Praise for in-form Matthew Whelan
COBH Ramblers manager Stephen Henderson hailed the performance of Matthew Whelan at the UCD Bowl last night, after the teenager’s second-half goal propelled the St Colman’s Park men towards a hard-earned three points in the SSE Airtricity League First Division.
Whelan’s cool finish on 78 minutes was ultimately the difference between the Leesiders and an in-form UCD, and Henderson sees the 18-year-old as one to watch in years to come.
“That’s an unbelievable goal from Matthew Whelan. He’s only 18 years of age, and the strength he needed [to score]. Because I’m telling you, he was getting dragged, he was getting kicked, but he managed to stay on his feet and what a fabulous finish.
“A fine young talent, but all our lads are fine young talents. When they click, they’re very good to watch, and Whelan, he’s one for the future. I’m a bit nervous now, because somebody will start sniffing him on me!”
This was Cobh’s third consecutive 1-0 triumph over UCD, and when you consider that their opponents were on an unbeaten run of six games since their last meeting on April 1, it becomes all the more impressive.
While Henderson felt that UCD were the better team in the opening half, once Cobh improved the level of their passing after the restart, he believes they got the result they deserved.
“The first-half obviously was theirs. I think a lot of that was down to us. The passing was terrible from us, and we knew that. I think in the second-half, we passed the ball a little bit better, and we got a bit more width. Second-half, I thought we probably deserved it. The first-half was all UCD, but obviously 1-0 in the Bowl. Fabulous.”
This result means that Cobh have moved to within two points of table-toppers Waterford United, who they will entertain in the league next Friday evening.
However, despite swapping positions last night, Henderson praised UCD for the way they have maintained their promotion push in the opening half of the season.
“I think these [UCD] are the best team in the league, to be honest with you. They’re going to be there or thereabouts. This is going to keep changing. The only thing that hasn’t really changed is Waterford. Hopefully their luck can change at some stage.
“I just think it’s fantastic to be honest with you, that both ourselves and UCD are still so close to Waterford United. We’re nearly halfway through the season, and we’re still tipping away at them. I think that’s a credit to both these clubs,” Henderson added.