Welcome back to another month with Cobh Ramblers. We are comfortable at the moment in 6th in the Irish Premier Division, we are consistently picking up points and all is good in the Cobh bubble.
As its a month start we have a few bits to go through.
Conor Melody somehow 3rd in the Irish Premier Division Player of the Month – how is he not 1st??? Big-team bias right there. he also came 2nd in the goal of the month.
We are now £16k in the Red…. We’re never going to break even until we get 1,000 fans in consistently.
B+!! Think that’s the highest its been for me here. C for Tactics… Fuck off! Dynamics are really good still as well.
1st June 2022 – Cork City (A) – Irish Munster Senior Cup Semi Final
We make the short trip to Turner’s Cross knowing we haven’t got a game for 10 days (Unless we win this evening, then make it 7) so we can field a full first team. Cork are in the same boat, but I wonder whether the AI will field a weakened team as it’s not an important competition…
Full strength apart from Adam Mylod (Mark Burke gets his first competitive start) and Dara Costelloe (Bringing him back slowly, Graydon is good as the IW on the left). Cork go with a 4-4-1-1 – My feel is a strong core but quite a few lesser-used players in the team…
FT Cork City 0 Cobh Ramblers 1 (Graydon 1) Att 2,410 (24 Away)
Light Blue versus Green here today at Turners Cross. And it’s 1-0 Cobh within 40 seconds!! A long kick off highlight, the ball ping-ponging around in Midfield, before the ball finally reaches Ryan Graydon, from a Horgan clearance. He took a touch out of his feet and battered it top-left bins from 20 yards across the Cork Keeper. A wonder-strike. A quiet next 25, pretty even, chances for both sides. Cork pressured us a bit more towards the end of the half but we go in 1-0 to the good.
Hurley on for Phillips at half time, who hadn’t had a great half. Over 2,400 fans in for this game this evening 🙂 60 minutes comes and goes with nothing to report. Cork hit the bar from 30 yards, that man Conor Barry again – but we survive. 70 gone, Costelloe on for Melody for the last 20, Graydon back to the right. Last 10 – Taylor on for Lewis as an IWB – Slowing it down a bit. And it’s into injury time… And we win won 1-0!!! We’re in the final (again!!). And a clean sheet for Mark Burke in his first game!
£7.5k for the Win, £11k for our share of the gate as well, all vital money. We play Limerick in the final in 6 days.
Our U19;s beat Cabinteely U19’s 2-1, Goals from John O’Brien & Mike Hourihane.
Vanarama National team Boston Utd have poached one of our academy players – OK, might get some money for him down the line. Though looking at the PA possibly not 🙂 We ‘ve also had one (Danny Kelly) poached by Chester (Vanarama North)….
Tom Higgins (19yo, 6ft 2in) signs on a free from Waterford. An absolute steal at £200/wk, Tom is our best player by CA and is currently worth £130k!!! A big upgrade even on Adam Mylod. And he’s only here because I had a look after Adam’s injury (Stress fracture in his Back that could reoccur). Welcome Tom.
7th June 2022 – Limerick F.C. (Turners Cross, Cork) – Irish Munster Senior Cup Final
We make the same trip as we did 6 days ago to face a Limerick side currently 3rd in the First Division. It wioll be a tough one no doubt.
Costelloe back in on the left, Graydon on the right, Melody on the bench. Hurley starts as the supporting midfielder, Tom Higgins straight in, first game is a Final 🙂 Limerick start with a 4-4-2. A little bit of rotation going on for them as well…
FT Cobh Ramblers 0 Limerick F.C. 2 (McClelland 25, Gray 90+1) Att 248 (65 Cobh, 183 Limerick)
Very quiet early doors, Cobh in charge by the numbers but not much highlight-wise. Graydon looks dangerous down the right. But Limerick take the lead in the 25th minute with a well worked moved, McClelland getting behind Lewis, scoring well from close range. We don’t seem to have our shooting boots on today – 1-0 Limerick at Half Time.
Only 248 here today for a Cup Final shows what esteem this competition is held in… Melody on for Costelloe in the 65th, Graydon back over to the left as an IW(A). O’Neill has missed a few good chances today, frustrating as we’ve been on top. Last 10, Devine on for Hurley, 4-2-3-1. And pushing for the equaliser it was 2-0 Limerick in injury time, Jamie Gray with an over-the-shoulder volley. We could have played 180 minutes and not scored today, 2-0 Limerick it finished.
£8.8k for losing in the final, not bad monies.
Right, forget that result, a biggie in the League versus Sligo in just 3 days.
10th June 2022 – Sligo Rovers (A) – Irish Premier Division
We make the long trip North-West to Sligo this evening to play a Rovers side that are in their best run of league form of the season (DLLWD), but still sit 9th, 14 points behind us. Regardless this will be a tough old game, just 3 days after the Munster Cup Final.
