On Monday evening Kerry made the trip to St. Coleman’s Park to take on Cobh Ramblers. The last time they faced each other was the opening night of the season on a historic occasion for the kingdom soccer scene. Cobh came out the winners in a close 2-0 win for Ramblers. On the evening Kerry came into the game needing to regroup very quickly after a tough 4-0 defeat to Treaty United away last Friday.
Kerry manager, Billy Dennehy made two changes two Friday’s team with Callan Scully getting his first start of the season coming in for the injured Wayne Guthrie, and Trpimir Vrljicak made his return to the starting eleven in place of Shane Guthrie.
After Friday’s defeat, Dennehy spoke to the press and showed his disappointment with the lack of intensity that the team had shown compared to the last few games. With a challenge like promotion hopefuls Cobh in front of them, there was no better time to reclaim that intensity the boys in green have shown over the last month or so.
The first half started in the worst conceivable way for the Kingdom when debutant goalkeeper Callan Scully tried to clear the ball up the pitch, but his kick out was blocked by Wilson Waweru. Kevin Williams got back to challenge the striker, but he managed to slot away the opportunity and give Cobh the lead just inside four minutes. Things nearly worsened quickly for Kerry as Cobh goalkeeper Lee Steacy had an effort from behind the halfway line on target and looked like it had only one destination. Thankfully, Scully put the mistake behind him and showed great determination for the remainder of the game to put on a great goalkeeping performance.
Kerry had very few chances in the first half and battled hard in the midfield to try and create as many opportunities for themselves as possible. The best threat on the Cobh goal came from a good piece of close passing between Sean McGrath and Trpimir Vrljicak. The big Croatian found space to get his shot off but did not test Steacy in the Ramblers goal.
Cobh started to threaten again and put Kerry under serious pressure for the remainder of the half. A through ball down the right flank found goal scorer Wilson Waweru who was stretched out wide but still managed to get his shot off. The decent effort on goal was matched by Scully who got down well and parried it to safety.
Fifteen minutes before the break, Cobh doubled their advantage. A corner for the home side was not dealt with and Dale Holland found a way to give a pass into Tiernan O’Brien.
O’Brien was just seven yards out and had time to decide which corner he wanted to put the ball into. He went for the bottom left corner and made it 2-0 to the Ramblers.
Before the half ended, Conor Drinan was the next to test Scully in goal, he hit a half volley with power from just outside the box. The effort was put over and out for a corner from Scully and Cobh went into half time with a 2-0 lead.
Cobh started the second half in the best possible manner when Charlie Lyons headed home a corner taken by Tiernan O’Brien. Just on the fiftieth minute mark, Cobh extended their lead to 3-0.
Kerry’s first shot on target of the game came just three minutes after the third goal. Leo Gaxha and Sean Mcgrath linked up well together and made it possible for McGrath to find space on the right side of the box. McGrath let one rip, but Lee Steacy got down well to deal with the Kerry effort.
Kerry enjoyed a spell of dominance at the start of the second half and nearly got their goal in return. A trademark long throw from Sam Aladesanusi was not cleared and the bobbling ball bounced at a good height for Leo Gaxha to try an audacious bicycle kick that unfortunately hit the crossbar. A goal of the season contender if it had gone in, no doubt.
That pressure was soon put to rest when Claudio Osorio, gave a through ball onto the left foot of Liam Kervick who finished low and into the back of the net to make it 4-0 to Cobh. Kerry did manage get one back. Sean McGrath was going forward with the ball and lost it, only for him to make up the ground and gain back possession with a superb tackle. His pass across the box met Ryan Kelliher who scored yet again as the game closed out 4-1 to Cobh Ramblers.
Kerry are back at home in Mount Hawk Park this Friday as they face Longford Town. Kerry will be hoping to put this tough week behind them and learn from the tough lessons at the hands of both Treaty United and Combh Ramblers, as they still search for that ultimate first win.
Kerry FC Team:
16. Callan Scully, 2. Rob Vasiu, 18. Samuel Aladesanusi, 15. Kevin Williams (C), 22. Cian Barrett, 23. Ronan Teahan, 20. Trpimir Vrljicak, 10, Leo Gaxha, 9. Ryan Kelliher (Goal ‘82), 7. Sean Mcgrath, 11. Sean Kennedy.
Subs: Aaron O’ Sullivan, Andy Quaid, Sean O’ Connell, Matt Keane, Alex Ainscough, Nathan Gleeson, Kennedy Amechi, Cormac Buckley, Shane Guthrie
Cobh Ramblers Team: 1. Lee Steacy, 2. Michael Mccarthy, 5. Brenden Frahill, 6. Charlie Lyons (Goal ‘50), 39. Jason Abbott (C), 11. Conor Drinan, 17. Claudio Osorio, 16. Luke Desmond, 7. Wilson Waweru (Goal ‘4), 29. Tiernan O’brien (Goal ‘30) (‘73 Liam Kervick, (‘74 Goal), 28. Dale Holland