PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 2 Post 17 – Nothing to play for (But Pride) – Cobh Ramblers – October 2020

That’s the problem with the end of season – nothing to play for, uninterested players… A little bit of professionality wouldn’t go amiss.

Before i go through all the figures from an up-and-down September I’ve been offered a new contract – 1 year, same wage (£300/wk). I’ve asked for a delay, and will most probably not sign. If I’m being brutally honest there’s no money, the players on the whole aren’t good enough to get enough points to get us into the playoffs and I don’t want to waste a season not wanting to be at a club. Also there are a few interesting possibilities either available or up-and-coming.

  • Finn Harps is available, but they are pretty certain to be coming down to the First Division – Wage Bill £179k (Ours for reference is currently £113k). Could be a rebuild, looks Okay financially.
  • Longford‘s manager job is Insecure, but Financially they are also Insecure. Wage Budget £221k, but looks like that needs to fall
  • Shelbourne – Insecure, most probably awaiting the playoffs. £286k/annum wage budget. My first choice if at all possible.

Connah’s Quay are also insecure in the Welsh Premier – £149k/annum but 4th overall in Wales.

The monthly numbers are below:

Good progression by Carrick Hill & Lyamine Mihoubi, plus Paul Caulfield for the kids. Steven Nolan lost a lot last month, and I’ve never seen this before – Kev Taylor loses 4 Bravery due to his knee twist. Hoping that can come back at some point.

Some good stats for the month, Solid passing (Eoin with over 2 Key Passes per 90), ian Turner still over 20% cross completion, Shooting tends to be on target more often than not, good tackle completion and Interception numbers. Only real low point are the mistakes, though we played 2 games against 3rd in the league so an uptick here is to be expected.

Bottom of the pile, 8 goals down on where we should be. Partially this is formational, but these -8 goals are almost entirely on 2 players…. U.C.D & Wexford jump up after their 6-5.

Adam stil doing OK, 3.1 goals up, and new-boy Paul White has started well for Longford, 5.4 goals up after 6 games!!!

Eoin McCormack doing well still a +4.8. Hurley & Turner however are making up -8.7 goals….. Mad.

B- from the board. Acceptable. Don’t care 🙂

Our U19 drew 1-1 in a friendly with Glebe North – Jordan Harmon with the goal and Mark Hourihane, the youth candidate with MotM.

The Semi Finals of the FAI Cup have been played.

It’s going to be Limerick v Cork City, Limerick in their 3rd Final of the season hoping to win their 1st cup.

So to October. 3 games, all tough.

We might get a point out of the U.C.D. & Cabinteely games, but I’m not expecting anything.

Just before the Shelbourne game I get the Contract mail.

Be Competitive. I’m walking away I think. These might be my last 3 matches as Cobh Manager…

Friday 9th October 2020 – Shelbourne (A) – First Division

Shelbourne come to this game in 2nd, all-but-mathematically in the playoffs but could easily finish 4th with a bad run-in. We will try our best to put a spanner in the works, especially if that helps unseat the manager at the end of the day. It’s looking like Galway Utd, our foes from last season, will be the final opponents for the First Division playoff teams. My feeling is if Shelbourne don’t go up the manager is gone.

Thornton in as Hurley has a Yellow-Card suspension. Ekanem in at DM, O’Riordan goes back to DC with Hill. Mihoubi on the left with even-younger John Douglas behind him. Shelbourne go with their 4-2-3-1 Wide, so I’ve changed the wingers to inverted, gone narrow and will try and send a wedge down the centre of the pitch.

FT Shelbourne 0 Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 664 (18 Away)

A drizzly autumn evening in Dublin tonight. Shelbourne start strongly, as you would expect with their recent form. They are strong in the air as well, so expect tons of crosses. Half Hour gone, Cobh have the best chance so far, Mihoubi getting free but shooting wide. Very even apart from shots, which (on target) are currently 6-1 Shelbourne. 0-0 at HT, a decent showing so far. Kane Lewis for Douglas, who looks a bit out of his depth TBH, Fleming goes to the left.