Enda Curran gets a run-out up top as O’Neill has dropped off of form in the last few games. Costelloe is also on the bench as he’s coming back from injury quite slowly. Charlie Fleming is quite close to coming back now, but I don’t want to rush him. Sligo start with a 4-3-3 Narrow – Going Extremely Wide boys…
FT Sligo Rovers 0 Cobh Ramblers 1 (Hurley 73) Att 1,521 (21 Away)
Sligo start the game in the Connacht rain. And we dominate possession for the first 15 minutes (>70%) but to no highlights. We had a really good chance in the 19th minute, but Curran and Graydon both were ineffectual. Cobh definitely on top – a few highlights – as of the 40th minute we had 76% possession… 0-0 at Half Time. On top, though I’d take a point TBH 🙂
60 minutes gone, not much to report – Costelloe & O’Neill on for Graydon & Curran. And the breakthrough!!!! And it’s from a mistake – 73rd minute, a wide free-kick pumped in by Bosun Lawal – McGinty in the Sligo goal goes all flappy-hands and Dave Hurley taps in the rebound. 1-0 Cobh – it’s not pretty but its currently effective. And we seem to have the weird black-shirt bug – currently only 3 of the Sligo players and the Keeper are not in all-black. Not noticed that since last season. Last 10 – Ethan Devine in for Porter (Lawal as DLP(D) at DM, Devine as CM(A)). Soon after Sligo hit the post with a stunning volley – very odd seeing some guys in Red and White, others all-black. Sligo pushing on a bit now, Cobh trying to take the sting out of the game a bit. Last minute of normal time, Sligo have the ball in the net, luckily about a yard or 2 offside. Feel like there’s a possible sting here… But we see it out. 1-0 win, 3 more priceless points taken from a team in relegation trouble.
Now 10 points clear of 7th & 8th as Shelbourne draw and Waterford get pumped by Dundalk. Galway, after taking the lead got took apart by Cork City – 17 points clear of the relegation places, 16 games left… And we’re only 3 points behind Shamrock Rovers now!!!
The next 2 games are free hits – Away to Dundalk (1st), at Home to St. Pat’s (2nd).
BOSUN LAWAL – Tight Calf – 1/2 Days – He can’t play against Dundalk anyway as it’s his parent club so we are all good.
Had our first rearrangement due to a European game – Waterford are away to FC Viitorul of Romania on 7th July & 14th July in the Europa Conference League Best Placed 1st Qualifying Round. We are playing them now on the 10th, so hopefully against a depleted squad.
17th June 2022 – Dundalk (A) – Irish Premier Division
We make the trip North to face a Dundalk side 9 points clear at the top of the Premier Division – They’ve just been drawn Prishtina of Kosovo in the 1st Qual Round of the Champions League so must fancy their chances of progression there. A shame that’s not for 3 weeks, so I expect to face their full 1st team this evening. That said we have beaten them at theirs this season!!! And for some reason they played a friendly just 3 days ago against Finn Harps, and lost 3-2… Interestingly we have exactly the same form over the last 5 games (WDWLW).
No Bosun as he’s a) owned by Dundalk and b) just back from a training niggle. Hurley to DM in his place, McManus coming in for a game at CM(S). Swapped Porter to the right of the midfield triangle. Costelloe starts, Graydon rested for Monday v St. Pat’s. Charlie Fleming back after 6 weeks off with a hernia, looking for 60 minutes from him. Dundalk start with a 4-4-2, missing a few players to injury but they look pretty strong – Duffy on the left wing will be a nightmare.
FT Dundalk 1 (McGrath 89) Cobh Ramblers 1 (Porter 51) Att 2,437 (28 Away)
Dundalk on the attack in the rain from the start. They look very sharp going forward. But they are looking to try and walk it in Arsenal-style, so we’ve survived the first 15. Also their right-back Gannon has gone of injured. We also seem to be defending set pieces better (Jinx?). There does seem to be potential on the break, we shall see. Pretty even from the stats (Though Dundalk have had the majority of the highlights) – 0-0 at Half Time
Graydon on for Costelloe as an IW(A) at Half Time. Costelloe needs to find some form, and I’m not going to flog him until he does, especially after his injury. Before the game I put an oppo instruction in to stand off Michael Duffy. If we try to harry him and tackle him he’ll just go round us so forcing him onto his weaker side and staying a few yards off of him seems to be working well. And we’ve only gone 1-0 up!!!! 51st minute, a Melody free-kick isn’t cleared well by White, and Eoin Porter is on hand to tap the ball in from 12 yards!!. 1-0 Cobh, his first of the season. 60 Gone, Phillips on for McManus as a BWM(S). Full-backs to FB(D). Let’s take the sting out of the game a bit, slow it down. 70 gone, Lewis on for Fleming, who has played well. 80 gone, we can’t hold on , can we? None of their players are on higher than a 6.8… No, 89th minute, after defending like Trojans, a ball deflects out to McGrath, who scores from the edge of the area through a crowd. 1-1 – Would be happy with a point please!!! Kick off highlight… And we should have scored… Graydon free at the far post, his header tipped over. It’s a siege now in the Cobh half. Last seconds… Its Fergie time here, big team bias. But it’s all over. Another point against all odds, superb lads! Wouldn’t have said we’d have taken 4 points off of Dundalk in 3 games at the start of the season!!
