The travelling Cabo fans will have left St. Colman’s Park with mixed feelings, while they will have been disappointed to not get atleast a draw, they will be very optimistic as the improvement in Cabo is there for all to see. This was undoubtedly one of Cabo’s best performances all season.
Eddie Gormley put out an attacking 4-4-2 side for this clash of 6th against 7th. The defensive partnership of Ekanem and Knight was restored at the back, a new midfield duo of John McKeown and Shamrock Rovers loanee Richard Purdy, and a pacey attacking threat in wingers, Stephen Hanley and Michael Brown, and strikers Sodiq Oguntola and Conor Foley.
Cabo started brightly and looked extremely comfortable on the ball. Evan Whelan looked to play the ball short to feet at every opportunity which allowed Ekanem and Knight to play out from the back. McKeown and Purdy struck up a strong partnership in the centre of midfield, both looking assured on the ball throughout. For all Cabo’s possession, Cobh had the better chances in the opening period. They twice went close from set pieces, volleying over and heading wide from close range.
Cabo began to turn their possession into chances towards the end of the first half. Oguntola played an inadvertent one-two with the referee, as the ball bounced back to him he quickly swivelled and shot but it was well saved. Foley also went close, he gathered a loose ball on the edge of the box but his half volley was palmed away by Daly in the Cobh goal.
In the 43rd minute, Cobh had the ball in the net but it was flagged for offside. O’Connor’s cross deflected off Knight and looked to be goal bound but Kenny pounced in to turn it home and was deemed offside.
The second half had barely started when Cabo got their first chance of the half, Conor Foley chased down a loose ball and got there before the Cobh keeper, his curling effort from the byline was blocked on the line by Mulcahy.
Cabo were still enjoying good possession, but it was a misplaced pass at the back that led to the breakthrough for Cobh. With possession given away by the defence, Cabo were caught out with men forward and Cobh broke through on goal. Whelan did well to save the first effort but Rocks fired the ball home, despite Karl Byrne’s efforts on the line.
Cabo bounced back immediately though and began to push for the equaliser and they didn’t have to wait long for it come. Purdy picked up the ball in the midfield and he let fly from 25 yards, his driven shot had beaten Daly but it cannoned back off the foot of the post, Oguntola was the first to react and he turned the ball home for his third goal of the season.
The goal was no more than Cabinteely deserved and the immediately went looking for a second. Karl Byrne went close from 25 yards, his shot just going wide of the post. As Cabo pushed men forward however, they were once again caught out after a misplaced pass. A long ball was played through to Kenny who expertly controlled and finished leaving Whelan with no chance.
Cabo went all out looking for a much deserved equaliser but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. They nearly got it in spectacular fashion, Michael Brown’s free kick from 35 yards crashed off the crossbar and bounced on the line and out, it would have been a certainty for goal of the season had it gone in. Cabo were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time, when Kevin Knight prevented a counter attack and was given his second yellow and his marching orders. It finished 2-1 and while Cabo did not pick up any points, there is a lot of positives to take and their heads should be held high as they now look to focus on their next game, UCD at home this Friday night.
Cobh Ramblers: Eoin Daly; Adam O’Sullivan, James Furlong, Kevin Mulcahy, Anthony O’Donnell; Jason Abbott; Stephen Christopher, Chris McCarthy (Ryan Goldsmith 76), Kynan Rocks (Daniel Barry 90); Shane O’Connor; Stephen Kenny.
Subs not used: Shane Hallahan, David Curran.
Yellow Cards: Adam O’Sullivan (58), Jason Abbott (68), Chris McCarthy (72).
Cabinteely: Evan Whelan; Karl Byrne (Stephen Dunne 81), Kevin Knight, Victor Ekanem (Josh Quinlavan 29), Jamie Broderick; Stephen Hanley, Richard Purdy, John McKeown, Michael Brown; Sodiq Oguntola, Conor Foley.
Subs not used: Aaron Brilly, Ross Broderick, Llyod Cairns, Daniel Campbell, Cathal Gilligan.
Yellow Cards: Kevin Knight (79).
Red Cards: Kevin Knight (91).