Points dropped by Youths again

Published 03/06/2014 | 05:42

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AFTER what was an incident packed second 45 minutes, Wexford Youths lost a golden opportunity to move within three points of the leaders when they were struck for a dramatic Finn Harps equalising goal two minutes deep into additional time in this exciting Divison 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.

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AFTER what was an incident packed second 45 minutes, Wexford Youths lost a golden opportunity to move within three points of the leaders when they were struck for a dramatic Finn Harps equalising goal two minutes deep into additional time in this exciting Divison 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.

Once again it was the tale of Wexford Youths dropping two points late on to their Donegal opponents.

When the two sides met in Finn Park last month it took a last gasp penalty to hand the homeside a point, and the fact they went on to repeat that finish came back to haunt the homeside in a dramatic closing five minutes of additional time.

Referee Robbie Hennessy was forced the additional five minutes following a head injury received by the Finn Harps right back, Damien McNulty three minutes from the end of normal time, forcing his retiral, with the player later removed to hospital with a head wound and suspected concussion.

After 67 minutes, Harps were reduced to 10 players when Tommy Boner was yellow carded followed by a red for a high challenge. Trailing 2-1 at this stage, Harps were left with a huge task to take anything from this game, but the manner in which they drove forward incessantly in the closing stages in search of an equaliser gave them a deserved point in the end.

But on the other side it has been a difficult six days for Wexford Youths.

On the previous Sunday they defeated Shamrock Rovers 'B', while the following Tuesday night they were brought to penalties before dismissing Galway Utd on penalties in the EA Sports Cup semi-final.

With a third game in six days it was not surprising that tired legs prevailed in the closing stages as they desperately clung to a single goal lead.

The fact that they failed to clear a ball on the edge of the area can be attributed to tiredness for up to then they had been in total control in front of goal.

In-form Wexford Youths never lost their composure through early first half pressure with Kevin McHugh having a fifth minute shot just over the top.

It was Harps who were applying the early pressure but the Youths still retained their composure as they played some quality football out of defence relieving many dangerous situations.

The homeside silenced the visitors supporters when Danny furlong put a delightful ball through the defendance leaving Eric Molloy to outwit the defence, rounding advancing keeper Shaun Patton before slotting home from an acute angle making it 1-0 after 12 minutes.

Despite this setback Finn Harps pressed in search of an equaliser with McHugh forcing a save out of Graham Doyle, getting his head to a ball that was played back into the area from a Johnny Bonnar corner kick.

The attack showed that Harps had a threat up front in McHugh but with a lack of support he was unable to find away through home defence where Stephen Last was outstanding in the centre back role.

It was the homeside, believing in neat possession ball, resulting in Furlong testing Patton with a fine shot, while Ben Ryan also forced Patton intona further save.

Just on the interval a last gasp Stephen Last tackle denied Pat McCann as he was about to shoot from 10 meters, leaving it 1-0 at the interval.

Ten minutes into the second half Ben Ryan met an Aidan Keenan cross at the far post to finish beyond keeper Patton making it 2-0 with the homeside now looking as if they were about to assume control of what was a tight and tense clash, with a number of Harps players testing the man in the middle with some wild challenges.

While they were coming under pressure it was Harps who managed to break from deep in defence with the ball eventually reaching Kevin McHugh two minutes later and the ever dangerous front player drilled a rising shot into the roof of the net with a close range effort to make it 2-1.

Such was the uncertainty of the Youths to maintain the pace for ninety minutes given their run of games over six days, Harps seemed to have lost a chance of even gaining a point when they had Tommy Bonner dismissed.

While McHugh had a number of efforts blocked away to safety, the Harps cause seemed lost when right back Damien McNulty was forced out injured three minutes from the end.

Two minutes deep into additional time, the Youth were coming under intense pressure, and when they failed to deal with a ball on the edge of the area, Packie Mailey popped up to rifle the loose ball to the net, leaving the visitors celebrating, while the homeside stood shell shocked at having conceded a late equalising goal.

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