By Aaron Clarke (@Aaron_c91)
A looping strike from Georgie Kelly 15 minutes from time ensured UCD a share of the spoils as the Student recovered from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw at the Bowl on Friday evening.
With Cabinteely coming into Friday’s game aiming to end a run of back to back defeats, the visitors almost found themselves behind inside the opening ten minutes after Daire O’Connor latched on to a Georgie Kelly flick on from a Gary O’Neill free-kick, but his headed effort cannoned off the woodwork despite leaving the Cabo shot-stopper rooted to the spot.
Despite being forced to soak up some early pressure from the hosts, Cabinteely break the deadlock seven minutes later after some slack defending from the Students. A short throw in from Karl Byrne found Marty Waters, who was then allowed to glide through Collie O’Neill’s defence before firing low into the bottom corner.
As Cabo continued to press forward, ex UCD midfielder Jack Watson almost added a second for his side after he raced onto a loose ball before firing from a distance. However, Niall Corbet in the hosts goal produced a sublime save to push the ball to safety.
Moments later, UCD should have equalised when O’Neill was allowed to glide into space inside the Cabinteely defence, but the Students skipper failed to find the target.
Two minutes later, things went from bad to worse for UCD after Liam Scales was adjudged to have fouled Evan Galvin before Waters calmly slotted home the spot kick.
As Cabo continued to look dangerous down the flanks, winger Galvin was almost rewarded for his hard work when let fly with a low effort from 20 yards, but the ex Burnley Youth player saw his effort well saved by the UCD keeper.
With half-time fast approaching, UCD pulled a goal back when Cian Kavanagh found himself one-on-one with Michael Kelly after a through ball from Jason McClelland and the former Shamrock Rovers midfielder rounded the shot-stopper before firing into an empty net.
When the sides resumed after the half-time break, both Kavanagh and Waters exchanged early opportunities, however, neither could test the opposition goalkeeper.
Despite Waters effort being easily claimed by Corbet, Cabo struggled to create clear cut opportunities on goal with both Joe Doyle and Galvin being forced to shoot from distance.
UCD grabbed what proved to be the game’s final goal with 15 minutes remaining, a long ball forward from Corbet was allowed to bounce by the Cabo defence before Georgie Kelly latched onto possession before looping the ball over the onrushing Cabo shot-stopper.
Despite being pegged back from a 2-0 lead, Cabinteely continued to press forward for a winning goal and UCD keeper Corbet was forced to produce an excellent save to deny Andrew McGowen from close range before also denying Waters in Injury-time.
The draw sees both sides dropping points on league leaders Waterford FC and next week UCD make the short trip across the city to play Shelbourne while Cabo welcome Waterford to Stradbrook.
UCD AFC: Niall Corbet; Daniel Tobin, Liam Scales, Maxi Kouogun, Evan Osam; Daire O’Connor, Greg Sloggett, Gary O’Neill, Cian Kavanagh (Rob Manley 91’), Jason McClelland (Ben Hanrahan 72’); Georgie Kelly.
Subs Not Used: Conor Kearns, Josh Collins, Sean Coyne, Conor Crowley, Gareth Coughlan.
Booking: Daniel Tobin (38’) Greg Sloggett (62’).
Cabinteely FC: Michael Kelly; Karl Byrne, Conor Keely, Andrew McGovern, Kevin Knight; Jack Watson, Daire Doyle, Christian Lotefa, Evan Galvin (Jason Byrne 79’); Joe Doyle (Cian Lynch 79’), Kieran Marty Waters.
Subs Not Used: Jack Menton, Adam Harney, Steven Ball, Anthony Dolan, Paul Fox.
Booking: Christian Lotefa (12’) Karl Byrne (60’) Daire Doyle (64’).
Man of the Match: Kieran Marty Waters (Cabinteely FC)
Referee: David Keeler