Friday 23 March 2018

Goal hero hopes lessons will be learned against St Pat's

Marcus Cavaroli

It wasn't quite a case of 'hero to zero', but Adam Wixted's moment of glory was certainly ruined by Galway's last-gasp equaliser on Friday night.

Drogheda were on the brink of a vital victory when Wixted grabbed his second goal of the game, only to suffer a hammer blow a minute later, and the 22-year-old winger is hoping the squad can lift themselves again for another six-pointer against St Pat's in Richmond Park this week.

'I don't think I've really felt like that before after a game - after scoring two goals and going on a massive high, to being so disappointed,' Wixted conceded afterwards.

'I thought we'd won the game in the end, but you really never know in football and you have to see the game out until the final whistle. We paid for it, but we'll all learn and move on and focus on the St Pat's game.'

A defeat in Inchicore would leave Drogheda with just five points from four consecutive games against teams in the bottom half, and that would represent scant reward going into a run of difficult games - starting with Cork City in Turner's Cross on Friday week.

Acknowledging the importance of doing well against the struggling teams, Wixted said: 'The table is so close and we have to treat every game as a cup final because we know we're going to be in a dogfight at the end of the season.

'It's important that we go and play the bottom-half teams as well as we'd like to perform against the top-half teams because it's all going to come down to the last few games.

'I know Pats started off slow and I'm a bit surprised that they haven't really kicked on since then, but I'm sure they'll start performing soon because they've got a great team and they're full-time as well.'

Wixted's double took his tally to three this season, matching his total for the whole of 2016 in the First Division, and he admitted to surprise at becoming Drogheda's current top scorer despite not featuring at the start of the season.

'We have such a big squad and a lot of quality and you have to perform when you get your chance in the team and take it,' he responded. 'It's good competition between us and we're pushing each other and everybody wants to play.

'I can't believe I'm top scorer, but hopefully there's more to come.'

Looking back on the dramatic finish on Friday last, though, Wixted was still coming to terms with the crazy finish to the game.

Analysing the 90-plus minutes as a whole, he said: 'I think after we got the first goal Galway came into the game a lot more and played some decent football and it was important for us to see it out and get to half-time at 1-0 before last week we conceded a goal just before half-time against Sligo.

'I thought we did well to keep it 1-0, but unfortunately it didn't finish out that way.

'It was literally straightaway [Galway's second goal, after Wixted made it 2-1] and my mind has gone blank because it was so hectic, what happened. It was just a long ball into the box and I think it trickled in off his shin at the back post - I couldn't believe it.

'Obviously Pete's disappointed we've conceded so soon after our second goal, but we can't really be negative about it or dwell on it too much. We need to take the positives out of the game and focus on next week [St Pat's] because it's a big game.'

Drogheda Independent