Busy Busy Busy! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 3 Post 20 – Cobh Ramblers – April 2021

A proper busy month for Part-Timers

This month we have 5 league games & 2 cup, a possible 15 points, final and 3rd round. We will almost be half-way through our league season by the end of the month – just 2 1/2 months in!!! The maximum number of league games in any other month May to October is just 3!!!!

And so to the stats from a decent month (DWWL)

Hurley making some of his losses back, and Lyamine Mihoubi now has 16 pace!!!!

Some interesting drops in attributes.

High points for the stats from the month were the very high pass and cross completion, Eoin McCormack’s 4 goals, 4 lads with over 4 dribbles per game & the centrebacks with good interception rates per 90. Jason Abbott needs to tackle better.

Not much movement with our team xG – We scored pretty much what we should have done. At the top end the numbers are drawing back towards average, Bray now just 6.7 above par after 43 games.

Adam doing well still – 6.5 goals saved above average in his 43 games. Mikey Quinn seems to be causing Cabinteely some problems, letting in almost 16 goals more than average in his 34 games.

Conor Barry shoots to the top after his hat-trick. He was pretty special when we played Galway in Season 1.

I’ve also had a think about seeing what should have happened result-wise for us with regards to xG, as my feeling is we’ve been really hard-done-by this season so far. The proviso I have made is that with xG goals is that you always round down when trying to work out expected results, e.g.

Cobh Ramblers xG 1.73 goals = 1 goal (not over 2), U.C.D xG = 1.07 = 1 goal (not over 2), Expected result 1-1

So by xG we should have a record of P7 W4 D3 L0!!!!! The first 2 games, UCD & Limerick should have been draws (1-1 and 0-0), Longford should have been 1-0 Cobh (1-1, but Longford’s xG of 0.97 is so close to 1 that 1-1 was fair) and that bloody Finn Harps game should have been 2-1 Cobh (3-1 Finn Harps!!). When we look at the 2021 actual table v Expected this shows something very interesting:

We should be top of the table 🙂 Galway are 2 points up on where they should be, but almost 7 goals up on xG, we are 5 points down on where we should be, and just over 1.5 goals down. We are the biggest loser re. eXpected points so far. Athlone are the biggest winner, have 6 points, should have 1!!!

The 2020 season was also very interesting for 1 reason – Drogheda Utd

Drogheda picked up 12 points more than their xG would have done!! Indeed they turned 7 expected draws into wins, 14 points right there. They picked up 5 points more than expected just against us in our 3 games… they gained 22 points against xG, only losing 10. Basically 4 wins against xG…

They should have finished in 3rd, and had the rigmarole of 5 playoff matches to try and get promoted… Note they also score 3.8 goals LESS than expected!!! This shows how vital their keeper, Luca Gratzer was, finishing the campaign 8.1 goals to the good, 4.9 in home games, 3.2 away. Fine margins!!!

The above just shows how vital both putting your chances away is and having a superb keeper and defence. It may be Mylod won’t be our Luca Gratzer; the key to getting enough points to at least get into the playoffs, we shall see (We should have been just 1 point off last season….)

A B from the board.

Our U19’s beat Sheriff Youth Club 3-1, Steven Nolan, triallist Josh Honohan & Ryan Keogh with the goals. Unfortunately Kane Lewis bruised his ankle in the 93rtd minute – Out fro a few days (He wouldn’t have been available for the next game anyway so its not too bad).

2nd April 2021 – Athlone Town (H) – First Division

Athlone are the weakest team in the league by a fair distance, but they have always been a bit of a thorn in my side, so I’m hoping the more attacking mode we are taking will work tonight. They are 9th currently with 2 wins (Limerick & Wexford) and 5 losses, a win for us will maintain our playoff push.

Murphy gets some game time after the capitulation v Finn Harps (plus he’s had a moan so I need to try and keep hime sweet), as does Mihoubi, in for Costelloe with his 16 pace. Abbott is out suspended (yellows) so Hurley partners Devine. Fleming plays at his more normal right-back as Lewis is injured. Athlone start with a very similar system – 4-1-2-3, effectively going man for man.

