Youths bounce back with win in Athlone
WEXFORD YOUTHS bounced back from a disappointing loss to Longford in their last outing by smashing three goals past Athlone Town to move within a point of Finn Harps in the battle for fourth place in Airtricity League Division One on Friday evening last.
Second half strikes from Aidan Keenan, Danny Furlong and the league leading scorer Tom Elmes put the home side to the sword and with it seriously dented the Westmeath sides own push for a top-four finish.
A back-and-forth opening quarter was illuminated when Rosslare man Danny Furlong came close to breaking the deadlock with a powerful half-volley that flew narrowly wide.
The pace and guile of Furlong continued to trouble the hosts and it was the Youths striker again going closest soon after as his curling effort narrowly missed the top corner of Pat Jennings' net.
Graham Doyle was called into action just before the interval when diving low to deny Brian McCarthy meaning the sides were deadlocked heading into the dressing room.
No sooner was the game back under way and Wexford Youths took the lead, the direct running of Aidan Keenan had been kept under wraps in the first half but the home side could do nothing when he ran at the heart of the defence and drilled past Jennings.
After Furlong was denied a second by a good save, Athlone began to get a foothold in proceedings and put Youths under a spell of concerted pressure.
However, it was the visitors who found the net against the run of play as Danny Furlong fired home from close range.
Two minutes from time, with the game petering out, Tom Elmes tucked home with his first chance after coming off the bench to send Youths ahead of Athlone in the table and within touching distance of Finn Harps ahead of their clash on Friday.