Dylan O'Connell reports from St Colman's Park
Shelbourne needed two second half goals from John Ross Wilson and Ryan Brennan to beat Cobh Ramblers 2-1 at St Colman’s Park on Saturday evening and return to the top of the League of Ireland First Division.
The Ramblers led at half-time through a first half strike from Conor Drinan, but Ian Morris’ men rallied and got the three points to extend their unbeaten start to the season.
While the second half belonged to the Reds, Cobh dominated the first half as they produced an energetic attacking display led by Ian Turner, who had a goal ruled out for offside after five minutes.
He made amends by setting up Drinan for the home side’s goal. The quick footed winger broke free down the left flank, well away from Michael Barker and curled the ball across the face of goal for the Cobh striker, who fired in.
Shelbourne were almost 2-0 down when referee John McLoughlin gave a penalty for a hand ball.
Brendan Clarke guessed right to deny Charlie Lyons and force the ball onto the post.
Turner tried to fire the rebound in, but the seasoned goalkeeper spread well to deny the winger.
The Reds emerged from halftime with a new sense of attacking energy. Ten minutes into the half, Brennan thought he scored after he fired from close range at Sean Barron but the ball twirled into the hands of the Ramblers’ goalkeeper.
The near miss only antagonised Shels, who were soon in full attacking flow and pinning the Ramblers back. The breakthrough came from a long range shot from Shane Farrell which dropped into the path of Ross Wilson who shot and saw his effort deflected into the goal.
Georgie Poynton, who was brought on as a substitute midway through the half, found himself in an acre of space in front of goal after Glen McAuley crossed the ball straight into his path. The striker fired first time and Barron sprung on instinct to deny Shels with his feet.
The quest for a second goal next went to Brennan, who blasted a long range attempt right into the Cobh goalkeeper’s hands.
Brennan eventually made the breakthrough ten minutes from time after he got on the end of a cross from Kevin O’Connor. The forward, who scored the winner against Athlone Town last week, flicked the ball across the goal and in.
Minutes later, the Reds were handed a free kick and Poynton swung the ball around the Cobh wall.
It then smacked off the post and fell to Luke Byrne who managed to get a touch and turn the ball in towards an empty goal. Lyons, desperate to make amends from his earlier penalty miss, lunged onto the goal-line and blasted the ball away to safety.
Cobh Ramblers: Sean Barron; Charlie Lyons, John Kavanagh (c), Nathan Coleman (Darryl Walsh 60), Cian Murphy; Conor Drinan (Kevin Williams 85), Lee Devitt Molloy, Stephen O'Leary, Christopher O'Reilly, Ian Turner; Killian Cooper.
Subs not used: James McCarthy, Jake Hegarty, Martin Coughlan, Corey Chambers, Ben O'Riordan, Gavin Ryan, Dylan Walsh.
Booked: Cian Murphy (44).
Shelbourne: Brendan Clarke; Ally Gilchrist, Luke Byrne, Michael Barker (John Ross Wilson 65), Kevin O'Connor; Shane Farrell, Ryan Brennan, JJ Lunney, Brian McManus; Yoyo Mahdy (George Poynton 63), Glen McAuley.
Subs not used: Alex Cetiner, Jack Brady, Maxim Kouogun, Kyle O'Connor, Sean Quinn, David Toure.
Booked: Ally Gilchrist (33) .
Referee: John McLoughlin