By Graham Cummins for EchoLive.ie
Vilius Labutis’ first-half strike and substitute Jordon Payne’s injury-time goal, were enough to give Pat Devlin’s side all three points and spoil the 600 returning City supporter’s evening.
City made two changes from the team that lost to Cobh Ramblers a fortnight ago, with Ronan Hurley and Dylan McGlade coming into the team, replacing Jonas Hakkinen and Gearoid Morrissey, both of whom missed the game through injury.
With supporters back in Turners Cross for the first time this season, City began the game eager to give the fans something to cheer about. The players fed off the atmosphere the crowd were creating, and City could have gone in front after 10 minutes, but Cian Coleman was unable to find the target with his header.
Despite City’s bright start, the game soon settled and became reminiscent of the match earlier in the season between these two sides. City controlled possession without creating any clear-cut opportunities, and Cabinteely were comfortably dealing with City’s threat and looked to catch the Rebel Army on the counterattack.
Jack Baxter and Cian Bargary both tried their luck from distance without threatening the Cabinteely goalkeeper, before the Dubliners went ahead in the 38th minute. Ben Hanrahan passed to an unmarked Labutis, on the edge of the City penalty area, and the midfielder’s effort deflected off George Heaven, giving Mark McNulty little chance.
City will feel the goal came against the run of play. However, although Cabinteely had seen little of the ball in the first half, they were more effective in possession and looked threatening when they went forward.
The first half typified City’s season. There was a lot of hard work and effort, without anything to show for it. Instead of moving the ball quickly, the City players were holding onto the ball too long and made it easy for Cabinteely to defend against.
City created the first opening of the second half, but again, Coleman was unable to direct his header on target from an in-swinging Baxter corner.
This was Cabinteely’s first visit to Turner’s Cross and Devlin’s side looked like they were enjoying the occasion. The Dubliners looked at ease and were relishing playing in front of 600 supporters. Niall Barnes tested McNulty with a free-kick, but the City keeper was able to deal with his effort comfortably.
City were struggling to make any sort of impact on the game. They found it difficult to get in behind the Cabinteely defence and when they did, there was a lack of quality needed to find that levelling goal.
City looked most likely to score from a set-piece. Coleman twice came close to scoring. Firstly, heading wide from a Bargary throw-in and then heading over from a corner.
Payne added to Cabinteely’s lead in injury time with a neat finish, despite City desperately seeking an equaliser.
Referee: Raymond Matthews.