Cobh Ramblers manager Stephen Henderson was left irate after a controversial penalty decision left his team having to settle for a 2-2 draw with league leaders UCD at St. Colman’s Park. In a very open and entertaining game, Ramblers dominated for lo
Cobh Ramblers manager Stephen Henderson was left irate after a controversial penalty decision left his team having to settle for a 2-2 draw with league leaders UCD at St. Colman’s Park.
In a very open and entertaining game, Ramblers dominated for long periods and led through a Hull goal in only the 5th minute. UCD struck back before the break when Davis tapped home from a O’ Connor ball across the box.
In the second half, Ramblers retook the lead when a Gordon Walker shot form distance flew into the net after keeper Kearns slipped on the wet pitch. UCD found their equaliser in the 70th minute when substitute Mahdy tangled with Ramblers centre back McSweeney.
After tumbling to the ground, referee Alan Carey adjudged a foul was committed and captain Gary O’Neill rifled home the penalty to give the visitors a share of the spoils. It was the penalty decision that irked Henderson after the match.
“It’s not a penalty. The UCD player was already falling over the ball and then fell to the ground. There are loads of positives to take from tonight but what has happened is outside of our control. It was just two boys having a good old battle for the ball. We are after playing the best team in the division and we out played them for over 70 minutes. They had their little periods of dominance, that is always going to happen but overall if you look at the stats we deserved more.”
“It's infuriating because the last few weeks have been great for us. Collie (O’Neill) is a little bit disappointed, but he shouldn’t be. He should be delighted that he is walking out of here with a point tonight.”
“We were frustrated to come in at half time level. With UCD, along with most top teams, you have to take your chances. Some of the corners that came in tonight from us were perfect for someone to come onto and be aggressive and attack them. Some of the crosses that Stephen Kenny put into the box were excellent and they weren’t attacked. So, a few things to work on going forward.”
Henderson naturally has one eye on next month’s EA Sports Cup final against Derry City and their performance against champions elect UCD will give him and his team confidence that they can give the Premier Division side a tough contest.
“It’s only fair that everyone here has an opportunity to put themselves forward to play in the cup final. We will change the team a bit next week to give the other players that chance to step up to the plate. After tonight, they have a high standard to reach.”
“They are the best team in the division. That UCD team will go and win this league. If Collie O’ Neill keeps that team for the Premier Division next year they won’t struggle. That is the truth. Physically they are very strong. They are all athletes. They have pace, aggression and will do very well.”
“We are disappointed not to have the final in Cobh. We are trying to integrate ourselves with the community and having the final here would have accelerated the process. It’s me being selfish and only thinking of Cobh Ramblers but we will go to Derry and give it a go. It’ll be a packed Brandywell against a good team. Where else would you want to win a cup final?”