St Colman’s Park hosts its first game since October on Saturday night, as UCD travel to Cobh for our first home game of the 2021 First Division season.
Last week’s opening weekend showed the competitiveness of the league, with three draws and two 1-goal wins across the five games. That trend is likely to continue and Saturday evening’s fixture should be a close contest.
An impressive performance last week in the Cork Derby saw a debut goal for Ciaran Griffin. However it was City who picked up the three points, winning 3-1. UCD drew 2-2 with Athlone in their opening fixture, as Adam Wixted grabbed a 94th minute equaliser for the Midlands side.
UCD have a strong record against Ramblers in recent times. Cobh’s last win against the Dublin side was a 1-0 home victory in July 2017. Darren Murphy was the scorer that night and the midfielder is now back at the club, starting on his Claret & Blue return last week.
Defender Ben O’Riordan is still recovering from tonsilitis and his return to training is being managed appropriately. This weekend will come too soon for the experienced centre back. Regix Madika remains a long term absentee, while Caelin Rooney continues a suspension which carries over from his time at Youghal United in the Munster Senior League. Midfielder Ian Turner could make his 50th Ramblers appearance on Saturday.
Manager Stuart Ashton spoke earlier in the week about last week’s result and looked ahead to the UCD clash,
“I was delighted with the way we played in the first game. Obviously it’s disappointing not to get any points on the board but there’s a long season ahead of us. If we keep performing in that way, and showing the same attitude, we’ll do well. The lads know that they’ve played well, they were bitterly disappointed afterwards. We know that we should have done better with our finishing at times. We had our chances, we’ve had those discussions and we want to build on that against UCD.”
Defender Charlie Lyons also gave his thoughts ahead of the match,
“The performances last week were very good everywhere across the pitch. We’ll take the positives and bring those into Saturday. Last year our downfall was probably our consistency at home. We’re trying to put that right this year, and win a lot more of our home games. UCD are always a good side, they are dangerous up front. We’ll have to tighten up at the back, not concede any sloppy goals and be ruthless up front.”
Kick-off on Saturday night is at 19:00. The match is sponsored by Cobh Credit Union, who we thank hugely for their support.
Given the current Covid-19 restrictions, the game will be played behind closed doors. A full streaming service of the match will be provided by LOI TV here.