10 man Ramblers emerge victorious with a 1-0 win away at Shels.
A second half Cian Leonard strike was enough to give the 10 men of Cobh all three points as a frustrated Shelbourne side will be wondering how they didn’t manage to take a point in a dominant display at Tolka Park.
Shelbourne totally dominated the opening proceedings and possession as Cobh struggled to get out of their own half at times. David O’Leary was running things in the midfield, creating chances for fun but the home side just couldn’t get the elusive breakthrough their play deserved.
James English looked sharp and a constant threat over the top looking to utilize his pace at every opportunity but the Cobh rearguard held strong. It was the Shels talismanic frontman who had the better of the chances in the first half. Dylan Kavanagh delivered an outstanding left footed cross in behind the Cobh centre halves but frustratingly for English and the home fans, only a matter of millimeters stopped them from taking the lead.
Right on the stroke of half time Shels made a mess of a free kick routine on the edge of the box but winger, Ian Doyle, eventually managed to get his shot away. The initial effort was well blocked and luckily the rebound fell to English, who, unmarked at the edge of the box hit his right footed effort straight at Paul Hunt.
Right from the off in the second half the hosts had two glorious opportunities but James O’Brien and English were both denied by outstanding last ditch tackles. As the home side desperately tried to claw their way back into the game, a moment of madness from Peter Callanan mad the task even more difficult, receiving a straight red card for an over-the-ball lunge on Derek Prendergast.
Despite the man advantage, Shels were unable to break down the solid defensive unit of the visitors and incredibly, against the run of play, Ramblers snatched the lead through Cian Leonard. The front man showed brilliant composure to slot the ball under the on rushing Jamie Quinn following Alan Byrnes slight slip.
Scenes of massive confusion followed minutes later when referee John McLoughlin showed Derek Prendergast a straight red card for a late challenge on goalscorer Leonard. But after some careful deliberation with his assistant, reversed his decision and gave offside against the Cobh front man. The offence itself didn’t seem worthy of a straight red in real time as Leonard just nicked the ball around the corner to Charlie Fleming just inside the halfway line and Prendergast caught him. Alas, the decision was given and Shelbourne continued with 11 v 10.
The home side, with one eye on next weeks mouthwatering Dublin Derby with Shamrock Rovers, were unable to make the man advantage count and frustratingly went down 1-0.
The away side, still in the hunt for promotion, deserve massive credit for their never say die attitude and relentless work rate throughout and will enjoy taking all three points back down to Cork as the chase continues.
Shelbourne FC: Jamie Quinn, James Brown, Sean Byrne, Dylan Kavanagh, Derek Prendergast, Alan Byrne, James O’Brien, Dayle Rooney, David O’Leary, James English, Jamie Doyle
Subs: Dean Delaney, Aaron Molloy, Niall Lanigan, Dylan Grimes, Adam Evans, Mark Hughes, Chris Lyons
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt, Cian Kingston, James McSweeney, John Kavanagh, Peter Callanan, Karl Caulfield, Kevin Taylor, Cian Coleman, Cian Leonard, Charlie Fleming, Ian Mylod
Subs: Michael Sadys, Chris McCarthy, Stephen Christopher, Kyle McNamara, Darren Murphy, Cameron Harison, Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh
Referee: John McLoughlin