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Two goals in three second half minutes were enough to move Cobh Ramblers into second place in the SSE Airtricity League First Division as they defeated Longford Town in St Colman’s Park on Saturday night.
The first half was a tight affair with little in the difference between the sides. However goals from Kyle McNamara and Charlie Fleming gave Cobh a lead that they were never going to lose despite the midlanders’ best efforts – making it the second win over the Town this season having been 3-1 victors when the sides met at City Calling Stadium at the beginning of last month.
Cobh Ramblers made changes to the side that lost to Waterford 2-0 on Monday with Craig Donnellan, Kyle McNamara, Paul Hunt, Karl Caulfield and Charlie Fleming all coming into the starting side.
Alan Mathews made two changes to his side that beat Shelbourne 2-0 in the EA Sports Cup during the week with Kevin O’Connor and Daniel O’Reilly starting in place of Kealon Dillon and Rhys Gorman.
The opening ten minutes had plenty of energy being expended from both teams but little in the way of goalmouth action. The first chance of note came from Ross Mann who saw his effort from close range blocked by Stephen Walsh on the line.
Cian Coleman playing as part of a three man defence, headed wide on 12 minutes following a Craig Donnellan free kick.
Longford looked dangerous on the break with Dylan McGlade and Enda Curran linking up well on a number of occasions with their best chance on 18 minutes twarted by Chris McCarthy’s last ditch block.
Kevin O’Connor was next to try his luck for Longford but his powerful drive from outside the box was punched away by Paul Hunt.
Ramblers had a few attacking opportunities of their own with Matthew Whelan having a few chances but none could find a way past Paul Skinner. The Town ‘keeper was required to make a smart save on 28 minutes when getting down low to save a deflected shot.
With the half coming to a close McGlade and Curran linked up again to shoot but it was easily held by Hunt.
The second half saw Gavin Boyne set up Curran but the former Galway United man couldn’t keep his dipping shot down as it went narrowly over the bar.
On the hour mark, Ian Mylod made a break down the left flank before seeing his cross just miss the inrushing Whelan at full stretch.
However their luck was to turn five minutes later when a long ball out of defence found Kyle McNamara out near the sideline and he lobbed the ‘keeper to give Ramblers the lead.
Longford had hardly time to draw breath when they found themselves further behind. Ross Mann played a lovely ball to Charlie Fleming and he chipped the advancing Skinner from 18 yards. This gave the home side a lead they were never going to claw back despite their best efforts with Paul Hunt able to deal with everything easily.
Next up for Cobh is an away trip to Shelbourne on Friday night, while Longford will entertain Athlone Town at home next Saturday night.
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt; Cian Coleman, Cian Kingston, Christopher McCarthy; Charlie Fleming, Craig Donnellan, Ian Mylod; Ross Mann, Karl Caulfield, Kyle McNamara (Stephen Christopher 83); Matthew Whelan (Dean Swords 79).
Subs not used: Adam Mylod (gk), Shane Lowth, Jason Abbott, Scott McCarthy, Anthony O’Donnell.
Booked: McCarthy (30)
Longford Town: Paul Skinner; Mark Langtry, Daniel O’Reilly, Stephen Walsh, Tristan Noack Hoffman; Dylan McGlade (Don Cowan 58), Kevin O’Connor, Dean Zambra, Cody Mulhall; Gavin Boyne; Enda Curran (David O’Sullivan 66).
Subs not used: Jack Brady (gk), Karl Chambers, Aiden Friel, Rhys Gorman, Kealon Dillon.
Booked: O’Connor (90)
Referee: Mark Lynch
Attendance: 350 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Matthew Whelan (Cobh Ramblers)