Dylan O’Connell reports from St Colman's Park.
Two goals from centre back Charlie Lyons earned Cobh Ramblers a 2-2 draw against Galway United at St. Coleman’s Park on Saturday evening.
The defender opened the scoring in the 63rd minute after he tapped in a loose ball from a volley by David Hurley.
The visitors had a rapid fire response late in the game when substitute Francely Lomboto twisted into space and fired across goal to equalise in the 76th minute before Vinny Faherty knocked in a header to make it 2-1 in the 80th minute.
There was late drama when Lyons turned in an in-swinging free kick from Hurley to pull the game back level.
It was a frantic second half and one fitting for two teams chasing a precious promotion spot in the First Division this season.
It may be an old stereotype, and fact, in football that goals win games, but in a league where six points currently separate second from eighth, goal difference, and being able to keep it tight at the back, is crucial.
The Ramblers displayed this from the first kick of the game as Galway bombarded them with a succession of half chances from Timmy Molloy. The back four closed down space and goalkeeper Paul Hunt was excellent in handling and clearing the ball.
The home side grew into the game and soon forced chances of their own however.
Darragh Crowley, who is on loan from Cork City, turned a free header from point blank range just wide and later Ramblers’ captain Pierce Philips arguably had the best chance of the half for the home side when he had a rasping shot come back off the cross bar.
Galway had a fine opportunity to go 1-0 up just minutes before the half time break when Timmy Molloy picked out Shane Duggan with needle like precision. Hunt sprang into action to deflect the midfielder’s shot behind for a corner.
The opening goal came following a relatively slow start to the second half. A powerful shot by Hurley in the 67th minute caused Kevin Horgan to dive across goal, but the former Shamrock Rovers goalkeeper could only palm it away for Lyons to tap in.
Lomboto equalised for Galway with ten minutes remaining. The forward twisted into space inside the area and fired across goal, well out of reach of Hunt, to pull the visitors back on level terms.
Five minutes later The Tribesmen went ahead through a header from Faherty. The talismanic striker leaped the highest after being set up by the delivery into the box from Duggan.
Lyons’ second of the game came at the stroke of the 90th minute, when he knocked the ball into the net after a Darryl Walsh free-kick wasn’t cleared by the Galway defence.
This inspired Ramblers to chase a winner. A combination of Cameron Harlson, Hurley, and Darryl Walsh had a flurry of chances late on, with Horgan on fire to block their strikes.
The game finished off following a Galway corner, which was easily cleared by the organised Cobh defence.
Cobh Ramblers: Paul Hunt ; Darryl Walsh , John Kavanagh , Charlie Lyons , Conor Drinan ; David Hurley , Greg Henry , Cameron Harlson , Lee Devitt Molloy ; Darragh Crowley .
Subs not used: Ian Turner, Stephen O'Leary, Stephen O'Connor, Cian Leonard, Adam Foley, Martin Coughlan, Sean Barron.
Booked: Pierce Phillips (41), Greg Henry (73), Lee Devitt Molloy (69).
Galway United: Kevin Horgan ; Cian Murphy (Killian Brouder 72) , Marc Ludden , Kevin Farragher ; Timmy Molloy (Conor Barry 72) (Conor Barry 67) , Donal Higgins , Stephen Christopher (Jack Lynch 72) (Jack Lynch 67) , Sam Warde ; Mikey Place (Shane Doherty 62) , Vinny Faherty .
Subs not used: Maurice Nugent, Jack Lynch, Francely Lomboto, Shane Doherty, Matthew Connor, Killian Brouder, Conor Barry.
Booked: Jack Lynch (70),
Referee: Jason Mannix
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Charlie Lyons (Cobh Ramblers)