Conor Meade 28' -
Davin O'Neill 30' -
Conor Meade 66' -
Conor Meade 78' -
Conor Meade 86' -
If its excitement and entertainment you want then surely Cobh Ramblers’ St Colman’s Park is the place to be on match nights. Three league games at the venue this season have seen twenty goals and Saturday night’s game with Mervue United provided eight of those along with three sendings off, four penalties and bucket loads of drama.
In what can only be described as an unbelievably crazy game of football this match - played in horrible conditions - had everything and proves yet again that MNS are missing out on great TV viewing by not showing First Division games. Cobh have certainly given their supporters great entertainment since their return to League of Ireland football with 29 goals scored in the six games they have been involved in so far.
In this game we had eight goals, four penalties, three sending offs, a four goal hero who scored three of those from spot kicks (against three different keepers) some cracking goals from both sides and a freakish goal provided by the wind!
It all started so well for a previously unbeaten Mervue side, as sixteen year old striker Ryan Manning latched onto a Jason Molloy ball before bending the ball around Robert Birdsall after just four minutes for his third goal of the season.
The home side struck back around the half hour mark as they scored twice in two minutes with two fine goals. The four goal hero, Conor Meade, opened his account finishing off a ball from Martin Deady with a smart volley on 28 minutes to level matters at 1-1. His strike partner Davin O’Neill had them in front two minutes later as he brilliantly volleyed home another Deady ball for a 2-1 lead which they held until the interval.
No one could have predicted what was in store in a crazy second period. The visitors were back on level terms after just three minutes when Jason Molloy’s free kick was only cleared to left back Marc Ludden and he took one touch before firing the ball into the top corner with a brilliant strike.
Birdsall then took Manning down as the youngster looked to round the home keeper with the custodian only receiving a yellow card. Birdsall then saved Manning’s resultant spot kick on 53 minutes, but a minute later and the visitors did get back in front courtesy of the strong breeze.
Molloy floated a ball into the box and as Birdsall advanced to collect the wind re-directed the ball over the stranded keeper and into the top corner for 3-2. With their noses back in front the visitors looked to be heading towards victory until they then shot themselves in the foot conceding three penalties and finishing the game with just eight players.
Marc Ludden was first for an early shower as he tangled with Conor Meade who was advancing towards goal and referee Simon Rogers brandished his first red card of the night. Meade dusted himself down and stroked the ball past Connor Gleeson for 3-3 on 66 minutes.
The drama was only hotting up at this stage and with 15 minutes remaining Gleeson advanced and took down Deady. Rogers produced his second red to reduce Mervue to nine men. Johnny Glynn had named no sub keeper on the bench and defender Mike Elwood replaced striker Brendan Lavelle to take over between the posts. It didn’t matter to Conor Meade as he claimed his hat-trick converting once more for a 4-3 lead and the tide firmly now turned in his side’s favour.
Elwood himself only lasted nine minutes on the pitch as he joined Ludden and Gleeson in the clubhouse after he hauled down Conor Meade for a fourth penalty of the night after Paul Sinnott’s poor back pass put the stand-in keeper in trouble.
With the sub keeper shown red Meade faced a third different keeper as centre half Stephen Walsh donned the keeper’s jersey. Walsh did get a hand to the spot kick but Meade completed his hat-trick of penalties and a fourth of the night for a 5-3 win and a first win since the opening night hammering of Wexford.
What a way to spend an evening and all for just a tenner. Great value. MNS take note, this is one exciting First Division this year!
Cobh Ramblers: Robert Birdsall; Brendan Frahill, Gary Collins, Brian Fitzgerald, John Meade; Bobby Donoghue (Jonathan Spillane), James Carson, Martin Deady, Michael O’Shea; Conor Meade (Kynan Rocks 88), Davin O’Neill.
Subs not used: Alan O'Flynn, Roy Kenny, Ian Long, Keith O’Flynn, Shane Hallahan (GK).
Mervue United: Connor Gleeson; Paul Sinnott, Michael McSweeney, Stephen Walsh, Marc Ludden; Tom King (Capt) Noel Varley, Gary Curran (Gary Kelly 88), Jason Molloy; Brendan Lavelle (Mike Elwood 75), Ryan Manning.
Subs not used: Alex Lee, Dillon Murphy, Michael James, Joe Woods, Gary Shanahan.
Sent Off: Ludden (66), Gleeson (75), Elwood (86).
Referee: Simon Rogers (Dublin).
Extratime man of the match: Conor Meade (Cobh Ramblers).