Leinster Senior Cup
Graham Zambra produced a dramatic 104 minute winner as Bluebell United took a League Of Ireland scalp on Monday night.
The front man, who probably hasn’t featured as much as he would have liked for ‘Bell this term, headed home in the first half of extra time to secure hero status as Andy Noonan’s men knocked Cabinteely FC out of the Leinster Senior Cup.
The goal may have come late, but this was far from a smash and grab raid. United matched their pro counterparts for the most part and added further weight to the ‘LSL top flight is on par with the League Of Ireland second tier’ argument.
Bluebell started the game brightly and dominated the opening 15 minutes. Zambra was particularly keen and adopted a shoot on site policy while Sean Byrne fired an effort over the bar.
On 19 minutes Karl Byrne somehow prevented Zambra from scoring with a brilliant block and at that stage it looked like the visitors were on the verge of stealing in front.
However, Cabinteely came into the tie and Oliver Hamzat was twice denied by Andy McNulty in one on one situations, but Bluebell were more than value for a 0-0 at the break.
Both sides canceled each other out early in the second period and there was little in the way of chances before Darren Clarke forced McNulty to make a save just after the hour mark.
The tight nature of the tie continued with neither keeper tested before 90 minutes had passed. Injury time, however became a chance fest as both sides tried to avert extra time.
Zambra was inches wide with a header before Joeseph Doyle missed the hosts best chance of the game seconds later. Sean Byrne then had a free kick saved, while good home defending prevented a late away winner.
Former Firhouse Clover and Crumlin front man Zambra finally broke the deadlock with a close range header after 104 minutes. Cabinteely attempted a response but it was Bluebell and Zambra that came closest to scoring before the full time whistle arrived.