Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook
Cabinteely will be wondering what might have been if they produced a better first half display after drawing one-all with highly fancied promotion hunting Longford Town.
Rob Manley popped up with an equaliser in the 56th minute after Sam Verdon’s opener early on during the opening period of the game.
Fresh from their opening back to back wins of the season, Cabinteely boss Pat Devlin made no changes from his sides previous league outing against Shelbourne.
Longford on the other hand, looking to secure their third consecutive clean sheet for the first time since October 2014 made one change from their last league game with Jamie Doyle replacing Aaron Dobbs as Neale Fenn went opting for a more physical presence within the spine of his side.
Longford have had a pretty good record against Cabinteely under the stewardship of Fenn with the Londoner masterminding four wins out of five against the South Dubliners.
However, De Town’s last visit to Stradbrook resulted in a disappointing one-nil defeat with recent Longford recruit Kevin Knight scoring the winner for his former employers early on in the game.
Eager to right the wrongs of their last defeat at Stradbrook, Longford started well and went into a deserved early lead through Sam Verdon after a delightful ball in from Anto Breslin.
Breslin’s ball in from wide was met by Joe Manley as Stephen McGuinness saved but Verdon was on hand to bury home.
Cabo looked to react but Rob Manley, brother of Longford Town defender Joe dragged his effort as Town shot-stopper Lee Steacey saved well.
However, the Red and Black continued their dominance and really should’ve doubled their lead, but Zak O’Neill saved the day with a goal line clearance after Conor Keeley made a mess of a clearance from a Dean Zambra ball in.
In truth, it was a disappointing start from Cabo with little or no attacking link up play among Kieran Marty Waters and the ineffectual Manley, the Cabinteely man as Longford’s defensive pressure told.
Cabinteely’s best opportunity came from a free-kick, but Keith Dalton’s dipping set piece rarely troubled the quiet Steacey who had precious little do in a first-half dominated by Longford as De Town went in with a comfortable lead.
However, Cabinteely responded well and went close five minutes in to the second period after Dean Zambra’s sensational delivery almost went directly into the back of McGuinness’ net, ultimately being denied by the post.
Dalton sent a ball which escaped everyone before Rob Manley directed a header on target which Steacey saved sensationally.
However, Cabinteely were not to be denied as Manley, the striker, poked home from close range after a tricky run from wide in by Marty Waters. Waters delivered a low ball in that was met by Manley who scored his second in two games for his new employers.
Cabo turned the screw and could have easily taken the lead soon after but Breslin, the influential full-back cleared off the line after a tricky ball in from Keith Dalton who impressed throughout with plenty of troubling balls into the box.
Continuing to press, the Cabinteely defensive duo of Keeley and Tuite impressed from set-piece scenarios with Longford looking frail defensively from free kicks and corners.
The South Dubliners had a penalty shout turned away by referee Paula Brady when the problematic older Manley bother Rob went down under what seemed to be a push from Conor Kenna late on as Longford breathed a major sight of relief.
However, Cabo’s relentless second half pressure was not be as the game ended up in a one-all draw on a far from ideal surface at Stradbrook.
Cabinteely: Stephen McGuinness; Jack Tuite, Conor Keeley, Eoin Massey, Sean Hurley; Keith Dalton, Alex Aspil (Jonny Carlin, 56), Zak O’Neill (Jack Watson, 56), Vilius Labutis; Kieran Marty Waters, Rob Manley.
Subs not used: Peter Quinlan, Luke Clucas, Shane Barnes, Jack Hudson.
Booked: Alex Aspil (49), Jack Watson (62).
Longford Town: Lee Steacey; Karl Chambers, Conor Kenna, Joe Manley, Anto Breslin; Dean Zambra, Aodh Dervin, Paul O’Conor, Sam Verdon (Peter Hopkins, 63); Dean Byrne (Shane Elworthy, 83), Jamie Doyle.
Subs not used: Jack Menton, Mick McDonnell, Adam Evans, Kevin Knight, Sean Brennan.
Booked: Aodh Dervin (84).
Referee: Paula Brady.
Attendance: 450 (estimate).
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jack Tuite (Cabinteely).