Friday 19 January 2018

Hoops survive bumpy ride in Cabinteely

Cabinteely's Victor Ekanem (left) goes head-to-head with Brandon Miele in Stradbrook
Cabinteely's Victor Ekanem (left) goes head-to-head with Brandon Miele in Stradbrook

Jamie Moore

Shamrock Rovers came through a tricky EA Sports Cup second-round tie against Cabinteely in Stradbrook last night, while Derry City, Cork City and Galway United also advanced to the third round.

Rovers' 2-0 win didn't tell the full story of what was a difficult match at the famous rugby venue.

Two goals in the space of six second-half minutes from Sean O'Connor and Brandon Miele helped them into the next round but it wasn't all plain sailing for Pat Fenlon's team.

The sizeable crowd could have been forgiven for thinking they were watching a rugby match. The theme of a low-key game was long balls and long throws.

The terrible playing surface didn't allow the teams to do anything other than route one. Trying to pass or dribble proved next to impossible.

Fenlon made ten changes from the team that beat Galway on Friday and it took them until the 58th minute to get the opening goal. Rob Cornwall's long ball dropped over the defence and Sean O'Connor headed over static goalkeeper Evan Whelan and into the empty net.

Cabinteely, unchanged from the side that started their defeat in Cobh 48 hours earlier, faded, but they were unlucky in conceding the second goal.

A half-cleared corner dropped to Miele at the edge of the box, and his shot smashed off Shane O'Neill and flew into the corner.

The only other noteworthy moment of the second half was an injury to ref Adriano Reale with ten minutes left. Fourth official Derek Tomney took over.

Meanwhile, the early-season pressure continues to build on Sligo boss Owen Heary as they lost 2-0 to Derry City after extra-time at The Showgrounds. Goals from Seamus Sharkey and Mark Timlin sent Peter Hutton's team through.

Sligo are still without a league win under Heary and have won just one of his eight competitive games in charge - an 8-0 success over the Mayo League in the EA Sports Cup.

Ross Gaynor's penalty two minutes after half-time and a second from sub Rob Lehane secured ten-man Cork City's passage to the third round with a 2-0 win over Waterford United at the RSC. Gavan Holohan saw red for City in the 65th minute.

Galway United avoided a giant-killing exit against Cockhill Celtic. The non-league team took the lead but Galway came back to win 4-2 thanks to goals from Andy O'Connell, Gary Shanahan and two from Padraic Cunningham.

Irish Independent

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