Following on from the Derby win over Cork City before the break, Cobh Ramblers travel to Belfield this Friday to take on second placed UCD.
Past meetings between the side have gone the way of the Students in recent seasons, with Cobh’s last victory coming in July 2017 when Darren Murphy got the winner in a 1-0 win in St Colman’s.
The Dubliners are in fine form this season, with the league’s top scorer Colm Whelan leading the line. His recent call-up to the Irish U21 squad was a just reward for this and he’ll no doubt be rearing to go on his return to club action. His UCD side come into the game on the back of a 3-2 win at Athlone but they will be missing Paul Doyle through suspension.
From an injury perspective, Ramblers still have a number of the squad watching from the sidelines. Stephen O’Leary and Pierce Phillips are nearing a return but this weekend will likely come too early. Captain John Kavanagh is still out, as are long term absentees Caelin Rooney and Regix Madika. Ciaran Griffin and Conor Drinan are back to full fitness while Cian Murphy will undergo further assessment closer to kick-off.
Elsewhere in the division this weekend, Cork City host Cabinteely, Wexford entertain Treaty, Athlone visit Galway and Bray take on Shelbourne.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Stuart Ashton was clearly looking to build on the win over Cork City against a no-doubt strong UCD outfit,
“We dug in, each and every man, and that’s what we have to do from here on in. We were dogged, and we also got the little bit of luck we needed. It’s given us that extra boost to push on and hopefully we take it into Friday. It’s not a game we’re taking lightly. If we don’t get anything here then the week before was a waste of time. We’ve talked about that during the week.
We have a bit of catching up to do now but the attitude has been great. They’ve had their few days off and can’t wait to get going again. There’s a bit more confidence around the place. The back five have their clean sheet, they can build on that. From day one we’ve showed what we can do, when we do that for 90 minutes we’re a force to be reckoned with. The game knowledge, game management is part of the game and we can’t ignore that. If we bring that into our game more, as we showed against Cork City, I think we can be where we want to be.“
Jake Hegarty echoed his manager’s thoughts, hoping to build on his Derby winner,
“The win over Cork was brilliant but that won’t matter if we don’t carry on and move up the table. We need to back it up and come away with something in UCD. We are still on a high from last week but we need to carry it into Friday night. You can see the buzz around the place, lads coming back from injury want to get back into the squad, subs want to get into the team. It’s great and we can’t wait to get playing again after the break.”
Kick-off on Friday night is at 19:45, with live streaming available on LOI TV