Turners Cross disappointment as Athlone forego winning margin to earn Cobh draw

SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION

Dean Ebbe celebrates with teammate Armado Oakley after scoring Athlone Town’s first goal during the SSE Airtricity First Division match with Cobh Ramblers at Turner’s Cross in Cork. Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

Dean Ebbe celebrates with teammate Armado Oakley after scoring Athlone Town’s first goal during the SSE Airtricity First Division match with Cobh Ramblers at Turner’s Cross in Cork. Photo by Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

COBH RAMBLERS 3 ATHLONE TOWN 3

Athlone Town twice surrendered a two goal lead in Turners Cross on Friday night last as hosts Cobh Ramblers managed to secure a draw in what was an all action SSE Airtricity League Frst Division fixture.

The visitors lead by two goals to nil at the half time break and by three one in the second half but the Rams still restored parity. Gary Hunt’s men might even have claimed all three points as Athlone failed to close out the game.

Although Cobh had the first chance when Matthew McKevitt headed a free kick wide, Athlone soon settled and proceeded to dominate the half. The Town earned two corner kicks inside the first 10 minutes with Carl Mujaguzi also firing into the side netting.

The good start by the visitors could have been undone though midway through the half when Jack Larkin should have done better with an opportunity to score. The shot however was mishit and Enda Minogue made a comfortable save.

Cobh earned their first corner moments later but fell behind after 24 minutes of play. Jamal Ibrahim delivered a cross from the left and Dean Ebbe, from inside the six-yard box, headed past the helpless keeper. The Town number nine had a chance to double the lead three minutes later but a flick on from Armado Oakley’s right wing cross was saved.

Athlone continued to dominate and, after earning another corner, increased the lead on 33 minutes. Noah VanGeenen showed great skill with a neat turn on the left and his cross picked out Dylan Hand who headed home off the underside of the bar from close range. Two nil to the Town then at the break.

What unfolded in the second half was remarkable as Cobh scored three times to share the spoils, after earlier appearing to stare defeat in the face. Nolan Evers reduced the deficit just six minutes into the half. The visitors had a chance to quickly restore the two goal lead but Mujaguzi fired his shot off the home keeper after 54 minutes.

A corner was then earned by Ramblers but the next goal was to fall Athlone’s way after 63 minutes, as Connolly’s strike flew into the roof of the net. It appeared to be the goal that would seal victory but proved to be the last time Athlone would shine as Cobh now mounted an amazing comeback, falling just short of yielding a remarkable win.

The home team were back in contention with a second goal after 69 minutes when Dale Holland’s long range strike along the greasy surface whizzed past Minogue to the net. The momentum was now with Ramblers and James O’Leary fired over with two more corners following for the hosts.

Another corner saw Cobh complete the comeback as Jack Larkin’s delivery was not dealt with by the Town defence and David Bosnjak pounced on the weak clearance to shoot home off the upright.

Cobh now went in pursuit of a winner that earlier looked unlikely. Ramblers were within the width of the post from winning as Brendan Frahill fired against the woodwork with five minutes remaining.

 

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