Abbott & Costello(e) – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 2 Post 20 – Cobh Ramblers – February 2021

Straight into the action with our very own Abbott & Costelloe – Jason & Dara – as we have 4 games in 14 days.

Two tough openers, U.C.D. (Season Preview 1st) and Limerick (2nd), a nice cup game and Cabinteely (8th) – We’re currently 6th in the preview so we are moving on a bit in the eyes of the bookies.

12th Feb 2021 – U.C.D. (H) – First Division

We welcome U.C.D. to St. Colman’s Park for the first game of the season. They’ve only brought in 2 new players and shipped a few off (Maybe they are showing higher in the preview as the average squad strength increased because of this).

We go with the 4-3-3 2DM (Or 4-2-1-3 2DM, or 4-2-1-2-1 2DM). McCormack starts up top, with teh new wingers Costelloe & Evans who both looked dangerous in the friendlies. Devine starts as a DLP (Porter still recovering fitness), with Abbott & O’Riordan sitting deep (Abbott can go up into centre mid at anytime if needed. Taylor & Lewis play as the wingbacks, Hughes & Hill in the centre, Mylod as the Sweeper Keeper. U.C.D. go with a 4-3-2-1 Narrow Christmas-Tree-of-Doom. We will attempt to go round them, as we do all narrow formations.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (McCormack 18, Fleming 89) U.C.D. 3 (Moran 16, Doherty 33, Doyle 74) Att 294 (5 Away)

U.C.D. started well, looking slick on the ball, but our wide boys Evans & Costelloe look mighty dangerous, only U.C.D. keeper Conor Kearns keeping the score level. Realised I hadn’t set the set pieces up 🙂 Then from nowhere U.C.D. go 1-0 up – a 30 yard screamer from Moran. Nothing you can do about that. Almost straight away we pulled level, a superb break by Costelloe & Evans leading to a McCormack tap-in. 1-1, 18 gone. Moving to 2 in centre mid, with O’Riordan as the DM(D) in the middle. It was 2-1 U.C.D, in the 33rd minute, Doherty getting free and tapping in. 2 shots, 2 goals. No idea how that’s 2-1 at HT, Cobh dominated. Fleming on for Taylor, who has looked a bit lost.

Good chances early on for Cobh, but U.C.D remain dangerous. Dean Ebbe coming on for McCormack on 60. Costelloe should have scored just after, a 1-on-1 saved. Mihoubi on for the last 20. 3-1 in the 74th, a Doyle Direct Free Kick…. 2 goals from 30 yards today. 89 gone, a Charlie Fleming rocket from 22 yards flew in – 3-2, can we get anything from this? Unfortunately no. That feels like a robbery, 3 chances to their 1, 61% possession. And with only 27 games you can’t afford to lose. Gutted.

All to plan apart from a remarkable 3-1 win by Athlone Town v Limerick, who we face next.

Ethan Devine is out for 9-12 days – a damaged heel in training.

Charlie Fleming makes team of the week after his stunner v U.C.D.

Jack Lynch also out – 2-3 days, tight thigh after sprints in training.

19th Feb 2021 – Limerick F.C. (A) – First Division

Limerick are coming off of a surprise 3-1 defeat at Athlone, we are coming off our dominant, if losing display v U.C.D. We are also the only game this evening – think there are a load of Leinster Senior Cup games going on.

We are sitting back on the wings a bit today – Turner in for Evans. Porter is back (Devine was thrown in the water a bit v U.C.D. because of the injuries, and he is now injured himself) and we go 4-1-4-1 as per the end of last season. Fleming starts on the left after Kev Taylor’s poor showing in the first half in the last game. Not expecting anything, we shall see, but I know I’ve got Evans & Mihoubi who can come on and run the fullbacks ragged. Limerick go with their usual positive 4-4-2.

FT Limerick F.C. 1 (Daly 47) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 1,324 (45 Away)

Limerick straight on the attack, but we hit the bar in the 3rd minute, a Costelloe header. Cobh very much on the back foot early on though. Cobh came back into it a bit near the end of the half, but it finished 0-0 – very tight indeed.

