The Playoffs!!! – PearceyPlays #FM20 Season 3 – Part 27 – Cobh Ramblers – November/End of Season 2021

Last month’s post was big, but this is huge for the club as a whole. 6 games potentially from promotion, but we’ve been massively hamstrung by the schedule, with just 51 hours between the FAI Cup Final and our first playoff game at home to Bray Wanderers.

As its another month we have the usual paraphernalia:

2nd in manager of the month for the 2nd month running…

just the 5 lads in the League 1 team of the Week, Adam, Kane, Eoin, David & Brian.

And we’ve been taken over by local investor Jason Sweeney – He’s put £22k into the coffers, so we’re just over £50k in the black. As such the Board Update shows as a ‘B’, awaiting games to be played essentially.

2nd November 2021 – Bray Wanderers (H) – 1st Division Promotion Playoff Semi Final First Leg

So the 51 hours have passed and we entertain Bray in a crucial playoff first leg – try not to get thumped I think tonight. I’ve not yet looked at the fitness levels…

Very pleasantly surprised – no one below 90%. Thinking we need to smash it this game then possibly hold on a little bit in the 2nd leg. We know the boys now, no change. Bray start with an attacking 4-2-4 wide – this could get messy – Remember we beat them 5-2 last time we played them!!!

FT Cobh Ramblers 6 (Sammon pen 7, 45+2, 53, Devine 10, Evans 21, Porter 41) Bray Wanderers 1 (Browne 81) Att 1,513 (613 Away)

More of the same please – our league form has been something else recently, hoping we’ve got enough stamina to go for a few more games. And straight into the action, 6th minute, and a penalty to Cobh – a trip on Costelloe by Nolan as he skipped past him. Sammon steps up… and bangs it in 🙂 1-0 Cobh. A superb start. And would you believe, it’s 2-0 in the 10th. A lovely lofted free kick by Sammon finds Costelloe at the back post, whose shot is saved well, but directly into the path of Ethan Devine, who taps home. 2-0 Cobh, 10 gone!!! 7 goals against Bray now in 100 minutes! Bray should have scored in the 15th minute, our defence was carved open but Mylod stood big and saved the 1-on-1 with Ellis. Bray getting a bit more of the ball now. But you can’t stop the Cobh boys!! 3-0 in the 21st, a bit of an odd one, Cobh Barcelona-ing a bit, the ball slipped through to Evans by Porter, who takes it to the byline, then back towards the goal before breaking the laws of physics, scoring through Sava at the near post. Extraordinary stuff!!! We are absolutely battering them at every opportunity. Bray then waste another guilt-edge goal chance, Ellis having another 1-on-1 saved by that man Mylod. We’ve got some tired fellas out there now though, would like to go in at half-time 3-0 up please!!! Unfortunately we can’t – It’s 4-0 in the 41st 🙂 🙂 🙂 This time Porter gets clear, set loose by a lovely pass by Devine, placing his shot beautifully just inside the left post. Madness, Bray have good all out attack and are leaving massive holes everywhere. And its 5-0 in the 2nd minute of stoppage time – Porter in acres of space in the middle of the park receives a nice flat throw from Mylod, he strides 30 yards or so, nobody bothering to come to him, slips a ball to Sammon that appears to be a bit wide, but he finishes well, a lovely crisp left-footed shot across Sava. 5-0 Cobh!! 10 goals v Bray in 3 halves of football. 5-0 at the half.

OK, subbage relatively early I think, Hughes, Lewis and Hurley looking candidates for a bit of rest. I’ll wait until 60 I think. What do you do if you are Bray?? 6-0 in the 53rd, the Porter, Evans & Sammon show, Porter to Evans, who slips the ball through the static Bray back line, Sammon hitting his hat-trick goal under the body of Sava. Meade on for Hughes first up. They’ve changed to a 4-1-2-3 – The Horse has already bolted lads!!! Just coming up to 70, Lewis and Hurley coming off, Taylor & Abbott coming on. Bray score in the 81st, Browne with his first of the season from fully 25 yards………. We are still pushing for lucky 7 though!! But its all over, a 1st leg 6-1 drubbing 🙂 Absolutely amazing football from the lads.

