Fitzpatrick fires a brace for Youths
TWO-GOAL Danny Fitzpatrick inspired Wexford Youths to a comfortable victory over Cobh Ramblers in this Division 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park.
It was a welcome victory for the Youths side as they extended their unbeaten run to three games, having played out scoreless draws in their previous two encounters. But this was a hugely-impressive performance from the new-look side, who have parted company with a number of players, including centre-back C.J. Browne, while attackers Aidan Keenan and Dean Broaders have also moved on.
It's the infusion of some home talent that has brought a real impetus to their game. They played with pace and composure, while their accurate passing and ability to retain possession saw them outplay the Cork side, so much so that their victory margin could have been greater.
Still, it was the excellence of Donal Shanley and Danny Fitzpatrick that really caught the eye, with Fitzpatrick bagging two goals in an excellent display up front, while Shanley belied his tender years to give a commanding performance at the back through the 90 minutes.
Having looked the more impressive outfit through the opening ten minutes with both Danny Fitzpatrick and Darragh Walshe going close to breaking the deadlock, Wexford Youths eventually ended their goal drought, having gone 180 minutes without a goal.
Eleven minutes into the game Fitzpatrick broke into the area from wide on the right and held off the chellenge of full-back Brendan Frahill to beat advancing 'keeper Shane Hallahan with a low shot, making it 1-0.
Disaster struck the visitors five minutes later when, following a dreadful mix-up involving 'keeper Hallahan and centre-back Craig Burns, home attacker Graham Delaney was left with the simple task of rolling the ball into an empty goal to make it 2-0 which was how it remained to the interval, despite two fine efforts from Jonathan Spillane both well saved by netminder Doyle.
Wexford Youths saw a splendid five-man move started deep in defence culminating with a great Fitzpatrick left-footed shot to the net, making it 3-0 after 53 minutes. Cobh pulled a goal back on 72 minutes when Martin Deady scored a penalty after Roy Kenny had been brought down.
But through the closing 15 minutes Wexford Youths still controlled matters with Fitzpatrick coming close to completing his hat-trick with a fine effort saved by visiting 'keeper Shane Hallahan, while Shane Nolan also had an effort just outside the right-hand post.
Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Donal Shanley, Rob Maloney, Shane Nolan, Thomas Croke, Eric Molloy (Caolan O'Gorman, 90), Joey Mulcahy, Graham Delaney (Daryl Power, 79), Darragh Walshe (Shane Clarke, 79), Danny Fitzpatrick.
Cobh Ramblers: Shane Hallahan, Brendan Frahill, Craig Burns (Adam Thompson, 16), Brian Fitzgerald, Andrew Bhaenderker, Shane Barrett (Graham McCarthy, 33), Martin Deady, James Carson, Jonathan Spillane (Ronan Stanton, 74), Kynan Rocks, Roy Kenny.
Referee: Simon Draghici.