Dramatic finale sees Cabo march on!
Few could have predicted how quickly Cabinteely have taken to League of Ireland football. Only two games in and they have already provided their strong fan base with two dramatic wins to announce themselves at this level.
Buoyed by their 1-0 victory over Wexford Youths last Friday, they came up against a UCD side who dispatched of Cobh Ramblers 3-0 less than 48 hours before. Cabo’ boss Eddie Gormley made three changes, handing starting positions to Bubinel Mazono, Lloyd Cairns and Tyrone McNelis, the latter a former player of UCD.
UCD meanwhile rang in the changes, showing their strength in depth, with only two players keeping their places after their victory in Cork on Saturday.
The first half was a tentative affair with chances at a premium. In true spirit of a local derby there were a spate of heavy tackles, but referee Ben Connolly did well in allowing play to continue where possible, allowing for a more free flowing game. Maloney and Ekanem are already looking like they have developed a strong partnership in the centre of the Cabinteely defence, two clean sheets in two games, a testament to that. Set pieces provided the only real chance at goal in the first half with both keepers having very few saves to make.
The second half saw the introduction of the Cabinteely subs which proved pivotal. First the double substitution of O’Neill and Pender, and later on Foley. The three provided energy and an attacking threat that had been missing in the earlier stages of the game.
For all of Cabinteely’s defensive stability and shape, they looked as though they would leave The UCD Bowl disappointed when left-back Jamie McGlynn fouled Mulhall in the box in the 88th minute. UCD were awarded a penalty despite protests that the foul had occurred outside the box. However, heroics from Cabo’ goalkeeper Evan Whelan kept their cup dreams alive as he made a great save down to his right hand side, pushing the shot onto the post before Lloyd Cairns made a crucial clearance to clear the danger. UCD missing a penalty for the second consecutive game.
This proved to be costly for UCD, the penalty save providing Cabinteely a real boost and belief that this would be yet another memorable day in the club’s short League of Ireland history. A misplaced pass in midfield was latched onto by Evan Finnegan in the 93rd minute who fed super sub Shane O’Neill through on goal. O’Neill unleashed a thunderous strike that Mackey could only palm onto the inside of the post. Cabinteely snatching victory at the death, much to the delight of their travelling support who are relishing in the start made by the league’s newest entrants.
Cabinteely progress through to the second round of the EA Sports Cup, where they will face either Longford Town, Shamrock Rovers or Bohemians/Athlone Town. The second round fixtures will be played Monday April 9th or Tuesday April 10th. With Cabinteely already causing upsets, they will no doubt be looking at the second round draw with the belief that they can continue to be the surprise package of the 2015 season.
UCD AFC: Conor Mackey, Sean Coyne, Dan Toibin, Ryan McLaughlin, Maxi Kougoun, Gary O’Neill, Eoin Kirwan, Daire O’Connor (Greg Sloggett 90′), Chris Mulhall, Samir Belhout (Dylan Watts 68′), Ryan Swan (Conor Cannon 75′)
Cabinteely FC: Evan Whelan, Lloyd Cairns, jamie McGlynn, Victor Ekanem, Robert Maloney, Evan Finnegan, Tyrone McNelis (Shane O’Neill 60′), John McKeown, Aaron Brilly, Kevin Knight (Conor Foley 72′), Bobby Mazono (Ger Pender 60′).
Man of the match: Evan Whelan. His incredible save from the penalty spot was a real turning point that kept Cabo’ in the game and gave them the belief that this was to be another day to remember for the team from the South Dublin borough.
Moment of the match: Evan Whelan’s late penalty save was the game changer. Two clean sheets so far for Cabo, Whelan is proving to be a key player.
Next game: Away to Finn Harps on Friday 13th March
Tickets to our next home game against Shelbourne, as well as season tickets, are available at loi.cabinteelyfc.ie/tickets