(Credit: Steve Alfred)

League Preview: Cobh Ramblers -v- Shelbourne
Published: June 23, 2017

COBH RAMBLERS

Cobh Ramblers will be hoping to bounce back from a surprise defeat to Longford last week when they welcome Shelbourne to St. Colman’s Park on Saturday night.

 

Ramblers stay second in the table but have lost ground on leaders Waterford in the battle for the single promotion place on offer at the end of this season. In fact, it was Shels who ensured Cobh remained ahead of UCD by handing the Students’ a 2-1 defeat at Belfield last weekend.

 

Cobh are unbeaten on home soil this term and will be expecting to maintain that record against a team that is experiencing a very patchy campaign, albeit they have picked-up more points (12) on their travels than at home (nine).

 

Dean Swords appeared to have rescued a point for Ramblers when he scored in the 85th minute at the City Calling Stadium. But Jake Kelly pounced to deliver an injury time winner for Longford from a free-kick.

 

That late concession will have hurt Ramblers badly. It’s the fourth time this season that the Cobh men have yielded points by conceding late on. It’s a malady that manager Stephen Henderson thought had been eradicated. "At the start of the season we were letting goals in right at the end of games, and we fell back into that trap against Longford. No complaints about the result, because we didn't really play well.”


Speaking to Ramblers sponsors RED FM, the Cobh boss continued. "If I said it was a hangover from the summer break, I'd just be making excuses, to be honest. The two goals we conceded were terrible, two really bad goals. We never showed up in the first half, but in the second we played a bit better and put them under pressure. And even though we didn't play too well we still created chances, so that's a positive.”

 

"People are saying the league is over. 12 games to go, five points behind - it's not over by a long shot. Waterford are clear favourites, but what our lads are very good at is responding to setbacks. The commitment and work rate was there against Longford - we'll learn from the mistakes of that game.

 

"It's going to be very competitive against Shels, a very physical game. But if we're to have any chance of challenging Waterford, we're going to have to win it, and that's what we'll be driving into the players all week. Let's learn from what we didn't do last week, let's fix it, and let's drive on."

 

 

SHELBOURNE

Shelbourne enter this tie buoyed by that fine 2-1 away win against UCD last Friday. That success was achieved against the odds - the Reds coming from behind with a side that was depleted by suspensions, examination and other absences along with injuries.

 

Manager Owen Heary will be hoping his side can reproduce some of that Belfield Bowl form that saw second half goals from striker James English and defender Alan Byrne overturn their cross city Dublin rivals.

 

This was Heary’s verdict to Shels’ media team after the UCD match. “We were down a lot of bodies tonight. We brought in some of the younger players and they were terrific. Dylan Grimes, I thought was a different class out there today. He hasn’t had much game time, but hasn’t moaned and groaned, he’s kept his head down, kept working hard and goes out on the pitch and puts in a performance like that.

 

“Mikey Murphy is another, still doing his Leaving Cert, so he’s been missing a bit of training, he’s been studying and has obviously had a lot of pressure doing his exams – his first senior game this season and he puts in a very good performance. Dayle Rooney is another good one who was probably unfortunate to miss out tonight because he is a good player, but we had to adjust our team because of the missing players. We went one nil down, we get back into the game, we have a lot of chances and we don’t take them but thankfully ‘Byrnsey’ pops up and gets the winner. I think it’s what we deserved over the game.”

 

Heary feels promotion is unattainable for Shels but he’s still bullish about the remainder of the 2017 campaign.

 

"It's going to be very hard to catch Waterford. We're still in the Leinster Senior Cup, and the FAI Cup, and we want to finish higher in the League than last year. If we can do that, and keep the majority of this team together, then I think we'll have a right chance of going for promotion next season."

 

Referee: Damien McGraith

 

 

MATCH FACTS

The sides drew their last encounter at St. Colman’s Park 1-1 back in March. Adam Evans plundered a late, late goal for the Reds to equalize Chris McCarthy’s penalty kick opener for Ramblers.

 

Stephen Henderson’s men did come away from Tolka Park a 1-0 win in April, courtesy of a sublime lob from midfielder Karl Caulfield. Striker James English saw red for Shelbourne in that match, one of four red cards for Shels this season, three of which have come at home.

 

Ramblers skipper Chris McCarthy and Shelbourne centre-back Derek Prendergast, who have struck five times each in 2017, are their club’s respective top scorers.

 

Last five league matches: Cobh Ramblers LWDWW; Shelbourne WDLLW.

 

 

BETTING

Cobh Ramblers 10/11; Shelbourne 3/1; Draw 23/10.

 

PREDICTION

Cobh Ramblers 2-1 Shelbourne

 

 

Cobh Ramblers

Injured: Cian Kingston (ankle) and Karl Caulfield (quad muscle).

Doubtful: Matthew Whelan (ankle).

Suspended: None.

 

Shelbourne

Injured: Aidan Collins, Jack Tuite.

Doubtful:.None.

Suspended: James O’Brien, David O’Leary.


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John Manning

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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