Cobh Ramblers v Drogheda United: Match Preview



Five wins on the trot and now here we are. The First Division play-off. It’s a claret and blue derby as we welcome Pete Mahon’s Drogheda to St Colman’s Park on Saturday night. Ramblers’ last play-off in February 2003 was also against the Louth men, as a 2-2 home draw was followed by a 1-0 defeat at the home of ‘Drogs’. Wille Bruton scored our two goals in the home leg but a disappointing display in the second leg saw Drogheda move on to face Galway who they ultimately defeated to secure Premier Division football in 2003, the first ‘summer’ season in the league.

Cobh come into the game as the form side. Five wins, eleven goals scored and just the one conceded makes for good reading. Drogheda on the other hand have lost two of their previous three games, including a 1-0 defeat at Cabinteely. The Rams have met Saturday’s opposition four times this year during the regular season. A Shane O’Connor strike secured a 1-1 draw back in March in what was our first home game of the campaign. The next meeting saw Drogheda secure a 1-0 win at United Park before Cobh got revenge in a fine 2-1 victory in July. Markus Gustavsson and Ian Mylod scored late on to complete a remarkable comeback. The sides met most recently in September when a 2-0 win for the Louth side looked to have ended our play-off dreams at the time. Thankfully it was merely a blip in the season and Stephen Henderson’s men went on a stunning run that culminated in last week’s 2-0 victory at Athlone.

Charlie Fleming and Garry Comerford will return from suspension for the tie and that will be a massive boost to the side but Chris McCarthy misses out through suspension. Ben O’Riordan and Jason Abbott remain on the sidelines through injury  for Ramblers. Substitute Matthew Whelan got on the scoresheet for the second game running in Athlone and the 18 year old will be pushing for a place from the start after hitting the ground running at senior level.

Cobh are unbeaten at home since May and with just two home league defeats all year, St Colman’s Park has become a fortress for Ramblers. A positive result at St Colman’s Park will be a huge boost if we are to progress further. Drogheda picked up 20 of their 52 points this season away from home, compared to 22 from 50 for us.

Goals from Rob Lehane and Matthew Whelan in Athlone last time out earned the Rams this play-off on what was a memorable night at Lissywoolen. At the same time across the province, Drogheda defeated UCD 2-1 to take their place in the decider. With a play-off against the eleventh placed side from the Premier Division up for grabs, both sides have motivation in abundance. The play-off games are already receiving quite an interest and it should make for some brilliant games of football. Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:15.

Shane O'Connor celebrating last week's win over Athlone
Shane O’Connor celebrating last week’s win over Athlone

Cobh Ramblers FC

Cobh Ramblers Football Club is an Irish football club. The club, founded in 1922 and elected to the League of Ireland in 1985, hails from Cobh, County Cork and play their home matches at St. Colman's Park. The club's colours are claret and blue.