I’ve let the wingers wing in the 2nd half – taken them off inverted, but kept it narrow. 56th minute, Ian Turner Corner, Thornton evades the Shelbourne defence but his volley hits the base of the right-hand post. So close!! Cobh definitely having the better of it in the first 15 minutes. 61 minutes, McCormack 1-on-1 with McCabe, who pulls off an amazing save. Byrne on for Thornton on 70 – BWM, Porter goes AP(A). Pushing the wingers up for the last 15. Nolan of for Mihoubi for the last 5 + Stoppages. Time ticked away, and it finished 0-0. A superb draw away at a very tough side, who we shut down magnificently.

Quite a cagey evening with U.C.D. and Limerick winning and losing 1-0 – Wins for either would have dropped Shelbourne down a place or 2. The Bray-Cabo draw means we are 4 points off of Bray but 3 ahead of Cabo with 2 games left (We play Cabinteely in the last game but have a much better goal difference). Shelbourne, U.C.D. and Limerick have all secured play-off spots.

It’s 2 weeks now to our penultimate game of the season, again away in Dublin, this time v U.C.D., but i don’t see any point in having a friendly TBH.

Carrick Hill makes the team of the week.

This may be the only reason I would stay – money pumped into the club to allow me to get the standard of player we would need to get into the playoffs (at least).

Our U19’s drew 1-1 with Crumlin Utd in a friendly, Daire Doherty with another goal.

A few days later they had another friendly, drawing 1-1 again, this time v Tolka Rovers, Ben Hanrahan with the goal.

Carrick Hill is now rated our best player by CA (Adam Mylod 2nd!!!) so my old favourite of the best players in the team being the GK and Centre-Backs is happening with Cobh. Ben O’Riordan is 4th.

Friday 23rd October 2020 – U.C.D. (A) – First Division

U.C.D. come into the game in 3rd, play-off spot secured but 2nd place is to play for, meaning 2 less play off games as you play the winner of 3rd v 4th. The winner of 2nd v 3rd/4th then plays the 9th placed team in the Premier Division (Definitely Galway Utd.) in a 2-leg play-off for promotion.

No Hill today as he’s off on a Yellows suspension, Murphy in pairing with O’Riordan. Kev Taylor might be back for the last game of the season, Fleming in today with Lewis on the right. Hurley back after suspension. We are slightly more attack-minded today. U.C.D. are playing a 4-2-4 Wide – will go narrower to overload the middle 2, similar to the last game.

FT U.C.D. 0 Cobh Ramblers 1 (Mihoubi 43) Att 140 (17 Away)

A decent start from Cobh on another rainy evening in Dublin. We nearly scored in teh 6th minute, McCormack intercepting a poor throw in, Turner’s shot saved by Kearns. Really end-to-end stuff as we continually get countering opportunities. U.C.D. scored in the 35th, but it was Offside so didn’t count. And the breakthrough came in the 43rd minute, Lyamine Mihoubi (Who I was thinking of taking off after a couple of silly mistakes), free at the back post, taking a lovely cross from Porter, controlling and placing the bottom left hand corner, across the keeper. 1-0 Cobh. A great time to score. 1-0 at HT.

More joy for Mihoubi at the start of the second half, free at the back post again, his header saved by Kearns. Just 140 people here for this game, a reason why I ‘d never consider managing U.C.D. They have been offside so many times this evening – high press leading to this when players mentals aren’t amazing. Cobh playing some lovely football this evening. Turner coming off, Fleming over to the right wing, Charlie Lyons on at left back. Nolan on for Mihoubi with 13 minutes of normal time left. Lyons has mad a couple of ricks, and U.C.D. nearly score from it, Mylod pulling off an amazing double save. Thornton on for Hurley for the last 10. Both full-backs to FB(D). Cobh have been dominating possesion, just wondering if there will be a sting in the tail… but we pretty much camped in the U.C.D. half for the last few minutes, and apart from a few forays there was very little threat. 1-0 it finished, a superb result again. Cobh may be turning my head again….

