Following on from the sheer drama of the home fixture with Mervue the previous week, most, if not all punters would have this game down to be high scoring affair. Ramblers were forced into one late change with John Meade failing a late fitness test which meant Martin Deady deputised at left back with Davin O’Neill dropping back to the left side of midfield and Kynan Rocks partnering the in-form Conor Meade up front
The first half was a very scrappy affair with little to report in terms of goalmouth action; however the games major talking point occurred in the 34th minute when Ramblers centre half, Brian Fitzgerald was red-carded for what appeared to be an off-the ball incident which was spotted by the linesman.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first with neither side carving out any clear cut openings; Rambler’s rear-guard coping well with whatever the home side could throw at them. Ramblers though should have gone in front on the hour when Conor Meade sent Kynan Rocks through on goal; his effort was lifted over the advancing keeper only for Gavin Kavanagh to get back to hook the ball off the line, Bobby Donoghue unable to force home the rebound.
At the other end Robert Birdsall had to react well to keep out a low effort. By and large the home crowd began to grow frustrated at the inability of the blues to break down a stubborn Ramblers defence in which Gary Collins and Brendan Frahill excelled. Ramblers almost stole the three points with a few minutes remaining when sub Jonathan Spillane wriggled clear of his marker at the end line and pulled the ball back to Davin O’Neill whose low side footed effort was blocked by home keeper Craig Hyland, the home side broke clear and forced a series of corners at the other end as the game entered injury time. The home side almost snatched an unlikely winner when centre half Gavin Kavanagh’s header carried just wide of the far post. In the end a share of the points was a fair outcome although Ramblers will wonder what might have been if they did not have to play almost an hour of the game with 10 men.
Special mention must go to the travelling support whose non-stop singing and chanting kept Ramblers going on the field.
1. Robert Birdsall
2. Gary Collins
3. Brian Fitzgerald
4. Brendan Frahill
5. Martin Deady
6. Bobby O’Donoghue
7. Mikey O’Shea
8. James Carson
9. Davin O’Neill
10. Conor Meade
11. Kynan Rocks
Jonathan Spillane for Conor Meade (82 mins)
Alan O’Flynn for Bobby O’Donoghue (87 mins)
Referee: Mr. Kevin O’Regan