Match Report by James Donnelly
Longford Town missed out on all three points last night thanks to a Robert Manley brace that sealed the victory for Cabinteely in a tightly contested affair in Stradbrook.
De Town started the game brightly with Aaron Dobbs having the first major chance of the game after just 6 minutes. A long ball over the top was brought down by Sam Verdon who did well to play it into Dobbs in the box but his half-volley was straight at Stephen McGuinness in the Cabo goal who palmed it away to safety.
The home side pressured Longford and had a chance of their own on 24 minutes when a high ball was flashed across the box but Paul Fox’s connected header was high and over, much to the relief of Lee Steacy in goal.
Longford could have opened the scoring only minutes later when Conor Kenna snuck in un-marked at the back post and headed towards goal but it was easily gathered by McGuinness.
Cabinteely eventually got their goal after a period of sustained pressure on the Longford backline. Rob Manley got in between the defence and had his initial shot saved well by Lee Steacy but he recovered to slot it home from a tight angle to put Pat Devlin’s side in the driving seat after 36 minutes.
Town could have been on level terms just before half time when Karl Chambers played in Aaron Dobbs in the box but the Wexford’s man shot was blocked when it seemed destined for the goal.
The second half saw a number of changes for Longford with Aaron Dobbs and Karl Chambers being replaced by Dean Byrne and De Town’s newest signing, Sean Boyd. (On loan from Shamrock Rovers)
Sam Verdon had a chance on 58 minutes when he did well down the right side, getting into the box before shooting on goal, but again, it was straight at McGuinness.
Verdon almost got an assist in the hour mark when he played in Sean Boyd. A brilliant move started by Aodh Dervin in midfield resulted in a expertly placed through ball releasing Verdon on the right before he squared it for Boyd in the box but the Rovers loanee hit the post from close range before it bounced off McGuinness’ back and was eventually cleared.
Cabo could have been two up when a ball over the top caught Mick McDonnell out and bounced over his head for Rob Manley to race onto but Town keeper Lee Steacy was quick off his line to smother the ball to safety.
Eight minutes from time, Verdon had a chance to level again but his header from an Anto Breslin corner was saved by McGuinness.
With 5 mins remaining, Longford threw everybody forward but it was the home side who would get the second goal of the game deep into injury time. Some sloppy play in defence led to Cabo sub Sasaki saw him play in Manley who did well to work it past Steacy to seal the win for the south Dublin side.
A disappointing result for De Town who are now in 3rd place in the league and face Galway United at the City Calling Stadium next Saturday night in a must win game in the promotion race.