Furlong nets a super hat-trick
DANNY FURLONG is eager to make up for a lost season as he struck with a glorious hat-trick to give Wexford Youths all three points at the expense of Shamrock Rovers 'B' in this exciting Division 1 clash at Ferrycarrig Park.
DANNY FURLONG is eager to make up for a lost season as he struck with a glorious hat-trick to give Wexford Youths all three points at the expense of Shamrock Rovers 'B' in this exciting Division 1 clash at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday last.
Furlong completed his hat-trick as late as the 90th minute when he drove home a low cross from just inside the area to hand his side a dramatic victory after they had lost a two-goal interval lead.
The centre-forward was on top of his game from early on, continually troubling the visitors' back four with his intelligent running, and his ability to move into open space led to his two first-half goals.
So for the second league game in a row the Youths have pulled off dramatic victories, leaving them on nine points, sitting prettily in second place just two points behind leaders Shelbourne. It was during the closing 25 minutes of the opening half that they played some of their best football of the season so far.
While Shamrock Rovers may have been stuttering through the opening quarter, they were totally outclassed by the home side in what was a real purple patch before the break. During that half hour, the Youths played the ball around with confidence and composure, with their ability to retain possession leaving their opponents chasing shadows for spells of this period.
Wexford Youths played all the quality football through the opening 45 minutes with their possession football making matters difficult for the visitors who were restricted to just quick counter-attacks. Such was the control of the home side that they deservedly went in front after 36 minutes when Danny Furlong stooped low to head home a Shane Dunne corner kick.
The goal brought real stability to the Youths' passing game, as Rovers failed to get a single shot on goal. Seven minutes later Furlong got on the end of a movement started back deep in defence to curl a left-footed shot across 'keeper Conor O'Malley into the opposite corner of the net, making it 2-0 which was how it remained to the interval.
Surprisingly on the resumption the home side lost their shape, allowing Rovers to get right back into the game. The Dublin side was now in full throttle as they began to stretch the back four, and it came as no surprise when they eventually opened their account.
Within seven minutes of the re-start Rovers pulled a goal back with Daniel Purdy finding the net with a low right-footed shot to make it 2-1. Then Chris Lyons equalised from the penalty spot after 77 minutes.
Eleven minutes from the end Furlong had a shot taken off the line by Corrie Treacy before Furlong completed his hat-trick with a close-range effort to give his side all three points, and a dramatic victory in what was a hugely entertaining game of football.