An interesting week, with U.C.D. now destined for the 3rd v 4th playoff – Only Limerick can go above Shelbourne; Shelbourne need to win their last league game to make sure that doesn’t happen. Drogheda suffer their first loss of the season, a rampant Wexford side coming on strong in the final weeks. We also could finish 5th win a win in our last game after Bray were hammered by Limerick, but Cabo will be a tough as they have been on good form recently. Cabo will need a 8 goal swing to move above us in the final match – so we need to not lose by 4 clear goals…

Our U19’s have played another friendly – A 3-1 win v Pike Rovers – Jordan Harmon and a brace from Daire Doherty.

Eoin Porter makes the team of the week.

There were 3 games on the Thursday, the day before our match with Cabinteely.

Shelbourne secure second with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Limerick, and U.C.D. 3rd with a 2-0 win over Drogheda, who have seemingly already gone on their holidays. Wexford finish the season well beating Bray 1-0, meaning we need either a win or a draw, scoring 3 or more goals to be certain of 5th. 2-2 means we finish on the same points, goal difference and goals scored, 3-3 would mean we beat them by 1 goal scored.

Friday 30th October 2020 – Cabinteely (A) – First Division

Our 3rd trip to Dublin in a row, we face a Cabinteely team in decent form knowing a win will put us up to 5th. This won’t earn us any more prize money than 6th (£8.5k) but it will show the progression, however slow, of the team.

Hill & Murphy are back together in defence, O’Riordan back up to DM. Nolan starts on the left. cabo are playing a 4-4-2, dangerous Ross Tierney up top.

FT Cabinteely 2 (Keeley 3, Kelly 64) Cobh Ramblers 2 (McCormack 53, 66) Att 497 (22 Away)

A very strong start from Cabinteely, going 1-0 up in the 3rd minute, a Conor Keeley header from a wide free kick. They are pretty rampant, so I’ve gone a bit more attacking and narrower – we are drawing them in to much. We’ve had a bit more of the play since. It finished 1-0 at HT, we came back into the game a bit after the changes. Mihoubi on for Nolan, Taylor for Fleming.

An interesting start to the half, Cabinteely controlling the ball. But they did a bit too much, leading to Kev Taylor winning the ball, hitting the ball on the half-volley long to Eoin McCormack, who ran on and scored his 20th of the season. 1-1 against the run of play. We’re much more attacking now. But it was 2-1 Cabinteely in the 63rd – Another well-taken free-kick routine, Kelly with the finish. This lasted 3 minutes. Eoin McCormack fouled on the edge of the area, Keeley booked. He takes the free kick and scores in the top left, a beautifully struck direct free kick. 2-2. And it could have been a hat-trick just a couple of minutes after that, a side-foot volley well saved. Thornton on for Hurley for the last 20. real end-to-end stuff, a Cabinteely break is turned around, resulting in Mihoubi hitting the post. Going Positive. O’Riordan scored in the 87th, but was 5 yards off unfortunately. Lots of chances now, but it finished 2-2. A good showing after being under so much pressure early on.

Top half after lots were drawn!!

Apparently the sorting rules don’t go past goals scored. I’ll take it. 7 points more than last season, only the top 3 lost fewer games than us. That said there is a massive gulf between the top 4 and the rest. £8.61k prize money coming our way, but we are still £25k in the red, £20k worse than the same time last season.

The round-up of the key highlights of the 3 games from October is below.

October 2020 Key Highlights

So that’s that for 2020. Will I still be with Cobh Ramblers in the next post?? Stay tuned and you’ll find out 🙂

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