Date Time League Season
7 August 2023 7:45 pm LOI Men's First Division 2023

Match Report

Doherty Shatters Kerry Hearts To Finish Honours Even

Cobh came from two down in the final 25 minutes to deny Kerry a historic first home league win in Mounthawk Park.

A Ryan Kelliher brace either side of half time gave the Kingdom a healthy advantage, but goals from Mikie Rowe and Jack Doherty rescued a point for Ramblers in tricky conditions in Tralee.

Cobh extend their advantage over Bray at the edge of the playoffs to eight, and host Wanderers on Friday night, whilst Kerry travel to Wexford.

With the Longford result over Bray earlier, Cobh Ramblers knew they had a huge chance coming into the bottom side to put a 10 point cushion between them and Bray in the race for the playoffs.

Momentum though all went the way of the home side from the off. Leo Gaxha twice turned Justin Equaibor to get in behind inside the first five minutes but was unable to force an attempt on goal.

Kerry kept up the early pressure, forcing turnovers with high pressing that pushed the Cobh back line to kick long and lose possession.

The home side took a deserved lead half way through the first half, when Kevin Williams came through midfield, and after a 1-2 pass with Rob Vasiu, played the ball in down the right hand side to Leo Gaxha, who smashed across the face of goal for the waiting Ryan Kelliher to tap home for his 9th goal of the season.

The home crowd expected their side to drop back and hold onto their lead as they have for the majority of the season but that was far from the case. Leo Gaxha was proving very bright for Kerry, giving the Cobh back five nightmares every time he turned to run at them.

Cobh did have a bright spell just before the break and Jack Doherty did get their first shot on target, but his effort from close range was at a tight angle that Axworthy was well able to cover. The last action of the half saw Jack Doherty wipe out his opposite number Gaxha, but to the bemusement of Mounthawk Park, the referee blew his whistle to end the half with no additional time.

Kerry looked solid at the start of the second half but Cobh were beginning to put on the pressure. Dean Larkin flashed a header just past the left post of the thankful Axworthy after a great block initially from Kos on a Doherty shot which lead to the corner.

The hosts, though, doubled their lead on the hour mark. After a succession of corners for Leo Gaxha, it was third time the charm as his outswinging effort found Ryan Kelliher who produced a moment of magic with a scissors kick that bounced down and up over Stacy into the roof of the net, doubling the Kerry lead.

Shane Keegan turned to his bench immediately, making four changes and the man on loan from Galway United Mikie Rowe had an instant impact. In the very first play after the changes, a long throw from Cobh lead to a Kerry clearance that fell nicely for Mikie Rowe at the edge of the box and with his first touch arrowed the ball into the bottom left corner to cut the Kerry lead in half.

Lee Axworthy produced a brilliant save moments after the goal to preserve his side's lead. Brendan Frahill rose highest to head towards the net, but the Kerry netminder got up to palm the ball over the bar.

The pressure became high on the Kerry backline and with just under ten minutes to go Ramblers tied it up. Lee Axworthy was unable to claim a high ball, parrying out towards the edge of the area only to Jack Doherty who was calm and composed finding the top left corner.

Both sides had chances to snatch victory in the final few minutes, Jonathan Hanafin of Kerry with the best that produced a great save from Steacy, whilst Mikie Rowe forced Axworthy into a save moments later after a quick Ramblers counter attack.

Kerry will feel hard done by but a draw is a fair result in a thoroughly entertaining game on a Monday night.

Kerry FC

32Lee Axworthy Goalkeeper
2Rob Vasiu Defender
3Sean O’Connell Defender
5Ethan Kos Defender 6'
7Seán McGrath 28 Forward
9Ryan Kelliher Forward 23', 60'
10Leo Gaxha Forward
15Kevin Williams Defender 67'
22Cian Barrett Midfielder
23Ronan Teahan Midfielder
24Jonathan Hannafin 19 Defender
16Arthur Nganou Goalkeeper
6Alex Ainscough Midfielder
8Matt Keane Midfielder
13Togor Silong Midfielder
14Andy Quaid Midfielder
17Nathan Gleeson Forward
19Martin Coughlan 24 Midfielder
28Cian Brosnan 7 Forward
29Kennedy Amechi Forward

Cobh Ramblers

1Lee Steacy Goalkeeper
2Michael McCarthy Defender
4Justin Eguaibor 6 Defender
5Breandan Frahill Defender 68'
7Wilson Waweru Forward 75'
10Jack Doherty Midfielder 81'
12Darragh O’Sullivan Connell 3 Defender
15Alec Byrne 11 Midfielder
17Dean Larkin Midfielder 90'
28Dale Holland 8 Midfielder
39Jason Abbott Midfielder
30Darragh Burke Goalkeeper
3Cian Browne 12 Defender
6Charlie Lyons 4 Defender
8Pierce Phillips 28 Midfielder 84'
11Mikie Rowe 15 Midfielder 65'
16Luke Desmond Midfielder
21Liam Kervick Midfielder
29Tiernan O’Brien Midfielder
77Luke Casey Forward
  • 95'

    Brosnan with a chance to win it at the death on the break but he swiped at the air on a superb Leo Gaxha pass.