We are proving to be pretty tough to play against – 30 points from 21 games is an amazing return considering we were massive favourites to go down. 11 points clear of 8th now, and 18 from the relegation spots with 15 games left (Sligo once and Galway twice in there) as the bottom 3 all get beaten handsomely. Its not a pretty tactic currently – we’ve only scored 6 goals in the last 8 games, never more than 1 per game. But we’ve only let in 8, 5 of them in 2 of the 8 games, and we have 3 clean sheets in there too.
Doing what we need to do until our rep improves and we can get the kind of player in that will allows us to play a bit more freely.
Our U19’s won 3-0 versus Galway Utd U19’s, goals from James Hobbs, Patrick Walker & John O’Brien. They sit 4th in the U19’s Southern Division.
As we are in mid June most of the rest of the League in Europe have completed – here are the winners:
Highlights for me are Brighton winning the FA Cup and Leicester beating Everton in the Inaugural Europa Conference League. Everything else is much of a muchness.
DECISION POINT – WATERFORD OFFER INTERVIEW
I don’t think so on this one. Their wage budget is 7th in the Irish Premier (£578k) compared to our £236k, but they are Insecure financially. They need a big fat cull of dead-wood alright. But we’re 8 points above them. If they had a bit of cash maybe, but not at this current time. Decline.
20th June 2022 – St. Pat’s Athletic (H) – Irish Premier Division
A really tough one this evening after a tough & tiring Dundalk match just 3 days ago. St. Pat’s are in decent form, winning their last 3 League matches, and they tend to score plenty. We beat them 2-0 last time we played them though…
Stability the name of the game here – Team Cohesion this year is a must. Lawal back in at DM, Hurley back up into Centre Mid as a Stig-Toftingesque presence. Graydon starts as IW on the left, Lewis starts at right-back. Tom Higgins is settling in very nicely in goal; what do I say to Adam Mylod when he comes back… There’s a few tired lads but we have 10 days off after this match, so go get em!! St. Pat’s start with a 3-4-1-2, not played against this formation in this save I think. Brian Connelly is the danger on the left – will treat him like Michael Duffy last time out.
FT Cobh Ramblers 0 St. Pat’s Athletic 0 Att 408 (109 Away)
We start our last match of June on a balmy Monday evening, 28C apparently. A slowish start, but we should have taken the lead in the 11th minute – a nice break after a St. Pat’s set piece. O’Neill laid Graydon in but another 1-on-1 goes begging. We had the ball in the net in the 16th minute, a Kehoe corner flicked across by Hughes – Collins tapping in at the back post, but he was a yard or so off – no defenders on the posts. Good start from the lads. Our condition is far better than the St. Pat’s boys as well. St. Pat’s starting to come on strong towards the end of the half though. Plenty of set pieces. But we go in 0-0.
Going to ask Graydon to sit narrower as that IW(A). Also changed Lawal to a DLP(D) at DM, Porter can play freely as a CM(A), Hurley as a BWM(S). Some tired boys already, but none as tired as the St. Pat’s lads. 60 gone. Costelloe on for Graydon, conventional winger. Fleming on for Lewis (On a Yellow). And the time runs on. 77th minute, we’re getting more space now, O’Neill hits the post… A really good chance. Last 15 or so, Collins is out on his feet, O’Riordan on. Everybody else is going to have to suck it up. 83 minutes, Costelloe heads it over from 3 yards… We feel like we’re on top now from the highlights, let’s wait for the great big FU. 84th minute, Costelloe again, just needed to square it… Injury time… And it’s all over, another very creditable point. And stats-wise we bossed it.
Just the 2 games this evening – 19 points clear of Sligo now with 14 games left for us both. Got to be thinking we’re almost safe, don’t we?
That’s our last game of the month. As we’re only at the 20th we have a few bits to go through, plus the start of the transfer window (Can’t see us doing much TBH).
So 14 games left, 19 points clear of the relegation zone, both Sligo 10 points behind Shelbourne in 8th – its not looking good for those 2 teams. We have Cork at home in our first game of July – Could narrow the gap to just 2 points between us with a win. And just to reiterate, 32 points would have seen you safe in all the last 3 seasons. Bohemians came 9th last year with 31 points, and a -28 goal difference…
Scott Allardice has now joined. This will give another midfield option.
Our U19’s beat Westport Utd 3-0 in a friendly, goals from Brian McManus, Daire Doherty & triallist Dean Clarke (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Clarke_(Irish_footballer))
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Charlie Lyons off to St. Albans of Tier 7 (Isthmian Prem) of English Football.
Next month sees us playing 5 league games – There’s only 9 league’s left after July
Derry is the tough one, but I’d say there’s points available in all of them. Plus the Cork game is at home, so expect 4,000 fans plus and a little bit of money on the gate.
Lastly, below are the key highlights of the 5 games from June. See you soon.