Cruel blow to Cobh's promotion hopes Cabinteely snatch a late, late winner

Cruel blow to Cobh's promotion hopes Cabinteely snatch a late, late winner

Dave Hurley, Cobh Ramblers, during the Airtricity Division 1 loss to Cabinteely. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Cobh Ramblers 1 Cabinteely 2

THE League Of Ireland First Division season continues to be wildly unpredictable. 

After winning four league games in a row back in August, Cobh Ramblers have now been defeated in four out of their last five league games.

In a league where anyone is seemingly capable of beating anyone, Cobh are just three points off the play-offs.

But they really need to win their remaining games and at this stage now hope others can slip up.

Stuart Ashton’s side were unable to build on a great win in Galway and fell to defeat against Cabinteely in second-half stoppage time here.

Despite late Cobh heartbreak, it was a winning goal that Cabinteely deserved, having hit the post on a few occasions during the 90 minutes.

From the victory away to John Caulfield’s Galway United last week, Ramblers made one change, with Conor Drinan coming into the starting 11 in place of the injured Cork City loanee Darragh Crowley.

Ramblers looked off the pace in the opening stages. The away side had a few decent early openings as Paul Fox's effort come back off the post in the opening 10 minutes.

Cabinteely deservedly took the lead when Jack Connolly found the top left-hand corner with a sweet strike from the edge of the box. The visitors then saw a Keeley effort come back off the bar.

That was before Ramblers got a leveller in the 27th minute. From an Ian Turner corner kick, Charlie Lyons was on hand to finish from close range.

Conor Drinan went close after a decent run on the break. While Darryl Walsh almost saw his well-taken effort go into the top corner.

Yet Cabinteely saw Keeley hit the crossbar again on the stroke of half time.

Drinan went close early in the second half for Ramblers, when he fired just wide after getting on the end of a long ball forward by John Kavanagh.

The Dublin side thought they had gone back into the lead when a hooked shot by Keeley ended up in the back of the net.

But, after consulting with his linesman, referee Kevin O’Sullivan ruled the goal out for what appeared to be a Cabinteely handball.

Knowing that at this stage any draw would be essentially two points dropped, both teams did their best to push and probe for a winner.

To be able to bring on a player with the ability of Kieran Marty Waters was key for Cabinteely and his driving effort came back off the post in the final few minutes.

Then the former Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers man showed his experience and instinct in front of goal in the 94th minute. After being played through by Keeley, Waters fired home with an instinctive strike.

It was a heart-breaking late blow for Cobh who were improved in the second half. But on the balance of the opportunities created, there could be few complaints about Cabinteely being the victors.

Next up is a trip to Wexford for Ramblers. At this stage, nothing other than a Cobh win will do, but it does feel like their playoff hopes are fading.

 Conor Drinan, Cobh Ramblers, battling Daniel Blackbyrne, Cabinteely, at St Colman's Park on Saturday night. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Conor Drinan, Cobh Ramblers, battling Daniel Blackbyrne, Cabinteely, at St Colman's Park on Saturday night. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

COBH RAMBLERS: Sean Barron; John Kavanagh, Greg Henry, Charlie Lyons, Darryl Walsh; Dave Hurley, Pierce Phillips; Ian Turner, Conor Drinan, Lee Devitt; Naythan Coleman.

Subs: Martin Coughlan for Hurley (26, inj), Chris O’Reilly for Devitt (82).

CABINTEELY: Cory Chambers; Daniel Blackbyrne, Jonathan Carlin, Conor Keeley, Keith Dalton, Luke Clucas, Paul Fox, Eoin Massey, Vilius Labitis, Jack Connolly, Kevin Knight.

Subs: Kieran Marty Waters for Clucas (56), Robert Dunne for Labitis (64), Zac O’Neill for Fox, Alex Aspil for Massey, Dylan Thornton for Connolly (all 80).

Referee: Kevin O’Sullivan(Cork).

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