FT Cobh Ramblers 5 (Hurley 54, Evan Murphy 67, Turner 76 ,McCormack 90, Benson og 90+3) Athlone Town 0 Att 275 (4 Away)

A decent attacking start from Cobh, Mihoubi in the game early. First real chance in the 9th minute, McCormack hitting the base of the right post with a header across the keeper. Lots of attacking intent but no output, the Athlone keeper and defence keeping us out so far. 0-0 at HT

Costelloe on for Mihoubi at HT, going Positive to try and get that goal. And we scored in the 49th minute, Carrick Hill from a corner, but McCormack, who was marking the keeper initially was deemed to have been interfering – he wasn’t anywhere near interfering… Really pressing for that goal now. And the pressure paid off, a 54th minute Eoin McCormack free kick, dead centre, 40 yards out, floated into the middle, where a certain David Hurley was on hand to flick a header past Myles in the Athlone net. 1-0 Cobh. Turner on for Evans on 60, pulling him back a bit to his preferred right midfield. It was 2 in the 67th – a back post in-swinging Ian Turner free kick headed home by Evan Murphy. Cobh really taking over now, camped in the Athlone last 3rd. Myles has made 14 saves out of 16 on target so far…. Mike Hourihane comes on for his debut for Eoin Porter – he’s a 17yo natural AMC AP(S) who’s already 2* CA. 3-0 in the 76th, and it’s only Ian Turner getting himself a goal 🙂 a lovely volley across the keeper from a Dave Hurley back post cross. The 2 worst players by xG in the league have scored 🙂 Athlone came back into it a bit in the last few minutes but it was 4 in the 90th, a lovely break, Hourihane with a beautiful ball slipped through for Eoin McCormack to tap in. We’re not done yet!! It was 5 in the 93rd minute, a Benson own goal, diverting a McCormack tap-in past Myles. 5-0 it finished, a mad game and an amazing result seeing it was 0-0 at HT.

A bit of a mad one today, Cabinteely doing to Finn Harps what we should have done, Limerick putting Galway to the sword and Bray winning a good game v U.C.D., Paul Doyle with a brace (@ObliqueKick!!!!!). We stay 4th. We also beat the xG (3.99 for us) which is superb.

Our U19’s lost 3-2 to Shamrock Rovers U19, Dara Costelloe (Can’t play in the next league game as its his parent club, Galway) and Daire Doherty with the goals.

Just 6 of the lads in the First Division Team of the Week 🙂

We’ve had the draw for the 2nd Round of the League Cup

Cork City again in a cup!! Hopefully we will get a few ÂŁK for the gate. It seems we had a bye in the 1st Round as Galway beat Athlone 2-1 in Extra Time….

9th April 2021 – Galway Utd (A) – First Division

We make the trip to Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway for the first time since we played them in the FAI Cup Quarter Final in September 2019. In the mean time Galway have been promoted (2019) and relegated (lost 3-2 to Shelbourne in the Premier Division/First Division Playoff) and we meet them when they are top of the league. However last time out the only snuck past Athlone 2-1 AET (This was 4 in-game days ago) and in their last league game they lost 3-1 to Limerick, so we may have a chance. Their squad means they are predicted to finish top (Evens) though we are 4-1 now (Still 6th). We have yet to beat them in this save, I just want the boys to carry on from that second half last time out.

We go with a 4-4-1-1 this evening, Turner back in after his 2nd half heroics last time out, and Mihoubi starts again as Costelloe can’t play (Mentioned above), Wingbacks have been taken off overlap plus onto Defend as it really seemed to work last time with the balance. Galway go with the exact same formation… Conor Barry is the one to watch, may need to put Hurley on Defend duty.

FT Galway Utd 2 (Cunningham 47, Brouder 58) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Ebbe 90) Att 581 (24 Away)

A decent enough start with some early Cobh pressure. Mihoubi missed a close in header after 25 minutes that seemed simpler to score than not. Galway came back into it around the half hour mark, looking dangerous, but Cobh were equal in all areas, only allowing long shots from Galway. 0-0 at Half Time. Going to move the wingers up and go positive in the 2nd half – there’s something there for us tonight.