What more can you say!! The only negative is Adam Hughes being suspended for the next game for Yellows – now 8 this season – really surprised this isn’t reset for play-off football.

5th November 2021 – Bray Wanderers (A) – 1st Division Promotion Playoff Semi Final Second Leg

We make the journey to Wicklow this Friday evening knowing we shouldn’t really have any problems, but also aware that winning creates more winning, with the 2-legged Playoff Final v Limerick looming next week.

The only change is Meade for the suspended Hughes. Same again please! Bray start with a 4-1-3-2 wide, with just Hollywood & Gannon in the centre of the park… 4-2-4 didn’t work very well for them last time out, withdrawing the winger a bit might help with Evans and Costelloe but when you have Porter, Devine & Hurley in the middle of the park allowing an overload is not a good idea…

FT Bray Wanderers 0 (1) Cobh Ramblers 1 (7) (Sammon 9) Att 2,533 (252 Away) – Cobh win 7-1 on Aggregate

We’re in our Sky Blue kit this evening at the Carlisle Grounds as the game starts slowly. We have to wait until the 9th minute to go 1-0 up (7-1 on aggregate) – A direct free kick from Sammon. I know I’ve not got much chance of keeping him, Evans or Costelloe but if I could possibly keep this team together…. Bray showing a bit more this evening, with a few good chances, and Hurley gets himself a booking (So he’s out of the playoff final 1st leg). 1-0 at Half Time.

Mihoubi on for Evans at half time (Evans is another one on the cusp of a ban for yellows). Mylod has pulled a few good saves off now, maybe time to drop the line a bit? Taylor on for Lewis just after 60. Hourihane for Porter for the last 20. And its all over. 1-0 on the night, 7-1 on aggregate, a thoroughly professional performance.

So (at least) two more games coming up. Hurley will be out for game 1 after getting his 8th Yellow of the season.

9th November 2021 – Limerick F.C. (H) – 1st Division Promotion Playoff Final First Leg

A real biggie today as we entertain fellow Munsterites Limerick. They’ve not had a game in 12 days, losing 2-1 to Galway in the winner-takes all final league game that saw Galway crowned as champions. Before that game they had won their last 4 league games, so definitely wont’t be a pushover. they’ve beaten us twice in the league this season, 1 draw and we beat them 4-2 in the Munster Senior Cup Semi Final.

We also go into the game Evens favourites with the bookies, Limerick 11/5…

Hurley out (Yellows), Phillips to the BWM role, Taylor in at left wing back. Hughes back in after his ban. The boys are fit and raring to go 🙂 Limerick go with a 4-4-2.

FT Cobh Ramblers 3 (Sammon 6, 40, pen 48) Limerick FC 0 Att 992 (661 Away)

A slowish start, but today it takes until the 6th minute to go 1-0 up – a looping cross fumbled by O’Shaughnessy in the Limerick goal, straight to Brian Sammon, who taps home his 21st of the (half) season… A great start yet again. We are getting so many runs from Sammon, and the majority of them break the line amazingly. Think this could get quite tight though as we’re failing to put the chances away today, and the Limerick keeper has made 6 good saves since his rick. It was a lovely counter that put us 2-0 up, 40th minute, a long pass forward from Phillips to Evans, who strode on, picking a lovely low cross to Sammon, who tapped home at the near post. 2-0 at Half Time, lovely play from the boys.

48th minute, Penalty Cobh!! Apparently a push on O’Riordan. Sammon steps up… and scores!!!! 3-0, Cobh, another hat-trick from that man Sammon. Limerick come back into the game a bot, Mylod saving brilliant from a rampaging Connolly, but they are also making mistakes, Sammon nearly in for his 4th. Ben O’Riordan scored in the 54th, but was offside, guiding in a shot from Porter that was going wide. 60 gone, Kane Lewis is knackered, so Charlie Fleming comes on to a standing ovation from the St. Colman’s Park faithful after his injury layoff. 70 gone, O’Riordan also a bit tired, Meade coming on in his place. Limerick score in the 78th, but Figueira was offside. Last sub, Abbott for Phillips for the last 10. Limerick looking more dangerous now, would be lovely to see the game out now the hard work has been done. Limerick go 3-4-3 to try and get a goal. But we hold on. 3-0 at Full Time. A stunning result.

