Andrew Dempsey reports from Stradbrook Road
Cabinteely ended their five-game winless run with an industrious two-nil win over a stubborn Wexford at Stradbrook Road.
New Japanese recruit Yuta Sasaki ensured a fairy-tale League of Ireland debut when he slotted past Chambers late on after Luke Clucas put the South Dubliners a goal clear in the second half.
Both sides made three changes from their previous outings against Athlone and Limerick respectively, with Jack Watson missing out for Pat Devlin’s side.
After a five-game winless run, Cabinteely nearly took the front early on through First Division top scorer Rob Manley after a glorious run infield by winger Keith Dalton.
Dalton picked up the ball from an Alex Aspil pass before crossing the ball across the face of the goal to Manley who fired straight at a relieved Corey Chambers in the Wexford goal.
After that, there was very little to shout bout in the opening period with both defences on top in front of what was a reasonable attendance at Stradbrook.
Alex Aspil was a shining light of what was a scrappy opening period with his technical ability and physical strength standing out in the absence of the talismanic Watson.
The game was littered by many stoppages in play with no real flow allowed to develop to the game. Both Brian O’Sullivan and Pat Devlin watched on from the side-line, left pondering what they could do to open up the game in their favour.
Zak O’Neill’s wayward effort on goal typified what was a poor opening half lacking in quality as both sides went in level at the break.
While the first half failed to live up to its billing, the second period certainly did with Cabinteely taking a quickfire lead through the rasping right foot of Luke Clucas.
Clucas stepped up to shoot from just outside the area leaving Chambers with no chance as the South Dubliners grabbed an early second half lead.
Wexford’s task was about to get even bigger with just over twenty minutes to go as Sean Callan was rightly dismissed after a poor tackle on Dalton.
The Slaneysiders were almost punished soon after as the lively O’Neill saw his slicing volley just clip over the bar as Cabinteely sensed blood going for a second.
Dalton then saw his looping header saved well by Chambers seconds later as Brian O’Sullivan’s side were forced to see out a barrage of pressure from the Stradbrook Road outfit.
Aspil then went close for Cabinteely with just under ten to play forcing a shot to be parried by Chambers as Manley was lurking but the danger was soon smothered by the Wexford ‘keeper.
Sasaki was to make his League of Ireland debut late on coming on for O’Neill becoming the first outfielder from Japan to play in the First Division.
The 23-year-old’s night was to get even better when he put the result to bed with just moments to go as he slotted past a helpless Chambers.
It was an efficient performance from Cabinteely who secured a hard-fought three points, securing their first home win over Wexford since March 2017, and setting up a huge East Coast Derby against Bray Wanderers next week.
Cabinteely: Stephen McGuinness; Jack Tuite, Eoin Massey, Conor Keeley, Alex Aspil; Zak O'Neill (Yuta Sasaki, 87), Jack Hudson, Paul Fox; Rob Manley (Shane Barnes, 89), Keith Dalton, Luke Clucas (Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, 74).
Subs not used: James Woods, Sean Fitzpatrick, Ben Clarke, Kieran Butler.
Booked: Keith Dalton (68).
Wexford: Corey Chambers; Darragh O'Connor, Andrew O'Connor, Sean Callan, Paddy Cahill; John Peare (Nika Arevadze, 57), Emmet Nugent (Danny Doyle, 57), Ricky Fox (Ryan Nolan, 86), Conor Sutton; Danny Furlong, Jack Doherty.
Subs not used: Sean Roche, Jason McGuire, Andrew Farrell, Lee Costello.
Booked: Conor Sutton (63), Andrew O’Connor (66).
Sent off: Sean Callan (69).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Attendance: 300 (Estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Player of the Match: Alex Aspil (Cabinteely).