Galway flew out of the traps and scored in the 47th minute, Cunningham at the back post, just evading the offside trap. Abbott on for a tired Hurley in the 57th minute. And it was 2-0 in the 58th, a terrible missed header by Devine from a deep free kick allowing a tap in for Killian Brouder. 62nd minute, bot Ian Turner & Mark Timlin were injured in a coming together – Evans coming on. 69th, getting Ebbe on for Devine, going to a wide diamond, get the ball forward quick, all that good stuff. 75th minute – Taylor gets himself sent off for a two-footed lunge. I need a proper left back. We’re still getting chances, but the Athlone game looks like a blip – we’re just not good enough in front of goal. 90th minute, and a possible goal of the season – a 30-yarder, top left bins from Dean Ebbe!! 2-1 Galway – PUSH FORWARD!!!! It wasn’t to be though, a 2-1 loss, 2 poor pieces of defending. Gutted.

We remain 4th as Longford lose and U.C.D. only draw with Athlone Town. Looking like a 3-way battle at the top with Galway, Limerick & Bray all up there. We’re a third of the way through the season.

Ian Turner – Bruised Knee – Out for 2 to 3 days. Not bad after seeing the incident.

Looking at the game xG Galway had the better chances and won 1.38 to 1.09 – That said that’s really a 1-1 so it shows how mistakes can kill you in FM.

Our U19’s beat Bray U19 3-0 in the league – Daire Doherty with a hat-trick(!)

Possibly the biggest news of the save so far (From a personal standpoint) – I’ve been allowed to go on a coaching course 🙂 My first, which should help me in future moves.


Pierce Phillips

  • 22yo, 5ft 10in
  • DL/MC (I’ll be playing him as a left-back most of the time)
  • Released by Cork City at the end of the 2020 season, still with Cork IRL
  • Very solid all-around Ball Winner or Left back (Right footer so inverted mainly)
  • 3.5* CA, 5* PA

Pierce comes in as our 2nd best owned player by CA (Only Carrick Hill is higher) and is a big improvement on either Kevin Taylor or Charlie Fleming at left-back. We are now bang on our wage budget (So we really need to get promoted this season!!!)

Our U19’s had another game, a 3-1 win v Midleton, Stephen Cunningham (17yo ML), Shane O’Flynn (18yo AMC) and Ryan Keogh (18yo MC) with the goals.

Roy Keane loving a bit of David Evans at the moment 🙂

16th Apr 2021 – U.C.D. (A) – First Division

This evening starts a crazy run of 14 days and 5 matches – U.C.D. this evening, Cork City in the league Cup in 3 days (Monday 19th), Limerick in the league 4 days after, then in the Munster Senior Cup Semi 3 days later and lastly Cabinteely to round of the month – 3 league games, 2 cup and we really need to get at least 2 wins in these league games. This evening is a possibility I think.

U.C.D. are currently 6th and haven’t won since beating Finn Harps 6 games ago (D3 L2 since), drawing 1-1 with Athlone Town last time out.

Starting off Cautious, Phillips debuts at left-back, O’Riordan back in at centre-back. A slight change of roles in midfield with Devine the DLP, Porter now an AM. Costelloe & Evans will hopefully rip it up. U.C.D. go with a 4-2-4 Wide!!!!!

FT U.C.D. 1 (Mahdy 65) Cobh Ramblers 0 Att 132 (20 Away)

A decent start, and the first good chance came in the 13th minute, David Evans fashioning a 1-on-1, hitting it straight at Conor Kearns… Cobh definitely with the better of the game early on. U.C.D. started coming back into it around the half hour, getting a succession of set pieces, scoring in the 37th minute. It was disallowed – about 3 yards offside. 0-0 at HT, 55% possession, Cobh dominated but again no goals.

