PREVIEW | Athlone v Ramblers

Ramblers travel to Athlone Town this evening, looking to quickly bounce back from last week’s home defeat to UCD. Cobh currently sit in sixth in the First Division table, three points off the play-off spots, and a win in Athlone could see the club climb as high as fourth. Athlone meanwhile prop up the table in tenth, yet to pick up a league win in 2020.

The sides met in March earlier this year at St Colman’s Park, when a late Ian Turner strike gave the Rams a 3-2 win prior to lockdown. Our last win in Athlone came in April 2018 and Cobh are unbeaten in three against the Midlands outfit.

Captain John Kavanagh will miss the tie through suspension having picked up two yellow cards in the UCD defeat. It is hoped however that Pierce Phillips and Darragh Crowley will both be involved as the duo continue their return from injury.

While Athlone sit in tenth in the table, players to look out for include young attacker Ronan Manning whose brother Ryan featured heavily for Mervue United and Galway United against Ramblers prior to his move to current club QPR. Dundalk loanee and US import Taner Dogan has also impressed for the Westmeath side since joining this summer.

U19 players Chris O’Reilly, Jack Leonard and Cathal Crowley have continued to train with the first team squad and while only the former has made his senior debut, the trio are all pushing for places once again this week.

Speaking ahead of the clash, manager Stuart Ashton is eager to put the UCD loss behind and continue the fine form from the weeks previous,

“We were disappointed with the defeat last week. In training we’ve had our conversations about it. As a group we aren’t happy with what went on and we know that we’re better than that. That wasn’t us and hopefully it is just a small blip in what has been a great few weeks.

We are looking forward to this game as a chance to put last week out of our system. It won’t be easy, there are surprising results every week in the First Division and we’ll have to be at our very best to get the three points.” 

Greg Henry also spoke similarly to the media, and referenced the return of supporters albeit in limited numbers,

“Last week hurt a lot, you could see it in the squad after the game and in training during the week. We’ll use that as motivation for the Athlone game and look to set the record straight. There are a lot of games coming up in a short period of time and it’s important for us to take each game as it comes.

“It’ll be nice to play in front of fans once again, that’s what everyone wants and even if it’s only a limited number to start, it’s great when you score or get a win and have supporters there to see it.”

Kick-off in Athlone Town Stadium is at 19:45.

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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.