FAI Cup Report: UCD 3 - 2 Cobh Ramblers
Patrick O Connor reports from the UCD Bowl in Belfield
UCD put their poor league form behind them when they recorded a well-deserved 3-2 win over First Division Cobh Ramblers in the first round of the FAI Cup at a wet and sparsely attended Belfield Bowl on Friday night.
Just 174 spectators watched the college team show no ill effects from their recent heavy defeats in the Premier Division - they had conceded 14 goals and scored only once in their last three league games.
The Students were the dominant team for the bulk of this match and deserve to be in the draw for the second round.
Ramblers for their part will be disappointed that they did not bring their own good league form to Dublin and they exit the cup at the very first hurdle for the second year in a row.
Andy Myler’s side started the better of the two teams and had the monopoly of possession in the opening period of the game without really doing much with it.
Ramblers opened the scoring against the run of play when industrious midfielder Dale Holland strode forward in the 16th minute. He struck a sweet shot from the edge of the box that nestled in the bottom left corner of Lorcan Healy’s goal.
The lead only lasted seven minutes however when UCD were back on level terms.
Rambler’s defender Charlie Lyons earned a yellow card for a foul just outside his own box. Jack Heaney took the free kick and scored with a low shot that skipped off the wet surface beyond the reach of Lee Stacey in goal.
The omens were bad for the Cork side early in the second half when they conceded an own goal from a corner with striker Wilson Waweru heading into his own net to give the Students a 2-1 lead.
The tie was wrapped up in the 62nd minute when UCD’s Daniel Norris was put through one and one with Stacey and he had both the pace and the composure to hold off a defender and then slide the ball home for a decisive third goal.
Ramblers to their credit did not lie down completely and they gave themselves a lifeline in the 70th minute when Waterford loanee Dean Larkin headed powerfully to the net from a corner which was won by left back Cian Browne.
Shane Keegan’s side did press hard in the last 20 minutes and bombarded the home defence in search of an equaliser but they were met with a very resolute UCD defence for whom captain Jack Keaney was outstanding.
Both teams return to league action next weekend, with Ramblers away to Longford Town on Saturday night while UCD travel across the city to Dalymount Park to face Bohemians on Friday night.
UCD: Lorcan Healy, Ryan Bowden, Adam Wells, Jack Keaney, Brendan Barr (Michael Gallagher 67), Mike Raggett (Danu Kinsella Bishop 72), Ciaran Behan, Jesse Dempsey (Jake Doyle 91), Daniel Norris (Daniel Babb 91), Sean Brennan, Adam Vernon.
Subs not used: Fintan Agnew, Donal Higgins, Luke O Regan, Jamie Duggan, Ciaran Bolton
Booked: Sean Brennan (30), Sdam Vernon (31), Michael Gallagher (80), Adam Wells (84)
Cobh Ramblers: Lee Steacy, Michael McCarthy (Tiernan O Brien 68), Cian Browne, Brendan Frahill, Charlie Lyons, Pierce Phillips, Mikie Rowe (Matthew McKevitt 84), Alec Byrne (Liam Kerwick 68), Dean Larkin, Dale Holland (Jack Doherty 84), Wilson Waweru
Subs not used: Darragh Burke, Justin Equaibor, Darragh O’ Sullivan Connell, Issa Kargbo, Jason Abbott.
Booked: Charlie Lyons (21), Wilson Waweru (53), Pierce Phillips (55), Brendan Frahill (55), Tiernan O’ Brien (93)
Referee: Declan Toland
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Jack Keaney (UCD)