Tuesday 23 January 2018

Youths end barren run

WEXFORD YOUTHS banished three months of win-less pain as they grabbed victory against ten-man Waterford in this Airtricity League Division 1 tie at the R.S.C. on Friday evening last.

WATERFORD UNITED 1 Doherty 90 + 4 WEXFORD YOUTHS 2 Furlong 48, 80

The Ferrycarrig side had not tasted league success since putting three past Finn Harps on May 11, but two second-half Danny Furlong strikes washed away all the hurt.

In contrast, high-flying Waterford had boasted a record of over three months without defeat, however, the sizzle had started to fade from recent United performances and it was fitting that Youths, the side that started the season by firing six past their local rivals, were the team to inflict another painful defeat.

Two moments dictated the destination of the three points. Naturally, Danny Furlong's opener, which came just three minutes into the secondhalf, was crucial. Yet it could be argued that Seamus Long's 35th-minute dismissal, for his second bookable offence, was even more critical to the eventual outcome.

Having said that, Youths started the first-half almost as brightly as they would later start the second. Danny Furlong, fresh from recent heroics on the Gaelic football pitch, looked sharp from the off and tested former Wexford stopper Packie Holden within three minutes.

Joey Mulcahy was next to force Holden into a save - a move that resulted in Craig Wall being strechered off and Long picking up his first yellow card.

Furlong's 20-yard free-kick tested Holden again as the first quarter drew to a close and Youths continuted to force the pace until Peter Keegan drew the best out of Graham Doyle at the other end with ten minutes of the first-half remaining.

Level at the re-start, Youths quickly made their greater numbers pay as Danny Furlong reacted quickest to turn Aidan Keenan's shot, which had come back off the post, into the net.

Waterford didn't have the same luck in the 51st minute when Paul Phelan's shot clunked the upright but once the initial burst from the home side subsided Youths looked comfortable.

The clinching goal came ten minutes from time as Furlong raced away from the defence and kept his composure to beat Holden again.

When you are win-less for so long nothing comes easy and Jack Doherty made the last few seconds nervy with a late consolation, but Youths wouldn't be stopped and will now travel to Premier Division Drogheda United in the FAI Ford Cup on Friday with renewed confidence.

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