Cobh Ramblers kept their recent unbeaten run going following Saturday nights draw against Shelbourne at a wet St. Colman’s Park.
This was a game that had everything and the people that witnessed this game left Colman’s Park with a smile but also wondered what could have been had Shane O’Connor’s shot on 87 minutes found the net were it not for Greg Murray. Four brilliant goals were scored and this along with two committed teams ensured an enjoyable game for all those in attendance.
The opening goal arrived on 17 minutes when Shane O’Connor’s cross was headed by Evan Osam into the path of Stephen Kenny and he fired low into the bottom corner. They only stayed in front for 16 minutes as Kevin Mulcahy miscontrolled a quickly taken throw allowing Dylan McGlade to fire to the net first time. On the stroke of half time Eoghan Daly was at full stretch to prevent Shelbourne taking the lead when tipping Phillip Hughes free over the bar.
Another defensive mistake was to give Shelbourne the lead on 57 minutes when Jamie English ran through the heart of the Cobh defence before rounding Daly to slot the ball into the net despite Mulcahy being on the line. They could have fallen further behind on 71 minutes where it not for Brendan Frahill clearing English’s header off the line.
But Cobh survived the Shelbourne attacks and Kenny scored his second of the night with an amazing run followed by a brilliant finish to set up the grand stand finish for both sides.
The home side were forced into one late change as Kynan Rocks who was supposed to play his final home game for Ramblers before going to America on a scholarship picked up an injury in the warm up replaced by Ryan Goldsmith.
The opening ten minutes of the tie was a scrappy affair with both sides winning a lot of corners but they weren’t doing much with it and the only chances of note came from a Jason Abbott free kick on 5 minutes that went over the bar and a Hughes snapshot on 14 minutes.
The breakthrough arrived for Cobh on 17 minutes when following good build up play O’Connor’s diagonal ball was headed by Osam into the path of Kenny and the Passage man got space to fire the ball low into the corner of the goal despite Murray getting a hand to the ball.
Kenny was proving a handful for the Shelbourne defence with his constant runs and especially the way he was able to hold up the ball and bring the wingers Goldsmith and Stephen Christopher into the action.
For Shelbourne Jake Donnelly was using a lot of the ball trying to set up attacks for Shelbourne but he didn’t need to contribute anything to the equaliser, a quick throw in from Cobh was miscontrolled by Mulcahy allowing McGlade to smash the ball into the net for an equaliser on 33 minutes.
They had other chances straight after with English seeing his shot saved and then on the stroke of half time Daly had to be at his best to tip over a Hughes free kick from the edge of the box.
The second half saw both sides attack at a quicker pace but both defences were holding firm with Mulcahy leading the Ramblers defence as Sean Heaney was doing similar for Shelbourne.
The lead goal for Shelbourne again came about by way of a mistake at the back when English danced through the heart of the defence before rounding Daly to fire home on 57 minutes.
This was the rallying call Cobh needed as they upped the ante completely with Kenny heading wide from Christopher’s cross on 58 minutes and then Kenny forced Murray into a fine save at his near post for a corner.
They had a scare at their own end before the equaliser though with English beating Daly in the air following Donnelly’s free but Frahill cleared off the line as Daly gathered the rebound following Daire Doyle’s header.
The equaliser from Kenny was world class; he received possession near the half way line before dribbling past five players before shooting into the roof of the Shelbourne net.
By now Cobh could almost see the three points on offer but Murray was having none of it as he saved O’Connor’s effort from 12 yards.
Cobh Ramblers: Eoghan Daly; Adam O’Sullivan, Brendan Frahill, Kevin Mulcahy, Anthony O’Donnell; Jason Abbott; Stephen Christopher, Chris McCarthy (Graham McCarthy 66), Shane O’Connor, Ryan Goldsmith; Stephen Kenny
Subs not used: Shane Hallihan, James Furlong, David Curran, Jacob Buris, Danny Barry
Yellow Cards: Mulcahy (45), Kenny (77)
Shelbourne: Greg Murray; Adam O’Connor, Sean Heaney, Ryan Robinson, Evan Osam; Dylan McGlade, Daire Doyle, Jake Donnelly,Carl Walsh; Philip Hughes (Craig Walsh 68), James English (Mark Sandford 73)
Subs not used: Darragh Gannon, Colm Crowe, David Ryan, Alan Kehoe, Alan O’Sullivan
Yellow Cards: Heaney (49)
Referee: Eoghan O’Shea (Tipperary)
Attendance: 450 (Estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Stephen Kenny (Cobh Ramblers)