SSE Airtricity League First Division: Cabinteely FC V Cobh Ramblers – The Evening Echo – March 27 2017

Cobh overcome by Cabinteely


Daire Walsh

CABINTEELY FC……………………………… 4

COBH RAMBLERS……………………………. 1

AT Stradbrook on Saturday night, Cobh Ramblers suffered their first Airtricity League First Division defeat of the season, against Cabinteely FC.

Goals in either half, by Joe Doyle and Karl Byrne, puy Cabinteely in control, and even though Stephen Henderson’s charges responded with a 58th-minute Chris McCarthy penalty, Conor Keely and Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters sealed all three points for the south Dubliners in the final quarter.

Unsurprisingly, Cobh’s starting line-up was unchanged from the 5-1 demolition of Athlone Town, at St Colman’s Park, seven days earlier.

Their play was quite direct at times in the opening stages of this tie, and towering centre-half James McSweeney was marginally off-target with a header from a ninth-minute corner. Skipper McCarthy intercepted an attempted break by Cabinteely’s Evan Galvin (formerly of Cobh), and although he was penalised for handball, McCarthy did test the palms of opposition goalkeeper, Michael Kelly.

Full-back Anthony O’Donnell was later denied from close-range by Kelly, but just when they appeared to be settling into the game, Cobh fell behind, in the 26th minute. A Galvin corner from the left-flank evaded several players, and Cabinteely centre-forward, Doyle, scored at the far post.

Then, Paul Hunt came to Cobh’s rescue with a superb, 37th-minute stop from Waters. The visitors were hoping to claim their third consecutive win in this ground, but Cabinteely doubled their lead eight minutes after the restart. O’Donnell failed to control a cross-field pass by Jack Watson, and, after space opened up for right-back, Byrne, he unleashed an unstoppable curling shot into the left-hand corner.

It was looking ominous for Ramblers, but they were handed a lifeline just before the hour mark. Ross Mann chased a ball on the byline, and, after working his way into the area, he was body-checked by Christian Lotefa.

McCarthy stepped forward for his third spot-kick in two games, and fired beyond the reach of Kelly. Cobh now had a fighting chance, and McCarthy’s flicked header, from an O’Donnell free-kick, drifted agonisingly wide. However, Doyle forced Hunt into another top-drawer save, before Cabinteely restored their two-goal advantage with 15 minutes remaining.

The home team were causing Cobh a number of problems from set-pieces, and centre-half Keely nodded past the stranded Hunt from another corner.

A neat finish by Waters, from an Anthony Dolan through-ball rubbed further salt into Cobh’s wounds four minutes from the end.

CABINTEELY FC: Michael Kelly; Karl Byrne, Conor Keely, Victor Ekanem (Daire Doyle 20), Kevin Knight; Jack Watson, Christian Lotefa, Anthony Dolan (Robert Duggan 90), Evan Galvin; Joe Doyle (Jason Byrne 82), Kieran Waters.

COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt; Shane Lowth (Charlie Flemming 76), Ben O’Riordan, James McSweeney, Anthony O’Donnell; Chris McCarthy; Stephen Christopher, Craig Donnellan, Karl Caulfield (Cian Coleman 63), Scott McCarthy (Dean Swords 63); Ross Mann.

Referee: Robert Hennessey (Limerick).

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