Ok, 2 days rest, then the 2nd leg.

12th November 2021 – Limerick F.C. (A) – 1st Division Promotion Playoff Final Second Leg

Limerick have it all to do this evening to turn a 3 goal deficit around – I’m looking for another win to keep the morale high, though a draw would be fine as well.

So, Evans is a yellow away from a suspension, so he is rested, Ian Turner coming in for possibly his last game for Cobh Ramblers. Phillips back to left wingback with Hurley back after suspension. Same again please, Limerick go with a 4-4-2 again – no Figueira, which is interesting.

FT Limerick F.C. 2 (2) (Metz 55, Gray 85) Cobh Ramblers 3 (6) (Sammon 24, 38, Turner 27) Att 1,301 (137 Away) – Cobh Ramblers win 6-2 on Aggregate

Limerick start the game the better – They have a long, narrow pitch so I may go a bit wider. And in the 24th minute we go 1-0 (4-0 on aggregate) – a Wimbledon 50-yard pass from David Hurley picks out the on-running Sammon, who scorers well past O’Shaughnessy. And it’s 2-0 (5-0) in the 27th – a lovely break from a Limerick free kick, Sammon receives it, a lovely pass to Devine, who advances, picks out Turner in acres, who fires home from just inside the box. And it’s 3-0 (6-0) in the 38th, another Hurley-ball over the top finds Sammon, who hits the post with his first shot (On the volley, over his right shoulder) but scores the rebound. Can honestly say I’ve never been involved in a run of form like this at any time playing FM. Limerick had a really good chance just before half time but O’Riordan blocked a Gray shot just as he pulled the trigger. 3-0 (6-0) at Half Time.

Limerick start the half well and get on the score-sheet with a quick counter, Metz with the goal. Just coming up to 70 minutes, Fleming on for Lewis. 80 Minutes, Hourihane for Porter and Doherty for Sammon, lets keep everybody fit for the final final 🙂 And just after the sub Charlie Fleming gets injured, so we have to play the last 10 with 10 men… Looks like a groin injury. And its 3-2 in the 85th, Connolly free on the left, shoots, hits the post and Gray is the first to it. But we see out the last few minutes for a 3-2 win on the night.

2 more games left to win!!!

Charlie Fleming – Groin Strain – 6-7 Weeks – A real shame, I would have loved to have had Charlie available for the final veruss Bohemians, but he’ll have to cheer on from the stand.

And we have the luxury of a week before the Premier Division/First Division Playoff First Leg versus Bohemians – we are at home again for the first leg. 180 minutes, just 180 minutes to keep on playing how we have been for the past few months.

We’ve picked up a few injuries in the training leading up to the game – nothing too drastic though, Lynch and McSweeney with tigh calves.

19th November 2021 – Bohemian F.C. (H) – Premier Division/1st Division Playoff First Leg

We welcome Bohemians to St Colman’s Park for the first time this season (We beat them 3-1 at theirs in the FAI Cup Quarter Final) looking to continue with this mad run of form. the Bookie have us 3-1 favourites!!!!

Evans back in for the first leg (Don’t get booked!!!), everybody else unchanged. Lets go and put it out of reach in the 1st leg again 🙂 Bohemians go with a 4-4-2, Positive like Limerick F.C….

FT Cobh Ramblers 4 (Devine 4, Sammon 60, Costelloe 77, Evans 79) Bohemians 2 (Grant 48, 63) Att 2,516 (1,502 Away)

Guess what, it’s raining!! And it’s just 4 minutes today before we get on the scoresheet 🙂 🙂 🙂 A poor-ish goal kick headed down by Costelloe to Sammon, then playing a lovely wide ball to Evans, whose cross finds Devine 8 yards out, ready willing and able to slam the ball past Harrington in the Bohemians net on the half-volley. 1-0 Cobh. We are starting games on fire. Remember though this Bohemians side haven’t played in 3 weeks, and haven’t won a game since the start of September (No league wins since the start of July…). The game is a bit scrappy, Bohemians should have scored after a slide tackle falls into the path of Grant, but he shoots straight at Mylod. We are getting chances, but not with the regularity we did versus Bray & Limerick. 1-0 at Half Time.

