League Report: Waterford 5 - 0 Cobh Ramblers
Keith Long saw his side get back on track after two consecutive defeats, crushing third-placed Cobh. Ronan Coughlan and Shane Griffin put the home side ahead before further efforts from Barry Baggley, the excellent Roland Idowu, and substitute Wassim Aouachria. This keeps them firmly in the chase behind leaders Galway.
It was a harsh wake-up call for the away side, though. They had come into the game on the back of one defeat in four games but seldom looked able to get anything out of the match. They remain third, but the closing pack is now breathing down their necks.
Keith Long made three changes from the defeat to Galway. Out came Dean Larkin, Eddie Nolan, and Tunmise Sobowale to be replaced by Roland Idowu, Killian Cantwell, and Dean McMenamy. Shane Keegan made just one alteration from the impressive win over Finn Harps. Liam Kervick was ineligible for this game against his parent club. Darragh O’Sullivan-Connell came into the side in his stead.
The home side was on the offensive from the very start. Dean McMenamy flashed a shot across the area that just evaded the touch of leading goal scorer Ronan Coughlan.
He was celebrating just moments later. Roland Idowu found Killian Cantwell down the line. His cross was precise towards the striker, who peeled off his marker and headed past Lee Steacy for his sixteenth goal of the season. He almost got in again not long after, only to see his shot blocked away.
Cobh was dealt another blow with an early injury to Dale Holland as they continued to be pushed back. Ryan Burke and McMenamy combined for a chance that was pushed away, and Conor Parsons put in a cross slightly behind Coughlan. They were left cursing their luck as first Giles Phillips and then Coughlan were denied in quick succession. A rare chance at the other end saw Wilson Waweru force Paul Martin into a smart save.
They were made to pay for that when Waterford doubled their lead. Idowu was again to the fore as he fed Shane Griffin. He produced an excellent flick over Jason Abbott and held his composure to beat Steacy. He almost scored another just before the break, but Cobh crowded him out on this occasion.
Cobh almost found a way back into the game through Waweru as he was sent through on goal after a neat move from the away side. Cantwell produced a strong block to deny him. The home side was still on top, though, as McMenamy was off target with a shot after he was found in space before he and Parsons combined for a cross from the latter that just evaded the onrushing Coughlan and Idowu.
The attackers combined to create Waterford's third. Idowu and Coughlan linked up out wide before the striker laid it off to Barry Baggley on the edge of the area. He cut onto his favored right foot before beating Steacy with a low shot into the corner. Coughlan had his second assist of the game as he won possession high up the pitch before feeding Idowu. The winger fired past the despairing Steacy to net the fourth. It was just reward for an industrious night's work.
It was damage limitation for the away side at this point. A brilliant run from Idowu saw him skip past four players before his shot was saved by Steacy, and substitute Wassim Aouachria was off target with two attempts. He would not be denied with the third after being fed by fellow substitute Thomas Oluwa. He finished smartly into the bottom corner.
It was the home fans going away the happier. They will hope to continue like this as they travel to play Finn Harps next Friday at 20:00. Cobh must try to get back on track as they play Athlone Town at St. Colman's Park on the same evening at 19:45.
Waterford: Paul Martin; Ryan Burke, Killian Cantwell, Niall O'Keeffe (Harvey Warren 90), Giles Phillips (Thomas Oluwa 84); Barry Baggley, Shane Griffin (Dean Larkin 46), Roland Idowu, Dean McMenamy; Ronan Coughlan (Wassim Aouachria 70), Connor Parsons (Tunmise Sobowale 84).
Subs not used: Tom Donaghy, Calum Flynn, Eddie Nolan, Romeo Akachukwu.
Sent off: None.
Cobh Ramblers: Lee Steacy; Brendan Frahill, Charlie Lyons, Michael McCarthy, Charlie O'Brien, Darragh O'Sullivan Connell; Jason Abbott, Conor Drinan (Callum Stringer 86), Dale Holland (Luke Desmond 17), James O'Leary (Claudio Osorio 66); Wilson Waweru (David Bosnjak 86).
Subs not used: Darragh Burke, Justin Eguaibor, Tiernan O'Brien.
Booked: Luke Desmond (79).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Marc Lynch
extratime.com Player of the Match: Roland Idowu