Changed Eoin McCormack to a PF(A) from a TM(A) to see if that gets him into the game more. Also going balanced. Really good early on from Cobh, Keeper Kearns making a string of great saves. McCormack off for Dean Ebbe – AF(A) for him, go get us a goal. Mylod pulled off a couple of lovely saves to keep us in the game as well, Keepers on top tonight. Then disaster, Mahdy with a 30 yarder from nowhere, 1-0 U.C.D. Again showing he struggles with long shots. Hourihan on for Porter and Nolan for Costelloe with 15 left. Positive. So frustrating, so many opportunities. 1-0 it finished.

Same shit, different day. Our inability to put chances away is killing us. Bray & Limerick top the table after Galway top 3 points to Cabinteely, who go above us with U.C.D. Athlone & Wexford very much the bottom 2, we really need to kick on to not be 8th as Longford & Finn Harps are nipping at our tail. Do I need to think about moving on as early as June? Hoping the coaching badge will help that (Though not until September when I should get it).

Looking at the game xG we turned a win into a loss – 1.40 Cobh 0.82 U.C.D. That’s now happened twice this season (Finn Harps the other). I think a certain Daire Doherty is getting a chance up top soon.

Our U19’s beat Kerry 4-1 – Goals from Axel Bernet (18yo DC), David Keogh (With another MotM performance) and a brace from Lyamine Mihoubi.

19th Apr 2021 – Cork City (A) – Irish League Cup 2nd Round

We make the short journey to Turner’s Cross for a repeat of our FAI Cup Quarter Final from last year, hoping for a different outcome. There are no replays today thankfully so we will go into this trying to get a result in 90 minutes; our next game is in 4 days (Limerick in the league). Cork are currently 5th in the Premier Division, starting the season badly but have come back a bit in the last month, beating Dundalk & St. Pats in the last 2 games. Wondering whether they are going to rest a few players though.

Daire Doherty gets a chance up top as a Poacher – I just want to see a bit less profligacy, and he’s been on fire for the U19’s with 7 in 7. Nolan starts on the left – Costelloe gets a ton of chances but has only taken the 1 this season so far. Abbott starts as the BWM(D) and Lewis starts at right back. A bit of rotation as the Limerick game is pivotal for our season and push for 4th. Hoping for a few ÂŁK gate monies from this evening 🙂 Cork start with a 4-4-1-1 and are playing a massively rotated team this evening… Only 7 first-teamers and nobody with more than 2 starts this season…

FT Cork City 2 (Williams 17, Knox 19) Cobh Ramblers 3 (Doherty 15, Devine 64, Hill 80) Att 2,532 (139 Away)

Cobh with early chances, Bohan in the Cork net keeping them in it. But it was 1-0 in the 15th minute. The boy-wonder Daire Doherty with a Direct Free Kick, just inside the top right angle. Pinpoint. That lasted about 90 seconds, another missed clearence header (Lewis) from a free kick allowing an easy tap-in for Williams. 1-1. And 90 seconds after that it was 2-1 Cork, scythed apart by good passing and bad defensive positioning – Lewis again at fault, with Knox finishing well. Doherty looks dangerous, and his delivery of set-pieces is really good. 2-1 at HT – 59% possession this time…..

Changing it up for the 2nd half, something that worked well in FM19 – a narrow diamond. Wingers off, O’Riordan to DM, Hughes on to fill the centre-back position vacated by Ben. McCormack on, 2 up top. A good quick start by Cobh with a string of corners. Hurley on for a tired O’Riordan just after 60, Abbott back to DM, Hurley playing as a Carrillero. Good pressure, and the equaliser!! an absolute screamer of a volley from 20 yards, top left hand corner across the keeper by Devine after a headed clearance. Pick that one out!! Currently we’ve had 15 shots on target out of 19, Cork 5 from 9!!!!! And fuck me, it was 3-2 Cobh in the 80th, a Carrick Hill header from a Daire Doherty corner!!!! Keep going lads!!! Bohan has kept this from being a rout!! There’s a bit of a glitch in the highlights – Cork players in different kits, some black, some green…..

