Shamrock Rovers 2-4 Cabinteely FC
Just last week we mentioned how the Under 19s had this season gone to both Cork and Waterford and came home with a win on both occasions. Those are two venues that have proven over the years to be a difficult place to get anything out of. Today’s game at home to Cabinteely presented a different challenge in the sense that here were two South Dublin teams whose players had a lot of familiarity between them and a sense of special rivalry along with it.
Rovers created some fine chances in the early stages but two defensive errors led to them falling behind in the 11th minute after Paul Fox headed into the net for Cabo. Richie English went close for the Hoops from a free after Dean Dillon had been fouled 30 yards out.
English and then Dillon then put chances over the bar before Conor Gleeson’s throw was met by Brandon Kavanagh who fired a heavy shot across the box that had too much on it for Dillon to make contact.
With seven minutes of the half remaining the visitors made it 2-0 after goalkeeper Adam Kenny saved from a corner but couldn’t hold it and Ronan O’Reilly connected with a low drive that crossed the line. Rovers had a couple of half chances after that but Cabinteely led by those two goals at half time.
The Hoops made three changes during the break. This had nothing to do with the score line, rather it had been pre-planned, possibly with the Premier Division game against Cork City on Monday in mind.
The Hoops needed to get one back quickly to try and turn the game around but instead they came unstuck again in the 49th minute when Fox latched onto a corner ball and headed Cabo into a 3-0 lead. Rovers’ defending from set pieces certainly wasn’t going well.
Within two minutes though they managed to claw one back after substitute Kenny Cunningham put a cross in for Dean Williams who flicked it over the head of goalkeeper Peter Quinlan to reduce the deficit.
The visitors soon restored their three goal advantage though after O’Reilly squeezed the ball in at the corner to make it 4-1.
Six minutes later Sean Callan rose above everyone else to meet a corner ball and beat Quinlan to make it 4-2.
For a while the Hoops attacked in waves but the Cabo lads defended really well under this barrage. When the siege was eventually lifted the visitors might have netted a fifth but the ball skied off the boot of Fox to go wide.
Shamrock Rovers: 1. Adam Kenny, 16. Cian Collins, 18. Sean Callan, 5. Conor Gleeson, 10. Richie English, 8. Harry Cornally, 7. Brandon Kavanagh, 17. Emmanuel Lawal, 3. Eric Abulu, 19. Dean Williams, 9. Dean Dillon.
Subs: 25. Shane O’Rourke, 22. Evan White, 14. Evan Smithers (for Cornally h.t.), 2. Darren Prendergast (for Collins h.t.), 11. Kenny Cunningham (for Dillon h.t.), 4. Adam O’Connor, 20. Clayton Walsh (for English 79 mins).
Report and photos by Robert Goggins