A first strike of the season from Matthew Whelan and a stunning 25-yarder from Shane Lowth gave Cobh Ramblers a 2-0 home win over Avondale United in the EA Sports Cup First Round.
Ramblers made ten changes from the side that beat UCD at the weekend but eventually wore down the dogged resistance of spirited Avondale.
Stephen Henderson was absent from the dugout due to a suspension after his red card at Stradbrook a few weeks ago but will be well pleased with the performance. The Cobh boss is looking to make serious progress in the EA Sports Cup this season.
Cian Coleman was the only player to retain his place from the UCD match at the weekend. The ex-Cork City player saw yellow on 50 minutes for a foul on Danny O’Connell but that and a late, late yellow for Ryan Hogan (who was making his first start in the claret and blue) were the only real debit notes for the home side all night.
Non-league Avondale were impressive early on and forced three corners inside the first 25 minutes. Jamie Murphy impressed for ‘Dale but the Munster Senior League side just failed to make the first breakthrough, which might have made for a different game.
Ross Mann and Matthew Whelan were prominent in most of Cobh’s attacks and the pair combined for the decisive moment of the night. Mann ran at the ‘Dale defence. Whelan made a well-timed run onto Mann’s perfectly weighted pass. The ex-Ballincollig player’s low shot beat O’Sullivan’s dive in the 52nd minute to give Cobh the lead.
Defender Shane Lowth scored his first ever Ramblers goal on 76 minutes to make the game safe. The right back let fly from 25 yards and the ball screamed past Owen O’Sullivan to give Ramblers their two-goal cushion.
Jamie Murphy worked hard up front all through for Avondale. His best opportunity came with 62 minutes on the clock. Some neat play down the Avondale left gave Murphy the opening for a shot. However, his well struck effort merely found Adam Mylod’s side netting.
But Ramblers prevailed comfortably and they move on to a top of the table league clash with Waterford at the RSC on Friday. Before that, their name is in the hat for the EA Sports Cup second round draw.
Cobh Ramblers: Adam Mylod, Shane Lowth, Anthony O' Donnell, Cian Kingston, Ryan Hogan; Jason Abbot, Kyle McNamara (Scott McCarthy 88), Cian Coleman, Darren Murphy (Craig Donnellan 67), Ross Mann; Matthew Whelan (Ian Mylod 63).
Subs not used: Michael Sadys (GK), Karl Caulfield, Stephen Christopher, Dean Swords.
Booked: Cian Coleman, Ryan Hogan.
Avondale United: Owen O' Sullivan; Andrew Gannon, Eoghan Lougheed, Stephen Barrett David Kiely, Darren Murphy (Vinnie O’Brien 12), Danny O' Connell, Hughie O' Donovan, Josh O' Shea, Ray Lally, Jamie Murphy (Simon Falvey 72).
Subs not used: Cian Hartnett (GK), Tom Linehan, Greg Kelly, Liam O’Sullivan, Eoin Ryan.
Referee: Jason Mannix.
Attendance: 200 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Matthew Whelan (Cobh Ramblers).
John Manning began writing for Extratime.ie this year after retiring from the insurance industry. He has been a regular attendee at League of Ireland football matches since the 1970s. He has particularly supported Cork Hibs, Cork Celtic, Cork United, Cork City but has attended many other matches also.
He was formerly Webmaster of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland website (www.ppui.ie) to which he still contributes. He is currently Webmaster of the International Pitch and Putt Association website (www.fippa.org).
John broadcast Pitch and Putt on the airwaves from 1994 to 2005 – on CKR, KFM, KCLR FM, Midlands Radio 3, Radio Kerry and Cork 103 FM.
John held many administrative posts within the sport of Pitch and Putt
· Treasurer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1992-93
· Public Relations Officer Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland 1994 – 2005
· General Secretary European Pitch and Putt Association 2000 - 2010
John Manning was the Editor of ‘Backspin’ – official monthly magazine of the Pitch and Putt Union of Ireland – between 1989 and 2005. He still currently contributes to ‘Backspin’.
He is a fervent supporter of the Republic of Ireland football team – home and sometimes away.
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