Cabo put up fight but Premier Division side progress
Cabinteely went into their first FAI Cup game looking to replicate their previous form when playing for the first time in a competition, winning one nil in both their first league game and first EA Sports Cup games against Wexford Youths and UCD respectively. Standing in their way of repeating this feat was a tricky away tie to Premier Division side Drogheda United.
Drogheda were coming into this tie after after a two nil victory over Galway United last week, while Cabo continued their impressive form last week at Stradbrook, picking up a point at Cobh.
Conditions at United Park were perfect for football and the game began at a high intensity. With the way the game started, there was a sense that there would be goals as both sides were set up to go for the win. It wasn’t long until there was a breakthrough and it came for Drogheda when Thornton reacted to an error by Hyland to poke the ball into the Cabo net. As the game progressed the young keeper did make amends for his mistake however making a number of good saves.
Cabinteely were pushing for an equaliser in what was an end-to-end first half. Cabo’s first real chance came when Ger Pender went on a mazy run, working his way into the Drogheda box, his shot was well blocked however. As Cabo began to press more, they grew in confidence. Their pressure was soon rewarded.
Pender was fantastic all night in his hold up play and unsurprisingly he was involved in the build up for Cabinteely’s goal. He showed close control before switching the play to Shane O’Neill who cut back onto his left foot and swung in a ball which was volleyed home by the onrushing McGlynn. McGlynn netting his first goal of the season and O’Neill his second assist in two games. It was a brilliant finish from the left back after great build up play and was no more than Cabo deserved.
The sides went in at the half level, with it all to play for in the second half. The second half started in much the same fashion with both sides vying for the crucial next goal. Drogheda started the better and Cabo did well to shut out Drogheda during periods of sustained pressure. Victor Ekanem made a number of crucial tackles as Cabo sought to keep the Premier Division side out.
However it was an uncharacteristic error from Ekanem that led to Drogheda’s second goal. His cross field pass was intercepted by Whelan who capitalised on the mistake and buried the ball in the bottom corner past Hyland.
Cabinteely chased the equaliser with Gormley making a number of tactical changes. Cabo were playing 3-4-3 by the end of the game but the equaliser just wouldn’t come for them. With bodies committed forward, Cabo conceded a third goal as Brennan put the tie to bed from close range when he was the first to react to a rebound after Hyland had saved the initial shot.
Cabinteely were brilliant throughout and put it up to the Premier Division side. Cabo were undone by their own errors which were duly punished by Drogheda but Cabo look to be a side that are growing in confidence after a great performance tonight as well as a very impressive display against Cobh Ramblers last week. They will be looking to continue this form into their next match against UCD in The UCD Bowl next Friday.
Drogheda United: Dylan Connolly; Sam McGowan, Alan Byrne, Robert O’Reilly, Joe Gorman; Adam Whelan (Tiarnan Mulvenna 77), Sean Thornton, Mark Hughes, Jason Marks; Sean Brennan; Lee Duffy
Substitutes: Evin Farrell, Lloyd Buckley, Michael Scott, Fionn Reilly, Stephen Maher, Carl Walshe
Cabinteely: Sean Hyland; Daniel Campbell, Victor Ekanem, Kevin Knight, Jamie McGlynn; Shane O’Neill, Aaron Brilly, John McKeown, Evan Finnegan; Gerald Pender, Stephen Dunne
Substitutes: Lloyd Cairns, Jordan Buckley, Stephen Hanley, Conor Foley, Jamie Broderick, Ross Broderick, Cathan Gillen
Cabinteely Man of the Match: Ger Pender. He was brilliant all night and put in a great shift in the lone striker role. He showed great control on countless occasions and brought other Cabo players into the game.