Cabinteely 2 Cork City 2
CORK City let a two-goal lead slip against Cabinteely in the First Division at Stradbrook Road on Friday night.
Goals from topscorer Cian Murphy and Alec Byrne had looked to have given City the victory but Colin Healy’s men couldn’t hold on and strikes from Eoin McPhillips and Ben Feeney all but ended City’s play-off hopes.
City had looked comfortable throughout the match and the draw will be hard to take for The Rebel Army in a game they should have won.
Unsurprisingly, Healy named the same starting 11 that comfortably defeated Cobh Ramblers in the Cork derby last weekend.
City created the first opportunity of the game when Dylan McGlade unleashed a powerful effort after cutting in from the left wing but Harry Walwax was able to palm it out for a corner.
There wasn’t much free-flowing football being played by either side in the opening stages of the contest. The difficult conditions made it tough for the players to keep possession, with both defences on top of their opponents. City’s defence dealt excellently with several Cabinteely crosses into the box.
Last week’s two-goal hero Barry Coffey tested Walwax with a volley from the edge of the area but the Cabinteely keeper smartly stopped his effort.
Cabinteely were restricting City to resorting to long-range efforts with McGlade and Darragh Crowley both trying their luck but to no avail.
City took the lead in the 30th minute, and it was no surprise that it was Murphy who got on the scoresheet. Murphy chased down a long clearance from Coffey, and after two mistakes from Cabinteely, firstly from a poor back pass, and secondly from Walwax missing the ball with an attempted clearance, Murphy tapped into an empty net. It was a satisfying moment for the striker who was rewarded for not giving up on what seemed a hopeless situation.
McGlade’s directness was causing the Cabinteely defence a lot of problems and he came close to doubling his side's lead. The former Longford Town player skipped past the challenge of Zak O’Neill but fired his effort over the crossbar from inside the penalty area.
City doubled the lead through Byrne with four minutes remaining in the half. Murphy broke Cabinteely’s offside trap before firing an excellent ball across the penalty area to Byrne, who neatly finished from close-range.
It was a professional performance in the first half from City who managed the game and conditions perfectly. They limited Cabinteely to half chances and didn’t take any risks by playing in dangerous areas. The pace of City’s attackers was causing Cabinteely’s defence a lot of difficulties and they looked threatening every time they went forward.
Cabinteely begun the second half more purposefully but created very little. City were comfortable against Pat Devlin’s and looked to play on the counter-attack.
City’s defence were coming on more pressure and they did enough to prevent Vilius Labutius from getting his close-range header on target.
The free count was rising in Cabinteely’s favour but a stubborn City defence were dealing with the numerous long-balls that Devlin’s side were putting in the penalty area.
Cabinteely got back into the game when McPhillips cross lopped over Mark McNulty in the City goal.
City couldn’t hold onto the lead and Feeney struck the equaliser with only minutes remaining, giving McNulty little chance in the City goal.