Youths let lead slip in lost time
DAMIEN O'REILLY stuck an injury time equaliser to deny Wexford Youths victory in a hard-fought contest at The Drom on Saturday evening last.
With the visitors clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Galway substitute stole in behind the Youths defence to tuck home James Keane's long punt forward.
It was a game that promised much for the travelling faithful, especially when they took the lead inside two minutes. New attacker, Kilkenny native Joe Mulcahy, whipped in a scintillating cross that Aidan 'Roxy' Keenan connected with six yards from goal and the rangy winger's header looped into the top corner of the SD Galway goal.
While the hosts eventually settled after the goal, Youths thought they were two up in the twelfth minute. Thomas Croke's shot thumped the post and, when the linesman flagged, the referee pointed for the goal. However, after consultation with his fellow official it was established that the flag was up because the ball drifted out of play in the build-up and the goal wasn't given.
After Keenan headed over for the Youths, SD Galway continued to grab a foothold in the game and almost drew level when Mike Harty thumped a shot off the post. Yet, Galway would get their first-half equaliser in injury time when Enda Curran headed Timmy Molloy's set-piece to the net from close range.
Both sides went looking for the goal that would give them a lead early in the second-half and it was Youths who broke the tie.
A marauding Aidan Keenan went haring down the wing only to be scythed down by a reckless challenge. Referee Ralph Pieper played an excellent advantage that allowed Eric Molloy to cross for Mulcahy to slot to the net from close range.
The home side piled forward looking, again, to grab an equaliser. Youths stopper Graham Doyle denied Nicky Curran with a good save with ten minutes remaining but he could do nothing when O'Reilly stole in late on to claim a point for the league's bottom side.
'Heartbreaking - you tend to say you have to play for 90 minutes..we played for the 90 minutes but we forgot about the injury time at the end of both halves.' Manager Shane Keegan's reaction said it all. 'It was very disappointing because I thought we were the better side and deserved the three points. I thought we looked comfortable enough once we got 2-1 ahead in the second-half
'We seem to get severely punished for every mistake we make, every time there's half an error the ball seems to end up in the back of the net.'
Wexford Youths entertain league leaders Longford this coming Friday, a game which Keegan knows will be a tough one. Kick-off at Ferrycarrig Park is at 8 p.m.
Wexford Youths F.C. also welcome Bradford City F.C. on Tuesday, July 24, at 8 p.m.
SD Galway: James Keane; Eugene Greaney, Cian Fadden, Nicky Curran, Paddy Quinlan; Mike Harty, Willie Enubele, Fatmadh Dunisha, Gerry Dolan; Timmy Molloy, Enda Curran. Subs. - Dave Meehan for Dolan, Ronan Conlon for Dunisha, Damien O'Reilly for Curran.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle; Shane Clarke, C.J. Browne, Jamie Carr, Seán Corcoran; Thomas Croke, Shane Dempsey, Aidan Keenan, Eric Molloy, Craig Wall; Joe Mulcahy. Subs. - James Scallan for Browne, Danny Furlong for Croke, Paul Malone for Molloy, also Dean Broaders, James Dermody, Chris Fennor.