Positive away results come to a Cobh Ramblers conclusion as Town falter in St Colman’s Park



John Dingle

Cobh Ramblers defeated Athlone Town at St Colman’s Park on Saturday night last to tighten their grip on a much sought after SSE Airtricity League First Division play-off place.

Athlone Town knew that a win would see them vault over Ramblers into third spot but the home team struck for the winning goal just after the hour mark when Jack Doherty drilled home a free kick as late pressure from the Town failed to yield an equaliser.

Cobh earned the first corner kick but there was little further goalmouth action during the opening half. Athlone’s first chance fell to Dylan Gavin but he headed wide from a Valerii Dolia right wing cross. Moments later, Matthew Leal fired over for the visitors who earned their first corner after 17 minutes of play.

Cobh’s Cian Browne came closest to scoring in the half when his cross shot on 27 minutes bounced off the bar. Athlone’s top scorer Frantz Pierrot had few opportunities to add to his goal tally and a rare chance which presented itself saw him shoot wide from a Dan McKenna free kick. Two corners at either end brought the action in the opening half to a close.

Athlone had the first chance when play resumed but Jamar Campion-Hinds fired over. Cobh forced two more corners and the deadlock was eventually broken from another set piece just after the hour mark. Athlone committed a foul on the edge of the penalty area which proved extremely costly as Jack Doherty sent the resulting free kick past the defensive wall, Enda Minogue remaining rooted to his goal line. The veteran Ramblers striker provided the magic the game needed.

Athlone tried hard to level matters in the closing stages but could not pierce the home rearguard. Dolia tried his luck on 72 minutes but his shot on the turn was tipped over by Lee Steacy. The keeper was again in top form five minutes later when Gavin’s header was parried. They were the two best chances Athlone had of grabbing an equaliser.

Cobh lifted the pressure with a corner from the last action of the half. Four additional minutes handed Athlone more precious time to try and salvage something. Noah VanGeenen had taken up a more attacking role at this stage and had a good chance in the first additional minute, but the header from the centre half lacked power and was easily gathered by Steacy.

Cobh earned their last corner soon after but there could have been a dramatic conclusion to the contest in the final minute of additional time. Athlone were piling forward and had one more opportunity to try and share the spoils. Substitute Shane Forbes, on for Dolia, saw his shot blocked but the rebound fell nicely for Gavin, but the finish from the number eleven however was not what was desired as the ball was blasted over the bar from a good position.

The result edges Cobh ever closer to a play-off position with Athlone’s recent run of good results on their travels coming to an end.


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