Bohemians start the half 4-2-4 Wide… The formation Bray went with for most of our 6-1 win against them… But They get the early goal – Cobh on the Counter, but a poor ball by Porter leaves his struggling, Grant gets the ball and scores from 25 yards… 1-1. Not happy, looks like the boys are nervous. Not soon after Evans fluffs a 1-on-1… Bohemians playing well now, us not so. But a moment of brilliance puts us back in the lead just on 60 minutes. Tiki-Taka on the edge of the Bohemians box, Sammon gets it out of his feet and scores beautifully from just inside the ‘D’. 2-1 Cobh. That lasted 3 minutes, Grant getting his second after a good cross. 2-2. We’re getting good chances still, feel this really is a 1-goal tie. Just after 70, meade on for O’Riordan, Taylor for Hurley, Phillips up to BWM. And we go 3-2 up!!!!!, a nice break, Costelloe given the ball from Devine, who jinks inside the Bohemians right back and fires a powerful shot across Harrington. We’ve got goal potential from everywhere. And fuck me, what a tie, 2 minutes later we’re 4-2 up! – Taylor gets the ball out near the byline after a clearance from Bohemians go up high but not out – his cross is pinpoint, Evans swooping in to header low in the bottom right of the goal. It’s not over yet. Last 10 – Lewis off for Abbott – Phillips back to left back, Taylor to right. Injury time, Sammon with a chance to wrap it up, in acres, heads wide… And that’s that, 4-2, lets not fuck this up!!!

19th November 2021 – Bohemian F.C. (H) – Premier Division/1st Division Playoff First Leg

90 minutes lads. A sellout (4,500) expected this even in Dublin. relegation for a team like Bohemians could be ruinous – They have a wage bill of almost £600k/annum – Highest in the First Division is Galway with £283k….

All fit, all raring to go. Lets have at them!! Bohemians are going with the 4-2-4 Wide, this, like with Bray could get very messy indeed!!

FT Bohemians 1 (3) (Devaney 57) Cobh Ramblers 0 (4) Att 4,227 (211 Away) Cobh Ramblers win 4-3 on aggregate.

90 Minutes!! We are in our Sky Blue away strip this evening. And its been a very quiet first 10. Bohemians have the first real chance, Mylod doing well to keep Grant out at the near post. We look dangerous on the break though. Taken us down to balanced, exploit the middle of the park. Heading towards half time, Mylod again makes a crucial point-blank save from a header form Swan. And Bohemians score – another from Grant, but it’s disallowed for pushing by Swan. 0-0 at half time, pretty even.

45 Minutes!!! But the lead is down to 1 goal. A good move by Bohemians, cross from Grant and Devaney heads home well. And it should have been all level on aggregate not soon after, Mylod again saving brilliantly. What to do? Bohemians are leaving plenty of gaps, think we have to go for it!! 70 minutes, changes. Taylor for Lewis, going 4-1-2-3 with Hurley as DM. 80 Minutes. Meade for O’Riordan, who is on a booking. 88 Minutes – Brian Sammon is injured – a pulled groin. Doherty on for the last few. 6 minutes of injury time, don’t know if I can stand it… 30 seconds…. AND WE’VE DONE IT………..


£22.5k paid out to players and staff in bonuses. And I’ve got a B+ from the board!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

And now all the end of season malarkey to go through.

Brian Sammon was only with us for half a season, but what a half a season!!! Of the best 11 Evan Murphy & Eoin McCormack will be plying their trade elsewhere next season.

David Evans gets the fans player of the season, Dara Costelloe the goal of the season (25 yarder v Cabinteely, also First Division Goal of the Season), Ethan Devine the signing of the season and Brian Sammon the young player of the season.

