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Harney Rocket Rocks Ramblers

October 26, 2013

Saturday 7th September2013. Airtricity League Division 1
Cobh Ramblers 0-1 Athlone Town.

With Waterford dropping points in the days earlier game, Athlone Town stretched their lead to 8 points at the top of the Division 1 table with a hard fought, if undeserved win over Cobh Ramblers. The win proved to be Athlones first victory in four attempts over the Munster men, with the previous three meetings ending in draws.

As expected, Rod Collins Jnr made an immediate return to first team duties, however stand in full back Neil Harney shifted over to centre half to cover for Aidan Collins who was given the day off to spend time with his new family after the arrival of his 1st child.
Up front, Enda Curran was also missing from the team due to a family wedding, with Garbhan Coughlan handed the chance to impress after a mixed run of form on his return to the club.

For Cobh, although their danger men from the previous meeting, Martin Deady and Kynan Rocks were in the team, the better known Davin O’Neill was not, and although he was present at the game, he did not make the bench either.

With so much at stake, and having heard of Waterfords slip up in Mervue, Athlone started with an element of nervousness throughout the team.

Although he wasn’t called on for shot stopping, Craig Sexton continued to impress in the first half with a commanding presence for corners as Neil Harney settled into the centre back position with determination. At the other end, Philly Gorman came close to giving Athlone the lead but his touch let him down and allowed Cobh keeper Robert Birdhall time to get down and smother the ball as Gorman beared down on goal.
As half time approached, Athlone kicked up a gear but could not add the final touch to any move. Athlones chance came just before the break when a foul by Robert Watters on Garbhan Coughlan gave the visitors a free kick 35 yards out. With Neil Harney and Barry Clancy hovering over, Harney eventually pulled the trigger on a ferocious shot that flew into the net as the Cobh defence and goalkeeper stood rooted to the ground.

The second half introduction of Garvan Broughall for Graham Kelly indicated that Atlone would sit back on the lead, and it was a tactic that almost caught them out with Cobh growing in confidence and going on the attack.

With 15 minutes left to play, Athlone got another advantage when after a tussle with Garbhan Coughlan, Cobh defender Eoin Hasting lashed out at the on loan striker giving referee Kevin Regan no option but a straight red card.

As with the previous week’s game, when the opposition went sown to 10 men, Athlone seemed to panic more with communications breakdowns and misplaced passing allowing Cobh more chances to equalise than Athlone had to get the opener. On the stroke of the 90th minute, a mix up in defence saw Sexton miss a cross and see the ball slip into the net. As the Cobh team celebrated ecstatically, the referees attention was drawn to the lines man who had spotted an offside during the build-up. With the goal disallowed, and 4 minutes injury time, Athlone did just about enough to hold on to put them firmly in the driving seat for promotion.

Photos From Cobh Ramblers 0-1 Athlone Town

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