Cobh Ramblers travel to Athlone Town on Friday night for the final game of the 2021 First Division season. While neither side remain in the hunt for a play-off spot, both teams will be eager to finish the year on a high and build for 2022.
The Rams come into the game on the back of two impressive wins, most recently winning 2-0 at home to league champions Shelbourne. Athlone drew 1-1 away to Treaty United in their last outing under new manager Paul Doolin, and include former Cobh man Garry Comerford in their squad.
The pair have met twice so far in 2021, Athlone winning 2-1 back in May before a 0-0 draw in St Colman’s Park. Ramblers’ last win in Athlone was a 4-1 victory back in April 2018 and it has proved a tricky spot to visit since then with two defeats and two draws.
For the season finale Cobh midfielders David O’Leary and Nathan O’Connell are suspended while centre back Charlie Lyons is out through injury.
Manager Darren Murphy spoke at the club’s final press conference of 2021 earlier this week,
“The lads were outstanding last time out against Shelbourne. We didn’t give them an inch, and looking at the GPS scores, our distances were up, our sprint counts were up. They’re fitter, faster, stronger and it’s all down to lads believing in their ability. We can get a result when we put a performance like that in.
Athlone have changed manager since we played them last so it won’t be the same structure as the last time but they still have a very strong squad. We’re going up there to do a job, to put in another outstanding performance.
As a manager you want to win every game. At this stage there mightn’t be anything to play for, looking at the table, but we can still play for pride and we showed that last week. It was a great game of football.”
Kick-off on Friday is at 19:45 and the game will be streamed live on LOITV here