Tuesday 6 December 2016

McCaffrey volley halts Ramblers comeback

Drogheda United 1 Cobh Ramblers 2

Independent.ie sportsdesk

Published 29/10/2016 | 02:30

Charlie Fleming of Cobh Ramblers after the SSE Airtricity League First Division play-off second leg match between Drogheda United and Cobh Ramblers at United Park in Drogheda, Co Louth. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Charlie Fleming of Cobh Ramblers after the SSE Airtricity League First Division play-off second leg match between Drogheda United and Cobh Ramblers at United Park in Drogheda, Co Louth. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Cobh Ramblers almost completed an unlikely comeback at United Park - but Gareth McCaffrey's second-half goal edged Drogheda closer to a Premier Division return.

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Conor Ellis reduced the two-goal deficit from the first leg after just 38 seconds and eight minutes later Shane O'Connor drew Ramblers level on aggregate.

Kevin Farragher of Drogheda United in action against Matthew Whelan of Cobh Ramblers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Kevin Farragher of Drogheda United in action against Matthew Whelan of Cobh Ramblers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

But Ramblers' hopes of a famous comeback were dashed when on-loan Shamrock Rovers forward McCaffrey struck the tie's winning goal on the hour mark.

Saturday's result at St Colman's Park put Pete Mahon's side in control but their two-goal advantage was halved within seconds when Charlie Fleming's ball over the top beat the defence and Ellis kept his composure to shoot across Stephen McGuinness and in. Drogheda's advantage was wiped out when they failed to clear a ball into the box, O'Connor turned it in from close range.

Jake Hyland almost had their noses in front when Jake Hyland shot wide in the first half.

But after superb work from Adam Wixted on the right flank, 20-year-old McCaffrey finished superbly to set up a meeting with Wexford Youths.

Drogheda United's Sean Thornton in action against Craig Donnellan of Cobh Ramblers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Drogheda United's Sean Thornton in action against Craig Donnellan of Cobh Ramblers. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
DROGHEDA - McGuinness; Deasy, Gallagher, Farragher, Dunne; Hyland, Purdy, Thornton; Wixted (Doyle, 89) Griffin (Ashe, 78), McCaffrey.
COBH - Hunt; Fleming, McCarthy, Mulcahy, Mylod (McGreevy, 89); O'Connor, Connellan, Comerford; Whelan, Ellis (McNamara, 75), Lehane (O'Donnell, 75).
REF - M Lynch

Irish Independent

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