On their first visit to Turner's Cross in the club’s history, Cabinteely secured a huge three points as they deservedly defeated Cork City 2-0 in their SSE Airtricity League First Division clash on Friday evening.
A stunning goal from Vilius Labutis in the first half and a neat finish from Jordan Payne in the second was enough to earn Cabinteely their second win this season against a struggling City side, who now drop to ninth in the table
Colin Healy made two changes to his side that was beaten 1-0 by local rivals Cobh Ramblers before the midseason break with Dylan McGlade and Jack Baxter replacing Gearoid Morrissey and Jonas Hakkinen, neither of whom were named amongst the subs.
City were boosted by the return of 600 fans to the Cross - the first time they played in front of a home crowd since October 2020 - but they failed to make it count in the early stages.
They started slowly and their first goal-scoring opportunity of note came in the tenth minute but Cian Coleman couldn't force the ball home from an inswinging corner to the back post.
Pat Devlin also made two alterations to his side that lost 2-0 to Wexford Youths at Stradbrook two weeks ago as Niall Barnes and Ben Hanrahan came in for Jem Campion and Mitchell Byrne, who both dropped to the bench.
The visitors looked dangerous on the break and City needed a couple of crucial interventions from Ronan Hurley and Alec Byrne to stop them from falling behind.
The Leesiders first shot on target came in the 34th minute as Jack Baxter decided to try his luck from 30 plus yards but his ambitions weren’t rewarded as goalkeeper Harry Halwax easily collected his tame hit.
Dylan McGlade soon saw two efforts from the edge of the penalty blocked as City finally upped the tempo but they were then hit with a hammer blow as Cabo took the lead thanks to a superb strike from Vilius Labutis shortly before the half-time break.
After Hurley needlessly lost possession in his side’s defensive third, Labutis controlled Hanrahan’s pull back before drilling the ball into the far bottom-right corner of the St Anne’s net from distance.
The mood amongst the Cork faithful didn’t improve at the beginning of the second half although there was a good ovation when they got their first sighting of Steven Beattie following his return to the club during the off-season.
The double winner replaced the injured George Heaven but he couldn’t give his side a bit more impetus going forward.
Baxter had another sighter from way out just shy of the hour before Cian Bargary sent a cross just behind Cian Murphy, who was unmarked in front of goal. A better pass and it was surely 1-1.
Following a similar move, Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh failed to pick out Bargary with his pullback inside the box moments after Niall Barnes stung the palms of Mark McNulty with a long free-kick.
City finished the game with ten men as they couldn’t make another substitute to replace the injured Cian Bargary in the final few minutes.
The closest they came to snatching an equaliser came from a set-piece but Cian Coleman could only loop his header just over the crossbar although Dale Holland scuffed a shot across the face of goal in injury time.
Cabinteely sealed the win in the final minute when substitute Jordan Payne slotted the ball into the bottom left corner from a few yards out as the City players were booed at full time after their sixth loss of the campaign.
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Gordon Walker, George Heaven (Steven Beattie 56), Ronan Hurley, Dylan McGlade (Jamie Wynne 79), Darragh Crowley, Cian Coleman, Alec Byrne, Jack Baxter (Dale Holland 79), Cian Murphy (Beineon O’Brien Whitmarsh 66), Cian Bargary.
Cabinteely: Harry Halwax, Kieth Dalton (Jordan Payne 82), Daniel Blackbyrne, Alex Aspil, Kevin Knight, Ben Hanrahan (Eoin Massey 89), Niall Barnes, Vilius Labutis, Luke McWilliams, Zak O’Neill, Kieran Marty Waters (Sean McDonald 82).
Referee: Ray Matthews.
Elsewhere leaders Shelbourne had a comfortable 4-1 win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds.
A Ryan Brennan brace, along with goals from Michael O'Connor and Ally Gilchrist, set Shels on their way. Conor Clifford had given Bray hope when he equalised after O'Connor's opener, but the seasiders were second best throughout.
Ian Morris' side now have an eight-point lead at the summit.
Second-place UCD slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cabinteely. Jake Hegarty was on the double for the Cork side just aftert the break. Colm Whelan replied for the Students.
Galway United had a 2-1 win over Athlone Town, with Padraic Cunningham getting the winner on 90 minutes.
Treaty United, with a 2-1 victory, took the points on offer at Wexford FC. All the goals came inside the opening 20 minutes, with Anthony O'Donnell and Jack Lynch replying after Kyle Robinson had given the hosts the lead on two minutes.