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Battle Of The Basement: Waterford United Vs Cobh Ramblers

Cobh Ramblers travel to southeast rivals Waterford United in the final Munster Derby of the season.

Waterford United welcome fellow strugglers Cobh Ramblers to the Regional Sports Centre on Friday night, as the Blues play out their final home game of the 2014 season. After a long and arduous season, United host their Munster rival in a game that is merely just a protocol.

Tommy Griffin’s men come into the game after a very poor showing last Friday night against a dominant Longford Town, who now look certain to clinch the title. First half goals from Gary Shaw and Jamie Mulhall were enough to see the Midlanders take all three points from a United team well off the pace.

Speaking to Pundit Arena during the week, Waterford’s Thomas Croke, had this to say about Friday night’s result:

“Obviously we were disappointed with the result. You never like to lose, especially against Longford. Personally, it was great to be back playing after being out injured for so long, but the result was very disappointing.”

The Rams travel to the southeast after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Galway FC. An early strike from Ryan Connolly was cancelled on sixty minutes when Craig Burns found the back of the Galway net. A late Ryan Manning penalty was enough to see Galway take all three points from Cobh, who stay firmly rooted to the bottom of the table.

Having lost a large majority of their squad throughout the season, this young Waterford side are a point behind their once rival’s reserves, Shamrock Rovers B, as the club slumps to its lowest finish in recent years. Croke continued:

“We really can’t afford to be giving away sloppy goals, but that being said the players are young and they have learned that the hard way this season.”

As for Cobh, the Cork outfit have managed just two wins all year, in what has been a very disappointing campaign for the club in their second season back in the League of Ireland. The end of the season can’t come quick enough for the club who have conceded a whopping sixty-one goals since March.

The sides last met back in August, when a ten man Waterford battled back to earn a 2-2 draw with the St Colman’s club. Martin Deady opened the scoring that night for the home side, but his strike was quickly cancelled out by Waterford youngster Ross Fitzpatrick. The Blues were reduced to ten men just before the interval, and Ramblers took full advantage of the extra man in the second half. Ronan Stanton restored the visitors’ lead, before a late Ethan Boyle strike in the closing stages earned the Blues a point.

The games between the two have been evenly matched this season, producing two draws and a 4-0 victory for Blues back in May. Both sides lie at the bottom of the league, both with massive goal scoring deficits. With only seven wins between them in the last twenty six games, it has been a long year for the two Munster clubs.

With the game just a mere formality, one can see this young Waterford side trying to keep the ball on the deck and play some real attacking football. At times when United have played the ball on the floor they have looked encouraging, with just the final ball going astray. The Blues haven’t won a game in fifteen, and while some may argue it’s all about the experience for these youngsters, fifteen games without a win can only damage a player’s confidence.

The Cobh defence have been lacklustre this season, only managing five clean sheets all season. On average, games involving the Ramblers have produced 3.1 goals, so I can see there being some goals in this one.

“Everyone is looking forward to Friday’s game. Games with Cobh are tough, and I expect no different this weekend. There is a real determination to get all three points in our final home game of the season. We want to give the fans something to cheer about, and give everyone around the club something to look forward to for next season.”

Match Officials: David Keeler, Ken Hennessey, Sinead Forde, Andrew Mullally (Fourth official)

David Pheasey, Pundit Arena.

 

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.