Cabinteely’s 10 men battled to earn a well deserved point, this was a backs-to-wall hard fought point and Eddie Gormley can only be proud of the resolve his team showed following Conor Foley’s red card.
There were a number of changes to the squad that played against Finn Harps last week, Victor Ekanem came back into the centre of defence following his suspension, he partnered Edward McDonagh while Josh Quinlivin moved to left back, John McKeown started in centre midfield with Richard Purdy while Conor Foley started upfront with Peter Durrad, after his goal last week.
It was a lively start at Tolka Park with both sides creating half chances but there were no clear cut opportunities. Both sides were being limited to shots from range, none of which were troubling either goalkeeper. Shelbourne went the closest when Dylan McGlade’s curling effort hit off the outside of the post, Cathal Gillen had it covered however and watched it go wide. At the other end Conor Foley caught Daire Doyle in possession when he was the last man and the striker would have been through on goal 1-on-1 but Doyle recovered well with a sliding tackle that cleared the danger.
At half time, the sides were still locked at 0-0 which was probably a fair reflection on the first half. Gormley replaced Quinlivan with Kevin Knight at left back. Cabinteely again began this half brightly, enjoying good spells of possession but Shelbourne were on top. The game changed when Conor Foley was sent off for two yellow cards in quick succession. The striker was cautioned for stopping a quick free kick and received his marching orders for a foul outside the Shelbourne box soon after.
Shelbourne now began to really push for the breakthrough goal, but Cabo began to dig deep and put in a brilliant defensive display to keep them out. Kevin Knight did an excellent job of keeping Dylan McGlade quite, the winger had caused problems in the first half, while Victor Ekanem and Edward McDonagh led by example in the centre of defense clearing everything that came their way. This was a backs to the wall performance, to a neutral it may not have been pretty, but Cabinteely defended with everything they had and continuously dealt with Shelbourne’s attacks. At the other end of the pitch Peter Durrad, who has impressed since signing with the club, was forced off with what looked like a bad injury, Sodiq Oguntola replaced him in the lone striker role.
Shelbourne’s first shot on target came in stoppage time. A well struck effort from outside the box looked set to break Cabo hearts but Cathal Gillen made a fantastic save to tip the ball over the bar. The young goalkeeper was mobbed by his teammates congratulating him. This would prove to be the best chance of the game as Cabo saw it out until the final whistle. An important point to pick up on the road and the club’s first against Shelbourne who had won all three previous encounters 1-0. Next up is 7th -v- 8th as Cabinteely take on Waterford United away on the 18th of September at the RSC.
Shelbourne: Greg Murray; Adam O’Connor (Mark Sandford, 67), Ryan Robinson (Darragh Gannon, 87), Sean Heaney, Alan Kehoe; Dylan McGlade, Craig Walsh, Daire Doyle, Gareth Coughlan; James English, Philly Hughes.
Subs not used: Jack Brady (gk), Evan Osam, Colm Crowe, Jake Donnelly, Carl Walshe.
Cabinteely: Cathal Gillen; Karl Byrne, Victor Ekanem, Ed McDonagh, Josh Quinlivan (Kevin Knight, HT); Stephen Dunne, Richard Purdy, Conor Foley, John McKeown, Michael Brown (Stephen Hanley, 89); Peter Durrad (Sodiq Oguntola, 71).
Subs not used: Sean Hyland (gk), Aaron Brilly, Darren Clarke, Sean Burke.
Bookings: Durrad (33), Foley (53, 54), Byrne (63).
Sent Off: Foley (54).
Man of the match: It is tough to give this to any one player as every single player put in a great shift to hold out for the point, for the first time this season, we are giving man of the match to two people – the centre back partnership of Victor Ekanem and Edward McDonagh. The two defenders organised their defence excellently and didn’t make a single mistake as they cleared everything that came their way.