St Colman’s Park is the venue this Saturday as Cobh Ramblers host Shelbourne in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
It’s back where it all began for new Cobh manager Stephen Henderson this week as he faces the club where he started his career off as a goalkeeper in 1984. His regime is now well underway at Ramblers and the Dubliner now has three games under his belt. The most recent of these was a 1-1 draw away to rivals Waterford. Rob Waters scored his fourth goal in three games for the Rams but they were gratuitous to leave with a point when Willie John Kiely missed a last minute penalty for the Blues. Performances have definitely picked up of late for Ramblers and they will head into this game with a renewed sense of confidence.
Cobh will be depleted for the tie however as the small squad have picked up a number of knocks of late. Ross McCarthy, Peter White and Darren Murphy Snr all remain injured whilst David Curran has joined them on the injury list with a groin problem. There are also doubts over the fitness of Stephen Kenny (dead leg), Kevin Mulcahy (hip), Eoghan Murphy (dead leg) and Graham McCarthy (calf). On a positive note, Darren Murphy Jnr will return to the side following his three game suspension.
Shelbourne are not in the best of form coming into the game and the Dubliners have not won in four games in all competitions. Wexford Youths left Tolka Park with all three points last weekend in an electrifying 4-2 thriller. This leaves Kevin Doherty’s men sitting 4th in the table and Shels fans will hope an upturn in fortune is on the horizon.
The visitors have a number of injury concerns ahead of the clash. Simon Dixon could be out for the remainder of the season, whilst Dave Ryan and Sean Heaney are also ruled out on Saturday . Philly Hughes (ankle) and Alan Keogh (groin) are doubtful but Paul Andrews and Dylan McGlade look set to return to the side. Evan Osam is on International duty with the Irish schools side and Ryan Robinson is suspended for the tie.
A win for Ramblers could see them move up to 6th in the table. Shelbourne could see themselves climb to 3rd with a win at St Colman’s Park. The sides’ two meetings last season at the Cork ground saw plenty of goals. A 2-2 draw in June was followed by a 3-3 draw on the final day of the season. If that’s anything to go by then we should be in for another entertaining game on Saturday.
Injured: Ross McCarthy, Peter White, Darren Murphy Snr, David Curran
Doubtful: Stephen Kenny (dead leg), Kevin Mulcahy (hip), Eoghan Murphy (dead leg) and Graham McCarthy (calf)
Injured: Simon Dixon, Sean Heaney, Dave Ryan
Doubtful: Alan Kehoe, Philly Hughes
Suspended: Ryan Robinson
International Duty: Evan Osam
Referee: Jim McKell
Assistants: Ken Hennessey, Sinead Forde
Fourth Official: Anthony Buttimer
Betting odds: (paddypower.com)
Cobh Ramblers 15/4. Draw 12/5: Shelbourne 4/6
Venue: St Colman’s Park
Kick Off: 7:45pm