First Division play-off delicately poised after first leg draw between Cabinteely and Drogheda United
CABINTEELY FC 1 DROGHEDA UNITED 1
It remains all to play for in the First Division play-offs as Drogheda came from behind to earn a draw against Cabinteely.
In front of a large crowd at Stradbrook tonight, Kieran Marty Waters gave the South Dublin side an early lead in the first leg.
But playing their first game in four weeks, United rallied after the interval to draw level through Jake Hyland’s long-range strike.
The home side flew out of the traps and took a fifth minute lead. Rob Manley appeared to be bundle do before Waters gathered. Cabos’ record goal-scorer side-stepped a marker before curling to the net from the edge the box.
However, the Boynesiders had the better of the second period as they pressed the Dubliner’s back.
It took a fantastic goal-line clearance by Jack Tuite to prevent the away side drawing level on 52 minutes after Mark Doyle rounded McGuinness. United called for handball. But referee Adriano Reale.
The keeper then denied Doyle with a world class save off a header following good work by Adam Wixted.
The woodwork then thwarted Drogs forward Chris Lyons with 16 minutes to go when the striker left fly from 20-yards. But the ball rattled the upright.
But Drogheda’s pressure paid off in the 78th minute.
Skipper Jake Hyland’s 25-yard effort flew into the home net as he cut in from the right wing to finally beat the impressive McGuinness.
Yet, Cabo sub Alex Aspil almost won it deep into stoppage time. But Luke Gratzer made a vital block as the midfielder bore in on goal from the right.
CABINTEELY FC: McGuinness; Blackbyrne, Tuite, Keeley, Hudson; Dalton, Massey, O’Neill (Aspil 58), Fox (Sasaki 90); Manley, Waters (Labutis 77).
DROGHEDA UNITED: Gratzer, Brown, McNally, Farragher (Heeney 67), Kane; Hughes, Hyland, Brennan (Hollywood 81), Wixted; Doyle, Lyons.
REFEREE: Adriano Reale.