Ramblers 1-1 Drogheda Utd


The spoils were shared on Saturday night at St Colman’s Park as Cobh Ramblers and Drogheda United played out a 1-1 draw in the SSE Airticity League First Division. A Sean Thornton penalty midway through the first half gave the visitors the lead but they were soon under pressure and had substitute Jordan Donnelly red carded in the second period. Cobh made their one man advantage count and equalised through a Shane O’Connor header to claim a point. The result marked the first draw of the twenty League of Ireland games so far in 2016.

Stephen Henderson made two changes from the Ramblers side that beat Shelbourne last time out. Injured captain Kevin Mulcahy was replaced by Andy O’Connell in the heart of Cobh’s defence while Cory Galvin joined twin brother Evan in the starting eleven in place of Anthony O’Donnell. Drogheda meanwhile made just the one change from the lineup that defeated Waterford as influential captain Sean Thornton replaced Sean Brennan.

With the ground’s ‘North Bank’ closed off due to repair work, a crowd of noticeable side gathered in the South Stand for the eagerly awaited tie.
The opening exchanges were relatively forgettable as both teams found their rhythm. Former Sunderland midfielder Thornton fired an ambitious long range strike which Paul Hunt was glad to see clear his left hand post. Ramblers were forced into an early change as Chris McCarthy replaced the injured David Curran. The visiting side took the lead soon after as referee Simon Rogers awarded a penalty following a Cobh handball in the box. Thornton stepped up to face Paul Hunt from twelve years and although the ex-Longford keeper got a touch to it, the ball found its way into the bottom left hand corner to the delight of the visiting contingent. The Rams responded immediately as Cory Galvin and Abbott produced efforts from distance. Drogheda could have doubled their lead themselves just before the break as Sam O’Connor found himself through on goal. However, the former Athlone striker shot straight at Hunt and the score remained 1-0 upon the half-time whistle.

Ramblers offered more attacking prowess in the second half and the game opened up more. Following impressive build up on the right by Graham McCarthy, Rob Lehane headed wide as he continued his search for a first goal in the claret and blue. One of the game’s turning points came on 72 minutes as Drogheda substitute Liam Donnelly was given his marching orders just moments after coming on. A stray elbow from the forward saw him receive a straight red and Cobh’s equaliser arrived just a minute later. Graham McCarthy produced a fine cross to the back post and the on-rushing Ian Mylod headed the ball back across goal for Shane O’Connor to head home from six yards. As the final whistle approached Ramblers continued to press with the Louth side dropping deeper and deeper. Shane O’Connor’s effort from range was well gathered by Dunican in the Drogheda goal whilst the last chance of the game fell to Ian Mylod who was inches away from converting Lehane’s cross at the back post. That proved to be the final action and both sides came away with a well-earned point.

Next up for Cobh is a trip on Saturday to league leaders Limerick FC who sit top after two wins from two. Drogheda meanwhile are at home to Athlone Town this coming Friday.

Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Graham McCarthy, Andy O’Connell, David Curran (Chris McCarthy 32), Ian Mylod, Jason Abbott, Cian Kingston, Shane O’Connor (C), Evan Galvin, Cory Galvin (Markus Gustavsson 66), Rob Lehane

Substitutes: Adam O’Sullivan, Anthony O’Donnell, Eoghan Daly, Jimmy Griffin, Eoin McGreevy.

Drogheda United: Patrick Dunican, Colm Deasy, Niall Cooney, Jake Hyland, Sam O’Connor, Sean Thornton (C), Derek Doyle, Luke Gallagher, Aaron Ashe (Liam Donnelly 72), Aaron Molloy, Eoin Kirwan (Mark Doyle 83)

Substitutes: Stephen McGuiness, Eoghan Dempsey, Joseph Jackson, Jamie McGlynn, Stephen Dunne

Attendance: 450 (est.)

By Thomas Stafford

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.