  • 95'

    FT, 2-2 draw, Kerry unlucky not to win but worthy of a point.

  • 90'

    5 minutes for someone to get a winner and destroy my match report, will suffer for a Kerry winner though.

  • 85'

    End to end stuff. Hannafin thought he gave Kerry the lead but a great save from Steacy denied him, on the break Cobh almost won it themselves but Rowe was unable to find the net.

  • 81'

    Goal for Cobh, Jack Doherty smashed high into the net after Axworthy could not deal with a cross. Cobh level.

  • 78'

    Charlie Lyons comes closest this time, heading just over. Kerry under real pressure now.

  • 72'

    Frahill's header looked destined for goal but Axworthy produced a fine effort to preserve the lead.

  • 70'

    Cobh piling on the pressure now with Kerry on the back foot. Their cushion advantage was short lived.

  • 65'

    Cobh get one back! After Keegan made four changes, Kerry seemed to switch off, with Mikie Rowe smashing home with his first touch to give the Ramblers a lifeline.

  • 61'

    Third time the charm for Gaxha on the corner, finds Kelliher who showed incredible athleticism to get his foot over the ball and hit it down and it bounced up and in.

  • 60'


  • 55'

    Dean Larkin heads just past the post off a Holland corner. By far the closest Cobh have come.

  • 55'

    Ethan Kos with a fantastic block from a Doherty shot after an unlucky rebound set the Cobh man in.

  • 50'

    Abbott's snap shot goes wide but Cobh with some sustained pressure as they stretched Kerry for the first time.

  • 48'

    Sean McGrath shoots just over from outside the box, Kerry kept up the momentum from the first half.

  • 48'

    Sean McGrath shoots just over from outside the box, Kerry kept up the momentum from the first half.

  • 47'

    Kelliher being hauled down in the box to start the half, but uh, no dice.

  • 46'

    Second half underway.

  • 45'

    Gaxha absolutely wiped out by Doherty from behind but instead of a foul and a certain yellow the referee books for half time with no added time. Incredible stuff.

  • 43'

    Doherty with the first effort on goal for Cobh, a tight angle that Axworthy was able to cover.

  • 42'

    Gaxha again looking lively, having a shot from about 25 yards that went over, a poor effort but some great triangle passes from Kerry in the centre of the park to work space.

  • 40'

    Gaxha looked to be 1 on 1 with McCarthy on the break but the Cobh defender did extremely well to prevent a major goal scoring opportunity.

  • 39'

    Kerry still the better of the teams but Cobh starting to get more of the ball as we tick towards half time.

  • 32'

    Former Cobh player Sean McGrath bursting down the left but his ball to Kelliher was just too late for the goalscorer to stay onside.

  • 23'

    KERRY LEAD!! Some great work from Kevin Williams to come through midfield, play in Leo Gaxha on the right hand side who flashed across to Ryan Kelliher who tapped in. A deserved opener.

  • 22'

    Kerry pressing high on Cobh who are trying to play out from the back but being forced to kick long and turnover possession.

  • 16'

    Some very questionable decisions so far by the referee who seems to be slowing the play down more than the two sides.

  • 13'

    Kerry the better of the two teams as we tick towards 15 mins in. A lively start though, lots of action.

  • 8'

    More on the bookings, this referee has gives 6+ cards in four of his last six games, so i'd expect a few more tonight.

  • 7'

    Kevin William did really well to cut out the free kick which Equaibor looked certain to head home.

  • 7'

    Ethan Kos booked already. A card happy referee in his previous fixtures flashes one after just six minutes.

  • 6'

    Sean McGrath sitting in the CAM position behind Leo and Ryan up top for Kerry. 5-2-1-2 formation for the home side.

  • 4'

    Leo Gaxha has the beating of Eguaibor so far, twice now he's rolled him in behind but unable to force an effort at goal.

  • 1'

    Kickoff in Mounthawk Park!

  • Here come the teams. can Kerry secure their first home win in the league? Stay tuned!

  • Cobh in their pre match huddle as they know victory tonight is huge, they can move 10 points clear of Bray in the playoff places.

  • Cobh make five changes, McCarthy, Doherty, O'Sullivan Connell, Byrne and Larkin all draw in.

  • Kerry make three changes tonight, Axworthy returns in net, O'Connell and Teahan return.

  • Good evening from a blustery Mounthawk Park. Kerry FC continued in search of that first home win.

Past Meetings

(Round 12)
4 - 1
LOI Men's First Division
St. Colman's Park

Cobh Ramblers FC 4-1 Kerry FC

(Round 1)
0 - 2
LOI Men's First Division
Mounthawk Park

Kerry FC 0-2 Cobh Ramblers FC


Mounthawk Park
Mounthawk Park, Tralee Rural ED, Tralee, County Kerry, Munster, Ireland

26-year-old TV, Radio, and New Media graduate from MTU Kerry based in the Kingdom with a passion for a variety of sports.