Sunday 17 December 2017

Youths slump at hands of Athlone

TWO SECOND-HALF goals helped second-placed Athlone Town to three valuable points at the expense of a disappointing Wexford Youths in their Division 1 game played at Ferrycarrig Park on Friday night last.

This was one of the Youths' poorest displays of the season as they never looked like taking anything from this game. They were mainly on the defensive for most of the 90 minutes as they were outplayed in midfield, while up front they hadn't a single direct shot on target.

The defeat sees them drop back into the bottom half of the table as they missed out on a real opportunity to keep pace with the leading sides. This, their second consecutive defeat, all but puts them out of the play-off spots unless they are able to rediscover their form.

A lack-lustre first-half failed to produce a goal with the two best chances falling to Athlone Town. After 19 minutes with the first attempt on goal, Philip Gorman got his head to a Roddy Collins cross, bringing a fine save out of 'keeper Graham Doyle, while just on the interval a Barry Clancy header from a Collins cross went just over the top. The home side did not bring a single save out of the visitors' 'keeper, Paul Skinner, leaving it 0-0 at the interval.

Athlone Town, who had dominated the opening stages of the second-half, took a deserved 56th-minute lead when James O'Brien played a neat one-two with O'Gorman before firing a superb 25-metre effort high into the top right-hand corner, giving his side a 1-0 lead.

As the second-half progressed it became more and more evident that the Youths were going to take nothing out of this game. Such was the visitors' control that it was only a matter of what they would win by but they could only manage one further goal, which was mainly due to the excellence of home 'keeper Graham Doyle.

A miserable night for Wexford Youths was compounded when they allowed substitute Ian Sweeney run through the centre to shoot low into the bottom right-hand corner, making it 2-0 after 71 minutes which was no more than they deserved.

Wexford Youths: Graham Doyle, Craig McCabe, Gary Delaney, C.J. Browne (Johathan Savage, 45), James Dermody, Caolan O'Gorman, Thomas Croke, Joey Mulcahy, Shane Nolan, Graham Delaney (Dean Broaders, 75), Tom Elmes (Shane Clarke, 64).

Athlone Town: Paul Skinner, Roddy Collins Jnr., Neil Harney (David Brookes, 87), Conor McMahon, Barry Clancy, Niall Lanigan (Ian Sweeney, 45), James O'Brien, Garvan Broughall, Philip Gorman, Mark Hughes, Robbie Clarke.

Referee: Keith Callanan (Cork).

Attendance: 278.

TRIALS: The second Wexford Youths trials for Under-17s, -18s and -19s will take place on Saturday, July 13, in Ferrycarrig at 11 a.m.

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