Friday 15 December 2017

Youths women hold league leaders to a draw at home

Although they were creating very little, the home side were being very patient and knew their chance would come.

On 25 minutes, they scored on their first real attack when Siobhán Killeen was not closed down quickly enough on the edge of the box and she shot to the corner of the net. This did unsettle Wexford for a period but they quickly regained their composure.

Cherelle Khassal went close before the break while Mary Waldron should have done better in a one-on-one just before the break but shot over the crossbar. Ciara Grant replaced the injured Rebecca Creagh minutes before half-time as Raheny went in fortunate leaders at the break

The second-half saw Wexford continue their attacking style of football with Linda Douglas, Edel Kennedy, Maria Delahunty and Cherelle Khassal all having chances within the opening ten minutes. The turning point came on the hour when Wexford 'keeper Charlotte Mccormack made a full-length save from Ciara Grant, and moments later Lynn Bradley in the home goal also excelled as she saved from Kylie Murphy after good work from Delahunty and Ciara O'brien put her through.

The energetic Rachel Hutchinson replaced Claire 'Bosco' Boylan just after the hour mark, with Boylan having picked up a few nasty knocks during the first-half. The visitors were now working hard for that equaliser and Khassal was unlucky not to find the net when her swerving run got her in front of goal but her shot went wide of the post.

The break came in the 76th minute when Linda Douglas, who had been working hard on the right wing all day, raced on to a Ciara O'brien through ball and her swerving shot evaded Bradley in the Raheny goal and went into the back of the net for a well-deserved equaliser. Sixteen-year-old Katie White made her debut for Wexford as she replaced Sadie Murphy on the 80th minute and immediately showed why she is one of the most exciting young players in the county by putting Khassal through to bring a good save from the Raheny 'keeper.

Charlotte Mccormack was called on to make one more save to keep the sides level while Laura Heffernan came on in the dying minutes to replace the injured Edel Kennedy. As the game moved into injury time, both sides were still searching for a late winner but both defences held firm and after four minutes' injury time, referee Rhona Daly brought an exciting end-to-end encounter to a finish.

Raheny were probably disappointed they could not build on last week's win over Peamount but also were relieved that they did not lose this match against a very determined Wexford side who probably played their best football of the season. Ciara O'brien, Charlotte Mccormack and captain Kylie Murphy were excellent for a Wexford side whose team performance was outstanding Raheny's day was made much worse when they came off the field to find out that Peamount United had hammered Castlebar Celtic 13-0 to go back top of the table, while Cork beat Shamrock Rovers 2-0 in the other game in the league.

Sunday next will see Wexford host Castlebar Celtic in Ferrycarrig as the teams head into their final series of games. A win for the Youths girls could see them move back into the battle for third.

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