Promotion, Finalists in the FAI Cup, Quarter Finalists in the League Cup, Munster Senior Cup Winners (Shows Quarter Finalists as the new season has already started for that cup) – I’m very very happy 🙂

OK, Wage budget has doubled for next season!!! Use it and we will bankrupt the club though…

Ok – We are expected to Finish in the Premier Division and stay there, then in 2026 challenge for Silverware… Could be tough to not get relegated next season.

David Evans gets Player of the Year for the First Division, Eoin Porter 3rd 🙂 Exactly the same 23 for the Young player of the Year as well.

Brian Sammon win the First Division Bronze Boot, 16 goals in 11 games!!!

Adam Mylod gets Keeper of the Year at a 6.78 average 🙂 🙂 🙂

I get Manager of the Year -Solid.

Evans and Sammon get into the First Division Team of the year (Why no Mylod if he’s Keeper of the Year???)

Looking at the attribute changes since March David Evans improved by 2 points for both Acceleration and Off the Ball (11 to 13), Ethan Devin for Determination (6 to 8) and Kevin taylor for Bravery (7-9). Dara Costelloe dropped 2 for Determination (14 to 12). Overall 94 attribute points were dropped across the First Team and U19 squads Over the course of the 2021 season, but 192 points were gained, so we’re 98 points up across the 43 players who were with us on 1st March and now.

And now for all the lovely stats 🙂


Mike Hourihane is definitely one for the future – before his injury he was starring as the playmaker (Though Eoin Porter came in and made the Number 10 Playmaker role his own) with just under 3 Key Passes per game. Ethan Devine, David Evans, Dave Hurley & Eoin Porter all showing accuracy over 80% and good key passes/90.


Adam Hughes king of the high ball, winning nearly 85% of all his headers. Anthony Meade 2nd, and also showing 3.6 Key headers per game!! ben O’Riordan slighly disappointing with under 75% completion.


The striker are kings of the completions when it comes to crossing, and we also see David Evans (20.5%) so much better than Dara Costelloe (12.4%) on over twice the number off crosses. Dara took a while to get going this season. Lyamine is king of the dribbles, almost 5 a game, though David and Dara aren’t far back.


Both Adam & Ben having over 95% completion of tackles, which is excellent. Lyamine stands out as well with this, he’s often a real nuisance out on the wing. Kevin Taylor is a bit weak in this department. Jason Abbott and Dave Hurley, the BWM’s top the chart for Fouls conceded, which is to be expected. Kane Lewis quite high (Wingbacks also tend to get stuck in). Lastly Charlie Fleming is top of the mistakes – Over 2 a game which needs to be looked at.


Anthony Meade really standing out on Interceptions – I really would like to get hime next year as a first choice centre-back if at all possible. Only 3 lads with over 10 offsides in the season as well, very good indeed.


Lastly the boys did amazingly for goals – 17 in 6 games in the playoffs, 46 in the 15 games from the 6-2 win v U.C.D on 16th July to the end of the season. Brian Sammon, tek a boo!! 1.5 goals per game!!! Just under a 25% chance of scoring per attempt as well, which is brilliant. 24 goals from the wings as well (Evans and Costelloe) David Evans also popping up with 17 assists, Eoin Porter with 14 making it a season to savour.

Question is now, can we get the boys back on loan (Or sign them outright in the case of Costelloe, who’s contract with Galway runs out in just over a month…)

Sammons 24 goals, Evans 17 assists and Mylod’s 13 clean sheets are club records.

And I’m now studying for my National B 🙂 My reputation is currently at 15%, and I’m favoured personnel 🙂 🙂


Kev Taylor signs for a year a as a backup – able to play left or right wingback, he’s a very useful player to have about the place.

And with that we reach the 1st December. A brilliant end to a crazy 2nd half of the season. Next time we will go through Pre-Season, getting ready for life in the Premier Division. I leave you with the Key Highlights of the 6 playoffs this month just gone. See you soon.

November 2021 Key Highlights

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