Pick a strip guys!!!!

Time is ticking down, Cork with a wonderful chance in the 90th, a poor finish straight at Mylod and into his arms. And we’ve only gone and won!!! 3-2, a brilliant comeback and pause-for-thought on our formation going forward. Daire Doherty, Tek a Boo Son!!!! 9.1 Av Rating, 5 Chances, 5 Key Passes, 1 Assist and a goal – Man of the Match 🙂

Bray & Cobh both beat Premier Division opponents today, with Limerick also coming through, beating Galway 2-0 at home. We get ÂŁ2K for the win. And so to the Draw for the Quarters:

Away to Derry City, 9th in the Premier Division currently, only 1 league win, the first day of the season v Drogheda and lots of draws….. Its the hope that kills you 🙂 Also the win means 7 games in 3 weeks…..

23rd Apr 2021 – Limerick F.C. (H) – First Division

We know all about Limerick, a really good squad of attacking players, currently top, no losses in any competition since the mad 3-1 loss to Athlone Town on the first day of the season. Their last 5 games form is WWWWW so I’m not expecting anything from this one.

We give the 4-4-2 Narrow Diamond a go from the start, fighting fire with fire. McCormack & Doherty start up top, Porter as his liked AP(S) in attacking mid, Hurley & Devine in centre mid, O’Riordan as the DM. Phillips & Lewis as the wingbacks, giving us a bit of width, Hughes & Hill in central defence. Limerick as usual are 4-4-2-ing it.

FT Cobh Ramblers 1 (Phillips pen 90+5) Limerick F.C. 3 (Figueira 29, 44, pen 61) Att 393 (127 Away)

Limerick start off strongly, the Cobh passing a bit wayward. Limerick look very good. Using ‘Get Stuck In’ to try and mix things up but Limerick went 1-0 up in the 29th, a free kick tapped in at the back post by Figueira. It was 2-0 in the 44th minute, Figueira again as Scully gets a ball back in after a deep cross. All change for the 2nd half, 2-0 it finished.

Evans & Costelloe on, McCormack & O’Riordan off, back to 4-1-2-3 wide. A bit better from Cobh early on. 61st minute, a Limerick break and Lewis hauls down Lewis – Figueira scores the penalty. We’re just not good enough often enough. Fleming on for Lewis. Lots of good attacking movement from Cobh, just no final ball. 4 minutes into stoppage time we get a penalty – Hill tripped by Scully at a Corner. Phillips fires it home. 3-1 FT, thank fuck that’s over.

Still 6th, as Longford & Finn Harps both lose. Cabinteely a couple of points clear in 4th as U.C.D. slip up against Wexford.

xG for the game was a Limerick 2.36 to Cobh 1.59 win – Pretty much all due to the first half, my fault for trying the narrow formation.

Our U19’s lost 1-0 to Cork City U19’s

26th Apr 2021 – Limerick F.C. (H) – Munster Senior Cup Semi Final

Here we go again – I just want a better performance today.

A bit of rotation because of tired legs – Doherty & Hourihane start with Porter going back to centre mid. Taylor starts at left back, Evan Murphy & O’Riordan partner in central defence. We go Cautious, hoping to hit them on the Counter. Limerick have also rotated a bit, should be interesting.

FT Cobh Ramblers 4 (Evans 10, 45+2, Doherty 53, 67) Limerick F.C. 2 (McCarthy 33, Metz 77) Att 217 (10 Away)

A decent start, Cobh with the early chances. Limerick have such quick wingers, its really tough defending against them. The breakthrough came to Cobh however, 10th minute, David Evans gets the ball, goes on a mazey run, gets tackled by Kehoe twice, regains the ball twice and slams it home through McGuinness. 1-0 Cobh! Lots of Limerick pressure after the goal, but the boys have stood firm. It was 1-1 however in the 33rd minute, a horrible ball out from Mylod picked off by McCarthy, who ran on and scored. FFS, you never see errors from other teams (I play in Comprehensive), we are making so many. Going positive, lets go out swinging. Doherty missed an absolute sitter from 3 yards just after 40 minutes………. And it was 2-1 2 minutes into injury time. And its that man David Evans again!!! A beautiful through ball by Porter and a lovely finish!! 2-1 Cobh at HT.

