Cobh Ramblers had to battle all the way to the line to eke out a 2-1 win over Wexford FC in their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday evening.
Two goals in the space of a minute from David Hurley and Chris Hull late in the first-half looked to have created the perfect springboard for a comfortable success, but Adham Masood grabbed his first senior goal for Wexford FC before the hour mark to set up a nervy finale.
Assistant manager Stuart Ashton felt that Cobh could have made life a lot easier for themselves, but believed they did deserve to take the three points from the game.
“We made hard work of it. We started off well and should have been a goal up after a minute. I think we set the tempo but poor finishing from our point of view kept us from going a goal up. We kept working and in the first-half we got what we deserved. We went 2-0 up but then in the second-half we took the foot off the gas a little and we let them back into it and the inevitable happened, they got a goal and their tails were up then and it became a battle. We had one or two chances to finish the game off. At the end it was probably the right result, but we made hard work of it and it could have been a lot easier,” he said.
With both sides enduring disappointing league campaigns there was nothing really tangible to play for, which certainly won’t be the case when Ramblers next cross the white line into battle, when they take on Derry City in the EA Sports Cup Final on September 16th and they can now fully turn their attentions towards that momentous occasion.
“Unfortunately the game was a nothing game as far as the league is concerned but we didn’t see it as that because we needed to keep our tempo going and fellas are fighting for places. Unfortunately we don’t have a game next week. We’ll train hard now for the week and then the week leading up to the Derry game as well,” said Ashton.
The assistant manager says the excitement is really building as they prepare for the first national cup final in the club’s history, but they’re determined to keep everybody’s feet firmly on the ground.
“We’ve tried to keep the lads grounded for this week because we needed to do a job here. We didn’t want to come here and disrespect Wexford. They’re still fighting for points in the league as well so we had to come here and do the job properly, which we showed from the start. Unfortunately we let that slip. In the second-half we got a bit sloppy and complacent. The lads have been told after the game that that isn’t good enough for where we want to be for the final. We’ll prepare now for the next two weeks,” he said.
It’s now all systems go for the showdown in Derry and Ashton says it’s a day the club and the town are really relishing.
“Obviously in the week coming up to the final the excitement will grow around the town and for the players as well and we can hopefully have a good occasion up in Derry. It’s the first national cup final for the club in its history so for the town itself and the club it’s great excitement. This week we’ll try to keep things low key and then the build-up will start towards the end of next week. Obviously the media and everything get involved then, so the players will start feeling it. Hopefully we can keep them grounded until the big day. It’s a massive occasion and we have to embrace that and the players have to embrace it and go on and give a good account of themselves and we’ll see what happens on the day,” he said.