Shelbourne hold on to take 3 points.
Ten years on from playing in the UEFA Champions League, Shelbourne welcomed Cabinteely F.C. to Tolka Park for the first time. However, this was no time for Cabinteely to be starstruck by the history of the team that they were up against, with both sides level on eight points before Friday night, it was all to play for.
The pitch at Tolka Park was in brilliant condition considering the downpour of rain it endured all day. Cabo were out the blocks very early creating a goalscoring opportunity straight from tip off. Conor Foley got on the end of a long pass and delivered a mean ball across the Shelbourne area which evaded everyone. Cabo maintained the pressure when Foley found himself on the receiving end of a cross from the other wing from Evan Finnegan, his header back across goal was cleared away for a corner. This early pressure continued with John McKeown getting away a shot from the edge of the box.
Shelbourne grew into the game and soon had chances of their own. The Cabo defence were solid however and were spurning the chances that Shels created. Jamie McGlynn impressed at left back looking assured throughout.
Shels did eventually find a breakthrough, after a number of good saves in the first half, Whelan will be disappointed with the shot that got by him. A shot from the edge of the box from O’Connor had no real power behind it but its direction wrong footed Whelan in the Cabo goal and found it’s way in to the far bottom corner. Cabo left to rue not taking advantage of their bright start in the game.
Cabinteely were forced into making a substitution late into the second half with John McKeown going off, being replaced by Bobinel ‘Bobby’ Mazono. This led to tactical changes with Bobby going upfront with Pender and Finnegan moving to central midfield with Hanley filling in on the left hand side.
Cabo went in at the half one nil down but very much in the game. In tough conditions, Cabinteely were still managing to play some good football.
Eddie Gormley’s side came nearly equalised from a corner when Mazono’s diving header was tipped over the bar. Shelbourne pressed for a second goal rather than sitting on their lead. Resolute defending from the Cabo back four continually denied them a second goal though. Just when it looked like they would get their second, Rob Maloney came up with a phenomenal block to deny them, Maloney coming out of nowhere to throw his body in front of the ball to stop a definite goal.
Cabinteely’s best chance fell to Evan Finnegan on the edge of the Shelbourne area. His shot was pulled wide. It was to be the last real chance for Cabinteely as Shelbourne earned the three points, an identical score line from the return fixture in Stradbrook. Cabo unfortunately unable to repeat last week’s late heroics against Finn Harps. Many would look at this fixture and speak of how Cabinteely have come so far to be playing against a team who not so long ago were welcoming Deportivo la Coruna to Lansdowne Road, however the biggest testament to Cabinteely of all is that in both games against Shelbourne, they have left the game rueing missed chances and seeing it as dropped points.
SHELBOURNE: Murray, O’Connor, Osam, Robinson, Heaney, Doyle (C), Coughlan (Earley 67′), Walsh, Hughes, Sandford (O’Sullivan 63′), McGlade
Substitutes: Brady, Donnelly, Crowe, Kehoe, Gannon
Yellow Cards: Doyle (13′), Coughlan (42′), Robinson (60′), Walsh (87′)
Cabinteely: Whelan, Campbell (Cairns 76′), McGlynn, Ekanem, Maloney(C), Finnegan, Brilly, McKeown (Mazono 44′), Pender, Hanley, Foley (Fahy 66′)
Substitutes: J. Broderick, R. Broderick, Cairns, O’Neill, Hyland
Referee: David Keeler