Cobh Ramblers produced a brave display against Derry on Saturday but it wasn’t enough as the Candystripes moved on to the third round thanks to second half goals from Barry McNamee and Rory Patterson.
Ron Stanton came in for Keith O’Flynn in the only change for Cobh since their draw with Longford earlier in the week. A minutes silence was observed before the game in memory of Gordon Cronin, the former Ramblers youth captain who passed away unexpectedly during the week. The Cobh Ramblers flag was also flown at half mast during the match.
It was the visitors who started the better and they showed why they are a Premier Division side. Patrick McEleney looked very composed on the ball and was probably the best player on the pitch in the first half. He had the first effort of the game but fired well over. John Paul McGovern also missed the target with a ferocious volley early on. Rob Waters had Cobh’s first chance but his long range effort missed the target. The Candystripes were producing some fine attacking play but couldn’t find a way past the Cobh defence. Shane Hallahan saved well from Derry talisman Rory Patterson at close range. Ramblers grew into the game as the half wore on and were much the better side in the latter stages. Derry’s passing was found lacking and Cobh began to gain the upper hand. Bobbi Donoghue was causing plenty of trouble for Derry and put some excellent crosses into the box. Alan O’Flynn also played well and the central midfielder was controlling the play. The chance of the half came just before the break. Martin Deady whipped in an excellent cross and Donoghue lost his marker but from four yards out, the Youghal man headed wide. This was a chance that they would rue and the sides went in scoreless at the break, despite Cobh’s best efforts.
A presentation took place on the pitch at half time to mark Cobh’s new sponsorship deal with Eirgrid. Their logo was also shown on the Ramblers’ jerseys for the first time during the game.
The Ram’s first chance of the half came when Rob Waters headed George Gill’s corner straight at Ger Doherty in the Derry goal. Michael Duffy spurned a glorious chance for the Northerners when he cut into the box but smashed his effort over the bar. Derry took the lead on 54 minutes and it came out of nothing. Barry McNamee quickly got the ball out of his feet and placed a low snapshot into the far corner, beating the hapless Hallahan. There was now a subdued atmosphere at St Colman’s Park. It was all Derry now and Peter Hutton’s side really upped the tempo as Ramblers grew tired. Patterson cannoned a shot off the crossbar after a neat McNamee through ball and one could sense what was coming. Aaron Barry was next to go close when his header hit the bar. Ryan Goldsmith was introduced for Cobh and he showed why he was selected for the Irish u19 side with some excellent dribbling. Derry struck again on 80 minutes and it really put the game out of reach for Cobh. McNamee found Patterson and the Northern Ireland international beat Hallahan at the near post with a low, powerful shot. Ramblers pushed for a consolation but Derry were standing strong. Cobh’s best opportunity came three minutes from time when Chris McCarthy’s corner wasn’t cleared. The players were scrambling around the box trying to get a foot to it and Derry cleared off the line. It eventually came to Craig Burns but he couldn’t force it home and the ball was booted clear. That was it in terms of chances as Derry ran out 2-0 winners and advanced to the next round.
It was an impressive performance by Cobh especially in the first half but Derry showed their class in the second half and deserved their goals. If the Rams can play like that in the First Division, their first win will come soon. Their performances have improved recently which is important to see.
Derry didn’t have it all their own way and were pushed hard for the win but Peter Hutton will be happy just to be in the next round. The likes of Rory Patterson and Patrick McEleney showed why they are top players with impressive displays.
Cobh’s next game is at home to First Division leaders Shelbourne on Saturday while Derry travel to Sligo in the Premier Division this Friday.
Cobh Ramblers: Shane Hallahan, Roy Kenny, Craig Burns, Breandán Frahill, Anthony O’Donnell, George Gill (Chris McCarthy 68), Alan O’Flynn, Bobbi Donoghue, Martin Deady (C) (Ryan Goldsmith 60), Rob Waters, Ron Stanton (Jonny Creamer 88)
Substitutes: Robert Birdsall, Jonathan Spillane, Keith O’Flynn
Derry City: Ger Doherty, John Paul McGovern, Dean Jarvis, Aaron Barry, Ryan McBride, Danny Ventre, Barry Molloy, Michael Duffy, Barry McNamee, Patrick McEleney, Rory Patterson
Substitutes: Ciaran Gallagher, Cliff Byrne, Nathan Boyle, Ryan Curran, Shane McEleney, Josh Tracey, Tony McNamee