Monday 11 December 2017

Youths put recent slump behind them

BRENDAN FURLONG In Ferrycarrig Park

WEXFORD YOUTHS, following two successive defeats, returned to winning ways as a goal in each half handed them all three points over a poor SD Galway outfit in this Aertricity Division 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.

The win helps to keep the Youths in third spot, and with Limerick FC slipping up at home to Waterford, they are now within two points of the Shannonsiders who are in second place, as Longford Town continue to stretch their lead at the top of the table.

It was important for Wexford Youths to get back to winning ways to maintain their promotion challenge. After two successive setbacks, Shane Keegan's charges responded with a dominant display as they bossed this game for the most part, even without the suspended Shane Dempsey and injured Danny Furlong. Had this pair been available their victory margin could have been greater as they would have given them more of a cutting edge in front of goal.

What the Youths needed was Dempsey's forceful midfield play, particularly through the opening 30 minutes, as during this spell of dominance they created little, which is where the silken footwork of Furlong would have come into play. As it turned out, they hadn't a single direct shot on goal during this spell, while the visitors never really threatened home 'keeper Graham Doyle, except for a few aimless crosses which he handled safely.

Thirty-one minutes into the game the deadlock was eventually broken. After Dean Broaders' high ball into the area was only partially cleared, Shane Nolan picked up the ball on the edge of the area to shoot low into the bottom righthand corner of the net. But even this score failed to brighten up the game as both sides showed a lack of creativity, leaving the scoreline at 1-0 at the interval.

The second-half followed much the same pattern, with Wexford controlling outfield possession. Tom Elmes saw a shot go over when he seemed likely to score, while on 60 minutes Dean Broaders got over an excellent cross that Elmes headed wide when he should have scored.

With the visitors confined to a long-range effort from William Enubeir that flew over the top, the Youths finally clinched the three points, with Elmes racing onto a long ball to shoot low to the left-hand corner of the net, leaving the 'keeper helpless.

Wexford Youths should have won by more but the win keeps them apace at the top of the table, making their away game to leaders Longford Town this Friday evening all the more important. A win on their travels would really open up the title race.

Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Mark Phelan, Jamie Carr, C.J. Browne, James Dermody, Aidan Keenan, Paul Malone, Craig Wall, Tom Elmes, Dean Broaders (Shane Clarke, 89). Also: Shaun Corcoran, James Scallan, Thomas Croke, Martin Kehoe, Eric Molloy, John Yeates.

SD Galway: Liam Grant, Luke Mcconnell, Tommy Bradshaw, Eric Browne, Brian Geraghty, Willie Enubeir, Ronan Conlon, Eduardo Dusi (Charlie Burke, 75), Mike Tierney, Brian Gaffney. Also: Cian Fadden, Jason Lyons, Jason Murphy.

Referee: Keith Callanan (Dublin).

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