Bloody direct free kicks – 1-0 Limerick in the 47th, Daly from almost the same position as the one in the U.C.D. game. Evans on for Turner, Ebbe for O’Riordan, going 4-2-4 Positive 🙂 We’re a bit more open now. Mihoubi for the last 10. But to no avail. 1-0 Limerick, 2 losses from 2, 3 goals out of 4 conceded from range….

We’ve not got time for this in a 27 game season. Need to really pick it up versus Cabinteely.

Our U19’s played out a 0-0 Friendly v Evergreen.

23rd Feb 2021 – Rockmount (H) – Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final

Rockmount AFC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockmount_A.F.C.) are based in Whitechurch, north of Cork City itself. They play in the Munster Senior League.

We go with a 4-4-2 Diamond today, with Hurley & Devine still on the mend and Abbott cup-tied we only have 2 fit midfielders. We have rotated a bit with a game to come in 3 days in the league v Cabinteely. Daire Doherty starts as a poacher up top – I wonder if he can be the lynch-pin with Evans and Costelloe bombing up the wings as he seems to be able to find space in the box when I’ve seen him play. Rockmount are going with the narrow version of this tactic. should be interesting.

FT Cobh Ramblers 2 (McCormack pen 52, 70) Rockmount 0 Att 226 (8 Away)

A very slow start by Cobh, trying to get used to the change in style. McSweeney scored in the 22nd minute at a corner, but was fractionally offside apparently. This is really tough going, 0-0 at HT.

Going very narrow to try and match up a bit more in midfield. Penalty to Cobh in the 51st, Turner scythed down, McCormack scoring. 1-0. Mihoubi & Evans on for Nolan & Turner just before 60. 2-0 in the 70th, a Doherty FK headed in at the back post by McCormack. McCormack hit the bar in the 89th, which would have been his hat-trick, and it finished 2-0. An easy enough win even if it was very profligate.

So that’s us through to the Semi – £3.38k in the bank.

26th Feb 2021 – Cabinteely (H) – First Division

We welcome Cabinteely to Cobh this evening needing a win, they lost 3-1 to a strong Galway team in their first League game and 1-0 to Longford in the Leinster Senior Cup 4th Round. They are rated 9th in the Season Preview (We’re 6th) so we should have a decent chance after close games versus the 1st and 2nd rated teams in the division.

Back to the normal 4-1-2-3 DM – Looking for Costelloe & Evans to wreak havoc. Taylor starts on the left – he looked very dangerous v Rockmount. Cabinteely go with a Cautious 4-4-2.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Costelloe 19) Cabinteely 0 Att 302 (33 Away)

A pretty even start, both teams looking good going forward. Noticing we have been heading so many free kicks over so I’ve changed the deeper free kicks to ‘Best Header’, to see if that makes a difference. Then a goal of the season candidate. Dara Costelloe, Tek a Boo!!!. He picks it up 20 yards from half way in his own half after a clearence from McCormack, rounds one, and runs, and runs, and runs, no challenges, and shoots – a complete thunderbastard from 20 yards 🙂 Wow! 1-0 Cobh. Cabinteely are really pushing now. It should have been two just after 30, a long ball by Carrick Hill misjudged by Keeley, McCormack in on goal, hits the base of the right post… 1-0 at HT.

Ben O’Riordan is a bit shattered – may need to change it up a bit relatively early in the half. Also Evans has not had a good one so Turner may be making an appearance soon. Yep – O’Riordan off for Devine on 55. Turner for Evans on 65. Fleming on for Taylor for the last 10. Been a quiet half. The last few moments were a bit of a scramble, but it finished 1-0. Phew!!!! A moment of brilliance from Costelloe the difference.

Wexford pulled off a shock 4-3 win v Finn Harps, scoring all 4 in the 2nd half. Limerick U.C.D finished 0-0 – we need the top teams to all take points off of each other. Strangely only 1 team hasn’t won a game after just 2 games; Cabinteely.

Just coming up to the end of February now, and our U19’s won a friendly 3-0 v West United, the goals from 18 yo AMC Shane O’Flynn & a brace from 17 yo striker James Hobbs.

And that’s that. Next time March 2021 – 4 league games, all winnable, we shall see.

Lastly we have the highlights from our 4 games. See you soon.

February 2021 Key Highlights

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