Ramblers have home advantage for the final regular game of the First Division season on what has been dubbed ‘Super Tuesday’ in the highly competitive promotion race.
Stuart Ashton’s side welcome Shamrock Rovers II to St. Colman’s Park for the 7.45pm kick off in what is a must win tie for Ramblers. In their quest to secure a first play-off appearance since 2016, they know that three points will secure them a play-off spot if neither Cabinteely nor Galway United win their respective games on the night.
Galway host third placed UCD while Cabinteely welcome league leaders Drogheda United to Stradbrook.
“We all know what’s at stake,” said Stuart Ashton in the build up to the game. “The mood in the camp is good following our last few performances. Hopefully we can take that into this game and get the result that we need. There are lots of permutations so hopefully some of those fall our way and we’ll see where that takes us.
“It’s been an extra-ordinary season for the First Division, with the pandemic and then the restart. To have the title race going down to the wire, the play-offs going right to the final night, it’s great for the league.
“Rovers have come into the league, for me for the right reasons, blooding young lads at the highest level. They’re playing good football and learning their trade. Possession wise and technically they are a very good side, we’ve seen that.
When the sides met last month, a Conor Drinan goal was enough to earn a 1-0 win in Tallaght and Ramblers come into this game on the back of a 1-0 win in Longford Town.
SHAMROCK ROVERS II
Aidan Price’s team are ninth in the table and are looking for three points to try and jump above Athlone Town in the table having beaten the Midlanders 3-1 in the last week’s game between the sides in Tallaght.
Two goals from Thomas Oluwa along with a goal from in-form Brandon Kavanagh gave them all three points. “I thought he was clinical,” said Price when speaking to extratime.com about Oluwa who has scored four times in the First Division this season.
“He got two really good finishes. The first one is quite a natural finish for Thomas but the second one he shifted it and took it early which gave their ‘keeper no chance. Two really good goals for a boy who has worked really hard for us. Attitude wise he has been really good so I’m delighted for him.
“Reflecting on the season, it has been really good and there are learnings from it. There were a lot of points that we left behind in games that we deserved more from but we will learn from that. That will stand to the players and the club.
“You can see how strong our first team is. That is challenge in itself so for these boys to get the opportunity and the experience of playing in this division has been really good.”
This will be Rovers’ last First Division game this season.
Referee: Marc Lynch
Cobh have won three and lost two of their last five games.
This season Aidan Price has called on 32 players for the 17 games in the league and the average age of the team across the season has been 18.5.
Brandon Kavanagh is Rovers top scorer in the First Division with nine goals from 16 matches - including six in the last five matches.
Cobh Ramblers 4/7; Draw 3/1; Shamrock Rovers II 7/2
2-1 home win
Doubtful: Dave Hurley, Cathal Crowley and Darragh Crowley
Shamrock Rovers II
Injured: Sean Callan, Alex Dunne
Suspended: Aaron Bolger, Jordan Tallon