Youths' dip continues
WEXFORD YOUTHS' dip in form continued as they went down to a one-goal defeat to neighbours Waterford United in this scrappy Airtricity Division 1 league outing at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday evening last before an attendance of 405.
It was classy Seán Maguire who scored one and created the second as he inspired Waterford United to all three points. He was to prove the real difference between the two sides as the home team had no one of similar class to help them end their losing sequence.
Wexford Youths, after what was a promising start to the league campaign, have suffered a dip in form, with the result that they have now dropped into a mid-table position. The game did little for the side's confidence as they struggled throughout and given the ball retention ability of the visitors, it was always evident that the Blues were the side most capable of taking all three points.
In a first-half of little incident both sides struggled to make an impact. As the game moved through the opening 15 minutes it was Waterford who gradually took control in midfield. The game was scrappy and tight so it was no surprise when the opening goal came from a mistake.
Peter White drove in a shot from the right that was spilled by 'keeper Graham Doyle, leaving Seán Maguire to tuck a low shot into the net for his eighth goal of the campaign, leaving the Youths with a real struggle on their hands if they were to take anything out of this game.
Wexford Youths were struggling in midfield where Ben Ryan and Peter White were dominant, while Wexford native Gary Dempsey was having a poor outing by his own high standards. The Youths began to press forward more with both Danny Furlong and Aidan Keenan threatening their former 'keeper, Packie Holden, with shots from outside the area.
Waterford looked the more likely to take control but against the run of play the home side forced an equaliser. Keeper Packie Holden had a rash challenge on Aidan Keenan just inside the area with referee Kevin O'Regan immediately pointing to the spot. Holden was yellow-carded but somewhat lucky not to have been sent for an early shower.
Danny Furlong saw his penalty spilled by Holden but the inrushing Dean Broaders found the net which left it 1-1 at the interval, although approaching the break former New Ross Celtic player Paul Phelan blazed wide from a good goal chance.
Both sides were trying hard to bring some composure to their respective games. Seamus Long headed over a Paul Phelan corner kick for the visitors, while at the opposite end substitute Tom Elmes drove down the right and fired over a hard, low cross that just eluded the inrushing Danny Furlong.
The second-half produced some scrappy football before Waterford regained the lead in the 79th minute. Seán Maguire cut in from the right but 'keeper Graham Doyle only pushed his shot back into the path of Peter Keegan who had the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net, giving them a 2-1 lead.
TRIALS: Wexford Youths F.C. will soon be recruiting players for the new season, for Under17, Under-18 and Under-19 championships. Players born in 1994, 1995 and 1996 are invited to express interest by e-mailing email@example.com or text to 087-2454510. Trials will take place at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday, July 7.
Graham Doyle, Brian Nolan, Shaun Corcoran, Jamie Carr, C.J. Browne, Shane Dempsey (Thomas Croke, 86), Dean Broaders, Paul Malone (Eric Molloy, 86), Aidan Keenan (Tom Elmes, 62), Danny Furlong, Craig Wall. Subs. not used: Shane Clarke, Gary Delaney, James Scallan, Joey Mulcahy.
Packie Holden, Paul Carey, Dylan Mernagh, Gary Dempsey (Conor Coad, 75), Seamus Long, Craig Burns, Ben Ryan (Aidan McGrath, 8), Peter White, Peter Keegan (Gary Keane, 82), Seán Maguire, Paul Phelan. Subs. not used: John Frost, David Breen, Peter Higgins, Robbie Hughes. VENUE: Ferrycarrig Park. REFEREE: Kevin O'Regan (Kerry).