Dundalk: J Flanagan 18, M Reilly 24, 88
Ramblers: W Bruton 69,82
Tommy Byrne almost got Dundalk off to a great start, with two long efforts wide of the post within the first 10 minutes.
But on 18 minutes it was John Flanagan whoput Dundalk ahead. Previously, it should have been 1-0 already when Flanagan set up Reilly, but after taking it past the keeper he had ran wide and his shot hit the side netting. The pair were to combine on 18 minutes to put Dundalk ahead. It was a good team goal, with a pass from Ryan to Flanagan. Flanagan played a one two with Reilly, whose pass was perfectly weighted so Flanagan could run onto it and shoot past the Cobh keeper low into the bottom corner of the net.
Dundalk were playing some great football. Reilly had the chance to make it two, but the keeper got ahead of him again. Six minutes later he made no mistake. It was an easy header for him in the end. Hoey did well to make space for himself in midfield and lay the ball out to Crawley, who played a simple ball to Tommy Byrne. He looked up and hit in a good left footed cross which sailed onto the head of John Ryan whose cushioned header into the path of Martin Reilly, was turned in by the head of the on form goalscorer. The Cobh defence seemed to stop, and the goal was not met with the usual cheers, as everyone seemed bemused, but it was a perfectly good goal, the mere simplicity confusing everyone.
Up until half time, Dundalk were playing well, and the possibility of a three, four, maybe even five goal defeat for the Rams looking a possibility the way they were playing. Both wingers getting into decent positions, and Ryan and Reilly working well up front. Cobhs best player was Willie Bruton - his skill on the ball was causing problems.
Then half time came, and things were completely different. After the break Dundalk fell asleep, the crowd went silent expecting nothing but an easy victory, and Cobh got more ball. Still Martin Reilly could have scored after half time when a mistake gave him the chance to lob Donegan but it was saved by the keeper who still looked ropey. The Cobh defence was still all over the place. The game was played at a sedate pace, but there was always the chance that if Cobh got one, they could well grab an equaliser and put the pressure on. Their manager made the wise decision to move Bruton up front where his pace would trouble our defence. On 67 minutes, an error by David Crawley let Cobh back in. Receiving the ball at the edge of the area, he tried to be too clever and Declan McGregor won the ball off him and progressed into the area. His shot across the goal was turned in by Willie Bruton. The ball may well have gone in anyway, and Bruton could have cost his side the goal had the linesman blew up for offside, but common sense prevailed and the goal was given, he may not have been offside anyway.
Could Dundalk possibly be snatching a defeat from the jaws of victory like we did in St Colmans Park in December when it finished 3-2 to Cobh ? Well, it looked possible when Cobh won a free kick soon after, but Golden shot wildly over. Dundalk weren't getting forward, and after throwing the game away, looked like they would have to settle for another 2-2 with Cobh in Oriel. However, Cobh hadn't counted for the brilliance of Martin Reilly. Latching on to an innocuous looking ball forward in the 90th minute, Reilly used his pace to get away from his man and when it looked like he was going to shoot, he stopped and pulled the ball back past a Cobh defender. Someone in the crowd groaned loadly thinking he was being overelaborate but he knew what he was at. Anto Reilly was on the far post and it looked like he was going to try and pick him out, but with the keeper almost wrong footed Reilly shot right footed past the keeper on his near post to snatch an unlikely victory, another late goal for Dundalk.
Dundalk: John Connolly, Ian Hill, David Crawley, Donal Broughan, Padraig Gollogley, Liam Dunne, John Flanagan, Martin Reilly, John Ryan, David Hoey, Tommy Byrne
Subs: Eoin Mullen for T Byrne, Anto Reilly for Ryan