Wexford Youths rule the Waves
BOTH THESE sides were eager to put opening day defeats behind them so a tentative nervous match was what was expected and mostly that was what was delivered.
Just to announce that Winter soccer was back in action, the game in Ferrycarrig Park kicked off in wet damp conditions which adversely affected what could have been a decent size crowd.
Although the pitch was greasy and the ball was skidding across the surface, both sets of players quickly came to grips with the conditions and quickly began to produce some good passing football. Wexford started the best and had the first opportunity to score when Linda Douglas saw her shot just clear the crossbar and in the opening fifteen minutes, the home side enjoyed the bulk of the possession as they kept the South Dublin side pressed back in their own half.
All this pressure paid dividends when Clare Conlon crossed from the left and after the visitors failed to clear the ball safely, Linda Douglas shot to the net to give Wexford a deserved one nil lead. Five minutes later, Sarah Devlin in the DLR goal, saved well from a Jessica Gleeson free kick and moments later, Cherelle Khessal had her shot blocked by Lucie Espana de Cordoba.
The remaining of the first half degenerated into a poor game as neither side could get on top and a long range shot from Orla Cullen was the only decent attempt at goal but the ball sailed over the Wexford crossbar
The second half began a little livelier with Cullen once again going close but her shot was well saved by Aimee Jordan and this close escape seemed to be the wake up call the home side needed as upped the tempo and began to once again pressure the visitors defence. Cherelle Khessal went close when some good work between her and Edel Kennedy saw her shot go just wide. The same two players brought two excellent saves from Devlin in quick succession before Wexford secured the points when Jessica Gleeson powered a header to the net from a Rachel Hutchinson corner.
DLR were dealt a blow shortly after when keeper Sarah Devlin picked up a knock and had to come off to be replaced by ex Youths keeper Amy Devereux while ex Killenagh Wanderers player Laura Stafford also came on as a sub for the Dublin side. The insurance goal came in injury time when some great individual work by Khessal saw her shot pushed away by Devereux only for Niamh Connolly to deflect the ball into her own net
On the day Wexford were deserved winners as their years experience in the National League showed against the new girls from DLR but it was obvious that the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown side have potential and will no doubt take points off teams in the future. Home team manager John Flood will be pleased with the result but he will be the first to admit that there is still work to be done before his side can seriously threaten the top two. However he will be leased with the performances of Ciara Rossiter, Jessica Gleeson and Lucy Sherwin who all worked very hard while the DLR management team will be pleased with the work rate of the experienced Sylvia Gee, Niamh Connolly and Tanya McDonald
Aimee Jordan, Lucy Sherwin, Clare Conlon, Jessica Gleeson, Catherine Power, Linda Douglas, Edel Kennedy Laura Heffernan), Lynn Marie Grant, Cherelle Khassal, Rachel Hutchinson (Rianna Jarrett), Ciara Rossiter (Katie White). SUBS NOT USED: Tamara Furlong, Rachel Wall, Krista Minto, Amy Walsh
Sarah Devlin (Amy Devereux), Louise Kearney, Lucie Espana de Cordoba, Niamh Connolly, Lisa Moran, Sylvia Gee, Erinne Murphy (Laura Stafford), Orla Cullen, Tanya McDonald (Aine O Reilly), Laura Daniels, Georgina Canavan VENUE: Ferrycarrig Park REFEREE: Michelle O'Neill