League Preview: Shelbourne - v - Cobh Ramblers
- Ferdia Fallon Verbruggen
- Sat, Oct 17 2015
Shels welcome Cobh Ramblers to Tolka Park this Saturday (kick-off 7.45pm), in what will be the last game of the season for both sides.
The Reds will finish fourth in this year’s First Division, despite pushing UCD close for the last play-off spot in the league. The Students only confirmed their place last week as they picked up three points at home to Cabinteely while Shels lost 4-1 to First Division champions Wexford Youths.
Goals from free-scoring Danny Furlong and Ryan Delaney saw the beginning of the end of Shels’ promotion hopes. Despite Conor Earley’s second-half strike reducing the arrears to 2-1, Conor Whittle and Conor English scored late on to give the promoted side another win to add to their tally.
Shelbourne had been on a late run for the play-offs, with them having a seven match unbeaten streak from mid-June to the start of August, with the only draws being against Wexford and twice against their forthcoming opponents Cobh.
However, despite a win over UCD, dropping points against Finn Harps, but more crucially, Cabinteely and Athlone Town saw Shels’ chance of returning to the Premier Division slip away.
Goalkeeper Dave Ryan is injured for Shels while defender Ryan Robinson returns after being suspended for the loss against Wexford Youths.
While Shelbourne have cemented their spot in the First Division, results on the last day of the season could still see Cobh move up the table. They are currently level on points with Athlone Town, although eight goals difference worse off, and beating Town’s result would see them take a fifth place, the highest they’ve been since returning to the league in 2013.
After losing their first four league games of the season, returning manager Stephen Henderson has seen quite the change since taking over as double draws against UCD and Shelbourne showed. In a contrast to last season, Cobh have already doubled their points tally of fourteen that saw them routed to the bottom of the table last year.
One area to look at for next season is the goals department with Cobh only netting 27, two behind Wexford striker Danny Furlong’s total for the season so far. Stephen Kenny is the Ramblers’ top goalscorer with seven, two of which are penalties, and the next highest goalscorers are departed Darren Murphy and Robbie Waters along with Jason Abbott, who all have three a piece.
There is quite the lengthy doubtful list for Cobh, with Eoghan Daly, Kevin Mulcahy, Anthony O’Donnell, James Furlong, Adam O’Sullivan and David Curran all possibly missing out on the final game against Shelbourne. Shane O’Connor and Graham McCarthy are also suspended.
Referee: Andrew Mullally
Both league games between the sides have finished in a draw this season – It was 1-1 in Tolka Park in June with Philly Hughes netting the equaliser after Stephen Kenny had put the Ramblers in front. Stephen Kenny was again the scorer in August as his two goals saw Shelbourne only leave with a point after Dylan McGlade and James English had scored.
Stephen Henderson has averaged 1.1 points against Shelbourne as he has won three, drawn two and lost five to Reds.
Shelbourne’s top goalscorer is Philly Hughes with seven goals, although Gareth Coughlan (6), James English (5) and Mark Sandford (5) aren’t far behind him.
Shelbourne 5/6; Draw 12/5; Cobh Ramblers 14/5.
Shelbourne 2-1 Cobh Ramblers
Injured: Dave Ryan
Doubtful: Kevin Mulcahy, Adam O'Sullivan, Anthony O'Donnell, David Curran, James Furlong, Eoghan Daly.
Suspended: Graham McCarthy, Shane O’Connor