Rob Manley: It's the first time Cabinteely have been top of the league and everyone is buzzing

Sat, Apr 13 2019

Rob Manley makes a turn for Cabinteely. Credit: Paul Dolan (ETPhotos)

Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook

For the first time in their League of Ireland history, Cabinteely went top of the First Division table on Friday evening thanks to a late Rob Manley winner against Athlone Town.

Manley has already scored nine goals this term in what is the former Bohemian’s striker’s first real run of games at senior level.

Speaking after the game with extratime.ie, the in form 21-year-old admits that going top of the league is starting to build a great feeling around the Cabinteely dressing room.

“It’s the first time Cabinteely have been top of the league and everyone is buzzing. Everyone is on a great high and there’s a great buzz around the club this year.

“I think both teams could’ve came away with something today, I thought we got lucky in patches but overall I thought the lads were fantastic at the back and in midfield tonight, Conor Keeley and Jonny Carlin in particular but we’re just delighted to get all three points.”

However, Cabinteely went in at the break a goal behind their Athlone counterparts thanks to a brilliant Shane Dunne strike for the Midlander’s.

While it wasn’t going their way before the break, the prolific marksman noted that while he was impressed with Terry Butler’s side, he was always anticipating Cabinteely to grind something out of the game.  

“We came in at the break and everyone was a bit rattled. Saying that, I thought we were a bit unlucky but always thought we could grind out a result in the end.

“They’re a whole new squad, they’re very young like ourselves. They are a good side and they will upset a lot of teams this year.”

And finally, looking ahead to next week’s game against Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park, Manley notes that Cabo will have to keep their feet on the ground against a much-improved Slaneysiders.

“There’s no easy games in this division. We know all too well about that. Pat (Devlin), Eddie (Gormley), Heffo (Paul Heffernan) and Graham (O’Hanlon) always have us drilled for every game and we’ll be looking to get all three points next week again.”