Long range goal proves the difference

Cabinteely made the long trip to Ballybofey on Friday and were unfortunate to return home empty handed. Finn Harps have one of the best records at home in the league so it was always going to be a tough place to travel for Eddie Gormley’s side.

Cabo were without Shane O’Neill and Kevin Knight so Gormley was forced into changing the starting 11 from the game against Wexford Youths. Josh Quinlivan came in to partner Victor Ekanem at centre back while Darren Clarke was handed his debut, starting at right midfield.

The game started in a tentative manner with very few chances of note in the first half an hour, Cabinteely were very strong defensively with both Ekanem and McGlynn standing out. Finn Harps had two appeals for penalties in the first half, both for what they felt were handballs but referee Ben Connolly waved play on.

Victor Ekanem Cabinteely

There was half chances at both ends, but the both sides defences were coming out on top. McGlynn made a brilliant last ditch sliding tackle to prevent a 1-on-1 before Whelan saved a low driving effort from Tagbo.

Cabo nearly broke the deadlock in spectacular fashion when Ger Pender caught Gallagher off his line from 25 yards, but his chipped effort cannoned back off the crossbar. Michael Funston, perhaps inspired by the audacity of Pender’s effort, then opened the scoring at the other end of the pitch in real style. Funston let fly from 35 yards and his shot dipped and swerved into the net leaving Whelan with no chance. 

Stephen Hanley tackle Finn Harps

Cabinteely pushed for an equaliser all game, their best chance came in the 70th minute. Sodiq Oguntola showed good strength and footwork to get his shot off which was parried by Gallagher and dropped to Cabo debutant Karl Byrne in the six yard box but his shot went over the bar.

Finn Harps defended their lead well and had chances to double their lead, they were denied by a stunning Evan Whelan save after a header was flicked on from a long throw. Whelan impressed all night, he looked calm and assured and showed his shot stopping ability once again.

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Cabinteely just couldn’t find the equaliser and it finished 1-0 to Finn Harps. In the last two weeks Cabo have played the first and second placed teams in the league and have lost by a single goal on both occasions. They now move into an important period of games where they will play 3 home games in 5 days at Stradbrook, tickets for these games can be purchased here.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Thomas McMonagle, Ciaran Coll; Josh Mailey, Michael Funston (Kieran McDaid 75), Tony McNamee, Raymond Foy, Gareth Harkin; Wilfried Tagbo (Nathan Boyle 82), Garbhan Friel (Kevin McHugh 67).

Cabinteely FC: Evan Whelan; Daniel Campbell, Victor Ekanem, Josh Quinlivan, Jamie McGlynn; Darren Clarke (Karl Byrne 65), Aaron Brilly (Stephen Dunne 77), Sodiq Oguntola, John McKeown (c), Stephen Hanley (Jamie Broderick 67); Gerard Pender.

Referee: Ben Connolly.