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Kerry FC v Cobh Ramblers

Match Report – Kerry FC v Cobh Ramblers



Kerry FC welcomed Cobh Ramblers to Mounthawk Park for the second time this season as the two faced off for the first time in League of Ireland action on Friday evening. In the previous fixture, Kerry won the Munster Senior Cup semi-final in a 1-0 victory. It was a Victor Udeze debut goal in the sixty-eighth minute which separated the two sides on the day with Kerry being the dominant side throughout the proceedings.

The last league action from the two Munster sides came on the last game of the season when a Kennedy Amechi goal secured a point for the Kingdom in St. Colmans Park. All games the teams played against each other last season were close affairs with Cobh winning two and the sides sharing two draws. Kerry FC first-team head coach Conor McCarthy was looking forward to the test and was happy with the direction his side were going in over the past three or so games.

Kerry FC started the game with an unchanged starting eleven that faced Athlone Town last week in Athlone. They were solid for most of the game and were fantastic to obtain their first point of the league season. It was a lovely evening for football and a great crowd turned out for what was sure to be a very entertaining Munster Derby.

First Half:
The first half as a whole was very evenly contested. Cobh had their fair of possession early on and got a couple of corners for themselves inside the opening two minutes with nothing coming from either. 

Throughout the first half, Cobh gave Kerry most of their trouble from long throws and set pieces with a few near chances going begging from the Rams. Antonio Tuta was first really called into action when he saved a shot from Jack Larkin. Tuta made seven saves in the opening forty-five and had himself well warmed up in the early exchanges.

Kerry FC had their first decent opportunity of the game in the twenty-first minute when Kennedy Amechi found space for himself to get a shot on goal which was collected by Cobh goalkeeper Darragh Burke. Kerry only came into the game from an attacking perspective around this stage. Four minutes later a Steven Healy cross was just a touch too far for Ryan Kelliher to get anything on it as he headed over from a tough angle.

Cobh ended the half the strongest with the away side only being one or two touches away in their attacking box from really creating a dangerous situation for Kerry. Antonio Tuta was called into action a few more times but remained calm and composed with every shot and cross that headed towards his area.

The half ended all square. Kerry were probably the happiest of the two to get in level at that stage with Cobh perhaps having to look at themselves and be disappointed that they could not go into the interval at least a goal to the good.

Second Half:
The second half started the same way as the first half ended. Just five minutes after the restart Dean Larkin would have his head in his hands as he put a shot of his just to the left of the six-yard box wide of the far post where it was nothing but an empty net for him to aim into.

In the fifty-fourth minute, Daniel Okwute showed great tenacity and skill to make room for a low cross on the right wing. It went towards Ryan Kelliher at the near post, but Darragh Burke and the Cobh defence did enough to put him off as he, unfortunately, could not guide the ball towards goal.

Ronan Teahan, Victor Udeze and Ethan Kos all entered the pitch with a large portion still left in the game and made a difference as the fresh legs gave Kerry FC that bit more of an attacking threat that was not there before. In the seventieth minute, the evidence of a greater Kerry FC attacking threat was exhibited as the Kingdom took the lead through Ryan Kelliher.

Fantastic work from the side in the build-up to the goal as they sprayed the ball along their own half and took their time to pounce and did so brilliantly. Sean McGrath received the ball just inside the area after a cross from Sean O’Connell was not cleared by Justin Eguaibor. McGrath kept going in and held off his marker very well to go further in towards goal and squared it to Kelliher to get his first of the season. Ryan was Kerry FC’s top goal scorer last season and got off the mark on the evening with what could only be described as a pure poacher’s finish.

Unfortunately, after the great work the home side showed to get in front, just five minutes later Cobh equalised through a top-class finish from James O’Leary. He received the ball through the defensive channel and opened his body to guide it into the side netting to get his side level. 

Beineón O’Brien Whitmarsh came close to turning the game in its head for Cobh with seven minutes to play but his shot was just wide of Tuta’s goalpost. Ryan Kelliher had a chance to get his second on the night as a ball in from the left side of the box reached the number nine but unfortunately, he put the effort straight at Darragh Burke.

A game of two halves in terms of entertainment and the ninety-four minutes of play ended in a 1-1 draw. Kerry showing great signs of improvement week by week and coming and the right time as they face Finn Harps in Ballybofey next Friday night.

Kerry FC Team: 1. Antonio Tuta, 15, Kevin Williams, 18. Sam Aladesanusi, 5. Andy Spain (C), 3. Sean O’Connell, 21. Daire McCarthy, 15. Steven Healy, 7. Sean McGrath, 12. Kennedy Amechi, 9. Ryan Kelliher (Goal `70), 11. Daniel Okwute.

Subs: Aaron O’Sullivan, Ethan Kos, Ronan Teahan, Cian Brosnan, Finn Barrett, Graham O’Reilly, Victor Udeze, Oisin Breen, Ferdia O’Brien.

Cobh Ramblers Team: 1. Darragh Burke, 3. Cian Browne, 5. Brendan Frahill, 6. Dean Larkin, 9. Matthew Mckevitt, 10. Jack Larkin, 11. James O’Leary (Goal `75), 12. Nolan Evans, 16. David Bosnjak, 28. Dale Holland, 39. Jason Abbott (C).

Subs: Cathal O’Hanlon, Justin Eguaibor, Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh, Liam Kervick, Dan McKay, Alessandro Desanctis, Charlie O’Brien, David Eguaibor, Dan Ryan.