Walshe brace puts the Youths on victory trail
TWO EARLY first-half goals helped Wexford Youths to a comfortable victory over lowly Finn Harps in this disappointing Division 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday last.
The Youths, who will finish the campaign in a mid-table position, were in total control from the outset. Dominant in midfield where Eric Molloy and Brian Nolan were both impressive, the back four snuffed out the visitors' front players with both Donal shanley and Gary Delaney dominant in the centre of defence.
Wexford Youths had to the boost of two goals inside the opening six minutes, with Darragh Walshe on target on each occasion. The first goal arrived as early as the fourth minute when Walshe slipped inside the back four to pull a low shot across 'keeper Ciarán Gallagher into the opposite corner of the net.
Following this early breakthrough the Youths grew in confidence, playing with great composure as they moved the ball around at pace. They continued to move forward, leaving the visitors shell-shocked with a second goal.
Finn Harps had hardly time to recover from this early setback when they fell 2-0 in arrears two minutes later as Walshe powerfully headed home at the near post past an angry Gallagher, who was clearly not happy with the slack marking of his defenders.
The visitors were finding it difficult to create an impression and really the home side should have added to their two goals, with both Danny Fitzpatrick and Graham Delaney seeing good efforts go just the wrong side of the posts.
Just on the break Harps brought themselves right back into the game. Lee Toland's corner was powerfully headed against the bar by Mark Forker, with Thomas McMonagle touching the rebound home from close range to make it 2-1 at the interval.
Two minutes into the second-half the home side increased their lead with a close-range header from Graham Delaney, while Finn Harps' night of woe continued with centre-back Keith Cowan red carded after 61 minutes, having brought down Walshe as he bore down on goal.
While the Youths may not have added to their goal tally in the closing half hour, it took a couple of outstanding saves from 'keeper Ciarán Gallagher to keep out efforts from Molloy and Daragh Walshe as their dominance continued right through the pitch.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, Rob Maloney (Patsy Malone, 45), Shane Nolan, Brian Nolan, Eric Molloy, Donal Shanley (Shane Clarke, 59), Daragh Walshe, Danny Fitzpatrick, Graham Delaney (Daryl Power, 72).
Finn Harps: Ciarán Gallagher, Martin Owens, Thomas McMonagle, Keith Cowan, Lee Toland, Joshua Mailey, Damien McNulty, Pat McCann, Paul McVeigh, Mark Forker, Jonathan Bonner.
Referee: Tommy Mazur.