Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook
A fantastic team performance from Eddie Gormley’s Cabinteely side saw them stun table toppers UCD at Stradbrook Road on Friday night as Jack Watson and Luke Clucas both scored early on to seal the deal for Cabo.
UCD never really got going and were punished by two poor mistakes from the inexperienced goalkeeper Carl Williams who looked rather rattled throughout the game against a physically imposing Cabinteely side.
With both sides coming into the game having made three changes, it was Cabinteely who started quickest and they were soon rewarded by a well taken Jack Watson finish just inside the UCD half of the field in the 13th minute.
On a far from ideal playing surface, Williams saw the ball bounce cruelly away from him as he took a wild swipe of the ball which fell into the path of former UCD man Jack Watson who made no mistake in front of an empty net.
From the resulting kick-off, it looked as if that UCD were going to level proceedings at the Stradbrook Road venue as the red-hot Georgie Kelly saw his curling effort just sneak wide of Stephen McGuinness’ goal in UCD’s only real chance of the game.
Williams, looking shook after his early mistake, made another glaring howler in the 20th minute as Luke Clucas benefited from a concentration lapse by the UCD netminder as a bouncing ball squirmed away from his path in the cruellest fashion.
Clucas buried the ball home nonetheless and Cabo had a deserved two-goal lead with just under half of the first half played.
Sensing that Williams was slightly rattled under the high ball, Cabo sought to take advantage of the youngster’s loss of confidence as they rained in plenty of long balls on top of Conor Kearns’ usual understudy.
With just minutes of the first-half left to be played, Cabo very nearly found themselves in front as last week’s goalscorer Keith Dalton saw his well-struck effort just about whistle wide of Williams goal as the first half drew to a close in beautiful weather conditions at Stradbrook.
It was a sense of déjà vu in the second half as Cabo once again physically imposed themselves very well on their opponents in the First Division’s second instalment of the South Dublin as Dean Casey, could, and should have seen his header nestle in the back of Carl Williams net, but the ball went agonisingly over the bar.
In a rare, yet delightful moment of brilliance from Williams, he somehow managed to tip Conor Earley’s fantastic free-kick over the bar in the 56th minute as the young ‘keeper sought to write the wrongs of his mistakes in the first-half.
With Jack Watson and co. running the show for Cabinteely, UCD were unable to establish their renowned passing game onto their opponents at Stradbrook throughout as they were hustled and harried at every possible opportunity by a hungry and industrious Cabo midfield.
UCD had half-chances but they were unable to create anything of note during their period on top in a stop-start second half as Daire O’Connor and Yoyo Mahdy both threatened the Cabinteely rear-guard, which came to no avail.
With the game petering out somewhat throughout the latter stages of the second half, neither side looked especially threatening as Cabinteely were resorting to attempting on catching the Students out on the break as Dean Casey had plenty of joy down the UCD right-hand side.
However, in Cabo’s only real concern of the night, the influential Conor Keeley went off injured after he fell awkwardly after heading a well struck Cabinteely delivery wide as Sean Fitzpatrick took Keeley’s place for the remaining ten minutes of the game.
In a late flurry of second half action, Liam Scales saw his weak headed effort cleared off the line as Cabinteely’s rock-solid defence held firm to secure a vital three points at the full-time whistle on a night to forget for Collie O’Neill and his UCD side.
Next up for Cabinteely is a daunting trip up to United Park as they face Drogheda United as they look to build on Friday night’s fantastic all-round team performance against Tim Clancy’s men while on the other hand, UCD must look to get themselves back on track with a home win against Stephen Henderson’s Cobh Ramblers during next weekend’s series of games at the UCD Bowl.
Cabinteely: Stephen McGuinness; Karl Byrne, Jack Tuite, Sean Bregazzi, Conor Keeley (Sean Fitzpatrick, 83), Eoin Stokes (Christian Lotefa, 70); Dean Casey, Conor Earley, Jack Watson; Luke Clucas (Kieran ‘Marty Waters, 69), Keith Dalton.
Subs not used: Kyle Hogan, Sean Hyland, Andy O’Reilly, Eoghan Morgan.
Booked: Eoin Stokes (38), Karl Byrne (76).
Sent Off: None.
UCD: Carl Williams; Darragh Corcoran, Liam Sclaes, Maxi Kouogun (Evan Osam, 38), Josh Collins; Greg Sloggett (Paul Doyle, 61), Daire O’Connor, Gary O’Neill, Timmy Molloy (Yoyo Mahdy, 46), Jason McClelland; Georgie Kelly.
Subs not used: Dan Tobin, Conor Crowley, Ben Hanrahan.
Booked: Carl Williams (54), Liam Scales (79)
Sent Off: None.
Referee: Marc Lynch
Attendance: 150 (Estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Jack Watson (Cabinteely)