UCD are riding high at the moment, they came to Stradbrook on the back of an impressive display in the Europa League and are now focused on their promotion push. Cabinteely were looking to halt UCD in their tracks on Friday night but in the end UCD had enough to take all three points.
There was three debuts in the Cabo side, Evan Moran made his competitive debut after impressing in goals against MK Dons while new signings Peter Durrad and Daniel Ebbe led the line for Cabinteely in a 4-4-2 formation. Injuries to Victor Ekanem, Jamie McGlynn and Daniel Campbell coupled with Kevin Knight’s suspension meant that Cabo were without their entire first choice defence. There was changes of personnel and positions across the starting 11 with McKeown and Purdy in centre midfield and Karl Byrne at right back the only players to be starting in the same positions as the week before against Cobh.
UCD started well and were on top early on, they had chances although they were struggling to test Moran, with their efforts largely going wide of the target. Cabo soon found their feet in the game though and soon had a penalty when Sodiq Oguntola’s feet were taken from under him. This was Cabinteely’s first ever penalty in League of Ireland football. Sodiq dusted himself off to take the penalty and he cooly slotted the penalty to the keeper’s right, sending him the wrong way in the process.
The lead however was short lived with Benson levelling the scores with a lobbed header after Ryan Swan picked him out with a pinpoint cross. It was a deserved goal for UCD who had found themselves trailing despite enjoying the majority of possession in the first half.
Cabo soon had claims for another penalty, Ebbe and Durrad linked up well to create a chance for Ebbe, his shot struck a UCD defender and went behind for a corner, Cabo felt it was a handball but referee Keith Kennedy didn’t see it as such.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first, UCD enjoying large amounts of possession but they were somewhat wasteful infront of goal and with Moran in goals, scoring a second was no easy task. The former West Brom man making a number of crucial saves throughout the night.
UCD did get their breakthrough however through Jamie Doyle, the winger broke down the left wing before unleashing a low shot that went in off the far post. Doyle can count himself lucky to have still been on the pitch after the officials missed him appearing to stamp on Stephen Dunne after a tackle in the first half.
Dave Mackey made changes as Cabo searched for an equaliser, introducing Stephen Hanley and Conor Foley to add to Cabo’s attacking threat. Foley’s first touch was a clever through ball to put Ebbe through on goal 1-on-1 but he lost his footing at the crucial moment. Less than a minute later and Foley’s through ball this time put Oguntola through on goal, he twisted and turned to create a goal scoring chance, he looked to bend his effort into the far corner but it went just wide of the post.
UCD sealed the victory late on when Boyle headed home from a corner. It was a bitter pill to swallow for Cabo who had chances to equalise but it was a deserved win for UCD on the night.
Cabinteely: Evan Moran, Karl Byrne, Jamie Broderick, Josh Quinlivan, Michael Brown (Lloyd Cairns 69); Stephen Dunne (Stephen Hanley 77), Richard Purdy, John McKeown, Sodiq Oguntola; Peter Durrad (Conor Foley 86), Dean Ebbe.
Subs Not Used: Aaron Brilly, Ross Broderick, Darren Clarke, Sean Hyland.
Yellow Cards: Oguntola (90).
UCD: Niall Corbet, Mark Langtry, Tomas Boyle, Maxi Kougoun, Ryan McLaughlin; Jamie Doyle (Eoin Kirwan 74), Jack Watson, Gary O’Neill, Robbie Benson; Conor Cannon, Ryan Swan.
Subs Not Used: Conor Mackey, Sean Coyne, Dan Tobin, Daire O’Connor, Tom O’Halloran, Jason McClelland
Yellow Cards: Corbet (12), Boyle (90).