A game in which the club’s season could be analysed over 90 minutes.
Despite hard, honest endeavour – an inability to take the chances when on top in a contest yet again proved Cabinteely’s downfall on Friday at Stradbrook.
Trailing 1-0 at half time, a bright start to the second period saw the home side on top. But they came up against an inspired Cobh goalkeeper Sean Barron while Ramblers withstood the pressure to go and snatch a second goal.
Not even Alex Aspil’s first senior goal for the club – coupled with Conor Knight’s first senior assist – could not hide the disappointment.
The result – the visitors first in the league under manager Darren Murphy – leaves the two teams’ level on points (Cabo have a better goal difference of +4) with two matches remaining in the campaign.
With record goal-scorer Kieran Marty Waters injured, and winger Keith Dalton, banned, Cabo recalled Harry Halwax, Jack Watson, Eoin McPhillips, and Dean Casey to their first 11.
Despite that, the away outfit took a tenth minute lead. A through ball up the middle saw Danny O’Connell race clear. He evaded a last-gasp tackle by Kevin Knight before coolly dinking past Halwax from ten-yards
Clear cut chances were few and far between in a tight opening period. Ben Feeney almost equalised for the White and Green’s on 17 with his back-header close in dropping just wide.
Watson’s departure due to injury brought Aspil into the fray before half time. It saw Cabo reshape with Mitchell Byrne going wide right – while Jack Hudson and Dan Blackbyrne switching right-back and centre half roles.
A clearly more focused approach saw the hosts start the second half with impetus.
Within moments of the restart, Barron produced a wonderful tip over save to keep out Eoin McPhillips’ free on the edge of the box. Inexplicably, a goal-kick was awarded.
The custodian went even better in the 53rd minute with a better fingertip save to divert McPhillips’ shot from distance over.
At the other end on the hour mark, Halwax made himself big to deny O’Connell as he cut in from the right flank.
Jake Hegarty dragged an effort wide of the target on 63. But the attacker made no mistake less than 60 seconds later by deftly heading in Stephen O’Leary’s precise centre from the right.
Cabo pulled one back in the fourth minute of injury time. From Hudson’s long through down the right channel, Sean McDonald laid off to Conor Knight. He jinked into the box and played a low ball across were Aspil slotted in from close range.
Cabinteely FC: Harry Halwax; Dan Blackbyrne ©, Kevin Knight, Jack Hudson, Luke McWilliams; Jack Watson (Alex Aspil 36), Eoin Massey (Jamin Nwanze 74), Mitchell Byrne (Jack O’Reilly 64), Dean Casey (Sean McDonald 64), Eoin McPhillips (Conor Knight 74); Ben Feeney.
Subs not used: Adam Hayden, Jem Campion, Dan Tobin, Niall Barnes.
Booked: Kevin Knight 41.
Cobh Ramblers: Sean Barron; James McCarthy (Naythan Coleman 84), John Kavanagh, Ben O’Riordan, Darryl Walsh; David O’Leary, Jason Abbott, Lee Devitt; Stephen O’Leary (Luke Kennedy 76), Danny O’Connell (Killian Cooper 76); Jake Hegarty (Conor Drinan 89).
Subs not used: Corey Chambers, Pierce Phillips, Darren Murphy, Fionn Duggan, Alex Hill.
Booked: David O’Leary 29, Jason Abbott 54, Killian Cooper 82.
Referee: Rob Dowling (Kildare).
Mint Plus Man of the Match: Jamin Nwanze.
Pictures by Alex Connolly.