could badly do with the same result.
The games most certainly do not get any easier after Athlone. This Friday it is the small matter of a local derby with Cork City at St Colman’s Park, before Ramblers end the month of April with an away trip to face Bray Wanderers.
There are two challenging games for Cobh as well to kick off the month of May, when Galway United make the trip to Cobh on May 6, before Ramblers travel to face Waterford at the RSC on May 13.