Cobh Ramblers manager Stephen Henderson was in a philosophical mood after his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat in their final home game of the season against Drogheda United.

On an evening where a victory would seal a play-off spot for the visitors, Drogheda got off to a dream start when Mark Doyle was bundled over in the box by Ramblers Kevin Taylor in the opening minute of the game.

There was a clear pull on the jersey by Taylor and referee David Dunne had no hesitation pointing to the spot. Sean Brennan calmly slotted home the penalty. Ramblers grew into the match as it progressed but were caught again early in the second half when a Richard Purdy corner was powered home by Luke Gallagher after a clever near post run.

Ramblers couldn’t muster a response and Drogheda now progress to the play-offs where they will meet Shelbourne. Manager Henderson couldn’t hide his disappointment of a difficult season after the game.

“We haven’t been good enough this year. On the pitch, we’ve been the nearly men in too many matches. Here we are in the last match of the season and again we are letting a goal in after two minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second half.

“This is all stuff that we should have eradicated that we haven’t throughout the season. We are where we deserve to be. In terms of the league, it has been a horrendous season. We are not happy with it at all.”

“We have a dressing room in there that can challenge for a play-off. It just didn’t happen for us this year. The EA Sports Cup final was brilliant for us, but you can’t mask over what has happened to us in the league and we must fix that.”

With some exciting new talent coming through the squad such as Gordon Walker, Kevin Taylor and Chris Hull, Henderson is quick to acknowledge how important the off season could be for Cobh Ramblers.

“I think one of the best signings you can make is when you keep your best players. That is first and foremost for us. I know where we need to strengthen in order to make us better. The club itself is now at a crossroads.

“We must ask ourselves where are we going? That’s the question that must be asked of the club and committee.

“Realistically now it is nearly six months before we are back playing a game. Do the players not play football for four months now? We have programmes for them and we’ll have to try an organise a few friendlies to keep them going but it’s a long wait until the next game.

“Every year we are doing something. We got to a national cup final this year. Previous year, we finished runners up and won the Munster Senior Cup. Before that, we got ourselves into the play-offs and reached the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup.

“Is there any ambition here or are we happy to try and over-achieve every year? With our centenary coming up, it’s important that we move forward as a club.”


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