MATCH PREVIEW: Cobh Ramblers v Cherry Orchard


Cobh Ramblers take a break from league action this Saturday as Leinster Senior League side Cherry Orchard visit St Colman’s Park in the second round of the FAI Senior Cup. The Ballyfermot based outfit have already secured promotion to the LSL Senior Sunday, the top tier of non-league football in the Capital, and will be tough opposition on Saturday.

Cobh head into the tie on the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat away to UCD with a late penalty from Shane O’Connor nothing but a consolation against the Students. The Orchard meanwhile are in flying form heading into the clash. A 2-0 victory against Broadford Rovers last time out leaves them requiring just a point in their final league fixture to secure the league title.

Stephen Henderson is forced to deal with a number of injury problems for the tie as the club’s injury list shows no sign of easing up. Rob Lehane, Graham McCarthy and Eoghan Daly must all watch from the sidelines along with long-term absentees Kevin Mulcahy, Adam O’Sullivan, James Furlong and Anthony O’Donnell. Winger Cory Galvin is also a doubt for the fixture.

One player who is available however is goalkeeper Paul Hunt. The former Longford netminder has started every league game this season and is under no illusions at the challenge that awaits on Saturday. “People might see Cherry Orchard as a non-league side but we’re expecting a tough, hard game, similar to when we faced Rockmount recently in the Munster Cup. Last week’s performance up in UCD wasn’t acceptable by us and we owe it to the fans and the club to put in the professional, complete performance that they expect on Saturday.”

Ramblers are looking to progress to the third round for the first time since 2013, when they defeated St Pat’s CY 4-3 in Dublin to move onto the last-16, with goals from Conor Meade (2), Brian Fitzgerald and Bobbi Donoghue. Cherry Orchard defeated Killester United 1-0 in a replay in their first round to progress to this stage of the tournament, after the sides drew 1-1 in the original tie.

Despite having a relatively young squad, the Dubliners have League of Ireland experience within their ranks. Midfielder Ryan Coombes has spent time with Athlone Town, Bray Wanderers and Shamrock Rovers B while impressive attacker John Tambwe played for Shamrock Rovers’ u19 side and both are key players to keep an eye on.

An interesting link between the sides is that Stephen Henderson’s younger brother Wayne played with the Orchard at youth level before progressing onto a career in England with Brighton, Preston and Notts County amongst others, as well as the Irish national side.

Kick-off on Saturday is at the earlier time of 14:30 in St Colman’s Park.

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.