A great attacking start to the second half by Cobh. I’ve noticed the AI teams with quick goalkeeper distribution on are doing some stupid quick kicks since the last update – seen it a few times from McGuinness today. It was 3-1 Cobh in the 53rd minute – another beautiful through ball by Porter finding an on-rushing Doherty, who placed the ball past McGuinness. Porter is spraying the passes around today, maybe helping him being a bit deeper. Nolan on for Costelloe on 60 – he’s really struggling. Madness, it’s 4-1!! 67th minute, a lovely cross from Evans headed home beautifully by Doherty – Going Positive and moving the lines up had switched this game up a fair bit!!! Pierce Phillips on for Devine in centre mid as a ball winner. 71 gone. It was 4-2 in the 77th – a clearance from a free Kick floated back in, Metz scoring, definitely looking offside. Hughes on for a knackered O’Riordan with 5 left. The game is getting really stretched. Evan Murphy hit the post in the 93rd minute and Evans is desperately seeking his hat-trick. It finished 4-2, a brilliant second half. We’re in the final again 🙂

We face Mervue Utd from non-league in the Final in early June 🙂 £5k in the bank for the win.

30th Apr 2021 – Cabinteely (A) – First Division

We travel to Dublin this evening for our last game of a packed month versus a Cabinteely side that have won their last 4 league games in a row and are currently 4th. A win is essential to get back towards that 4th place spot.

Doherty maintains his place after his brilliant showing last time out. Devine & Hurley play as twin Carilleros, Nolan in for Costelloe. Hill & O’Riordan play at the back. Cabinteely go with a 4-4-2 a la Limerick, so I’m hoping we can do well.

FT Cabinteely 1 (Tierney 86) Cobh Ramblers 2 (Nolan 30, O’Riordan 58) Att 471 (21 Away)

Cabo start well, lots of attacking intent. Cobh came back after 5 mins, lots of desperate defending by Cabo. Then a massive turning point in the game – 13th minute, Cabo’s Dempsey gets a straight Red for a scything tackle on Devine on half way where he was last man. 10 men for 78 minutes! It took another 18 minutes for the breakthrough – Fleming winning the ball back from Chindea, a lovely cross and Nolan heads it just inside the left-hand post. 1-0 Cobh, 30 gone. It could have been 2 just after, Quinn with a lovely save. 4-3-3 now, Porter back to centre mid as a DLP(D). 1-0 at HT.

A quiet start to the 2nd half. Ebbe on for Doherty on 55. 58th minute, a lovely deep Kev Taylor free kick flicked home by Ben O’Riordan for his first of the season. 2-0 Cobh 🙂 70 gone, Evans hits the post. We still need to be aware of breaks though. Going Counter for the last 20. Turner on for Evans. 73rd minute, Ebbe scores, but its offside by a couple of yards. Hughes on for O’Riordan (Knackered again) for the last 10. 2-1 in the 86th – somehow Ross Tierney beats Mylod from quite wide and was almost definitely offside when he received the pass……FFS. We’re not changing things. 5 minutes added on. It finished 2-1. 3 Vital points.

5th, 1 point off of Cabo and the playoff places. Galway lose a big match at the top v Bray, Limerick do us a favour beating U.C.D. Nearing halfway through the season.

And that is April 2021 done. Such a mixed month.

2 brilliant cup wins, 2 good league wins, 1 really disappointing league loss (U.C.D.), 1 frustrating league loss (Limerick) and 1 acceptable loss (Galway).

Next month starts with Derry in the League Cup Quarters, followed by a very tough league game v Bray and 2 very winnable ones v Longford & Wexford. At least 7 points needed to keep up our playoff intentions. Below are the key highlights of the matches from April. See you soon.

April 2020 Roundup

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