Title-hopefuls Gorey Rangers continued their promising start to the Premier Division campaign when overcoming Wexford Bohs at Ramstown on Sunday.
A Ryan Cullen header had them ahead at the break and goals from Ethan Vickers and Gary Murphy put them firmly in control by the hour mark.
Ciarán Paige pulled a goal back for the visitors with 15 minutes remaining, but it was mere consolation as Rangers claimed a deserved three points
The game started fairly evenly with both teams feeling each other out for the first 15 minutes, with Gorey Rangers having the ball more in advanced positions, but creating little in the way of clear-cut chances.
The first real opportunity came Wexford Bohs’ way on 20 minutes, with Dermot Flood feeding a slide-rule ball into Sam O’Neill on the left, but his angled drive was matched by Seán Allen, who made a strong left-handed save at the clubhouse end.
The next chance fell to Gorey Rangers’ Gary Murphy, who had a go from the touchline and his shot was inches too high. This sparked Rangers into life and they were getting great joy attacking on the left with some last-gasp defending and the inability to find the killer pass keeping the score at 0-0.
On 35 minutes a swift attack down the left, with a clever Mark Woods ball behind the defence to the overlapping Glen O’Brien, forced Craig Kelly into a last-ditch tackle to divert the ball behind for a corner.
Mark Woods’ perfectly placed corner was met by a powerful Ryan Cullen header from 12 yards and the ball flew high into the net with the goalkeeper Colm O’Dowda well beaten. Rangers remained in control until the break, without seriously threatening the Bohs’ goal.
Rangers kept up the high intensity in the early second-half exchanges, but again the final pass just evaded the attackers.
The second goal duly arrived on 55 minutes when a Cormac Breslin cross-field ball was headed into the path of Ethan Vickers by Gary Murphy. Vickers coolly side-stepped the last defender and his low hard drive was placed perfectly to the goalkeeper’s right and into the bottom corner of the net.
Rangers didn’t have to wait long for number three and it was without doubt the goal of the game – a ball played up to Gary Murphy, whose perfectly executed drag back and flick gave him just enough time to spot the ‘keeper slightly off his line and his floated chip from 35 yards found the top corner of the net. This goal would be good enough to win any game at any level.
Both teams used the bench after the third goal and after a some back and forth Bohs pulled one back on 75 minutes, with an attack down the left leading to a Bohs free-kick which was quickly taken and Ciarán Paige weaved his way into the box and his early shot took a slight deflection and found the bottom corner for a fine individual goal.
Rangers took control again for the last 15 minutes, with Stephen Kinsella taking a ball on his chest and shooting from inside his own half with the ball looking like it was heading towards the net only to bounce just the wrong side of the post.
The last chance was a snap-shot by Joe Bolger on the half turn which shaved the crossbar.
Rangers will be happy with their performance, while Bohs, who were missing a few players, will have plenty of better days ahead.
Gorey Rangers: Seán Allen, Conor Casserly, Ryan Cullen, Kevin Kennedy, Glen O’Brien, Ethan Vickers, Gavin O Brien, Cormac Breslin, Mark Woods, Dylan Vickers, Gary Murphy. Subs. - Stephen Kinsella for D. Vickers, inj. (25), Joe Bolger for Murphy (65), Paul Brennan for Woods (75), Luke Kavanagh for Breslin (80), Adam Territ for E. Vickers (80), also Eric Quinn.
Wexford Bohs: Colm O’Dowda, Craig Kelly, Davy Lytttleton, Shane Hall, Sam O’Neill, Dermot Flood, Ian Farrell, John Conway, Ciarán Paige, Seán Pailing, Paul Underwood. Subs. - Shane O’Neill for Pailing, Graham Healy for Conway, Paddy Harnett for Farrell, Aaron Goodison for Flood, also Eoin Kinsella.
Referee: Micheál Franklin.