Cobh Wanderers Football Club

MSL: Cobh Wanderers 2-0 St.Mary’s. Old Church Park. 25-2-17.

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As was the case with the Juniors on Friday night, the Seniors had to scrap hard and dig deep to record this league win today. Michael Deasy was forced into one change from epic battle against Crumlin last week with Eddie Nolan slotting in for the injured John Meade at centre back. The first half produced little in the way of clear-cut chances for either side. Dave Stack shot wide following a free from the right after 11 minutes. Mary’s first opportunity came from a free-kick in a central position on 27 minutes but the effort flew over Devine’s crossbar. On the half hour mark Stack whipped in a free from the right which was met by the head of Eddie Nolan. The ball flew across the goal and fell to Griffin who hit a right foot effort back across goal and wide of the far post.

There was a scare in the home goalmouth following a corner when Stack tried to clear and the ball rebounded fortunately into the hands of the grateful Devine. Wanderers took the lead early in the second half when Meade picked up a loose pass from the visitors and drove at the defence before slipping a great pass to Griffin inside the box. Griffin hit a superb outside of the right foot curler past the keeper and into the left corner of the net. Devine was forced into a smart save 14 minutes in diving to push away a snap-shot from just outside the box. Mary’s best chance of the match arrived in the 20th minute of the half when a super ball left a 2 on 1 inside our box. Wayne McBride was the player with the ball at his feet but he made a complete mess of the attempted pass to his fellow strike partner and the chance had gone.

Mary’s were well on top in this period of the game and looked like forcing an equalizer with every attack. Two chances on 30 and 34 minutes saw them put a free header over the top and an outstretched left foot effort wide from a dangerous cross. Mary’s number 8 was causing serious problems down the right with his direct running and Stack had to take a yellow for the team to stop one such run on 80 minutes. Chubbs created an opening for Dub with 5 minutes to go but the keeper managed to smother the effort.

Just before full-time Peter Nolan hit a high ball in from the left and Meade trapped it coming over the defender’s head before hitting a left-foot shot that was well saved by the keeper. Wanderers continued to defend for their lives up to the end and in the fourth minute of injury time Meade picked up the ball in the box and forced the defender to take him down to win a penalty. Chubbs dispatched the spot-kick to put a gloss on the score line. This win puts Wanderers a single point behind Corinthians in the table with a game in hand so everything to play for and many massive games coming up. Winning is certainly a good habit.

Scorers: Jimmy Griffin 49, Ian Stapleton 90+4(pen).

Team: Michael Devine, Eoin Hastings, Kyle Downing (Peter Nolan 76), Eddie Nolan, Brian Fitzgerald, David Curran, Jimmy Griffin (James Stoat 66), Michael O’ Shea, Ian Stapleton, Conor Meade, Dave Stack.