Wicklow Rovers 'B' 1 Gorey Rangers 4
Gorey Rangers made the trip to Whitegates in Wicklow to complete in the first round of the LFA Youth Cup against Wicklow Rovers 'B' in what turned out to be a very impressive performance from the Wexford side on Saturday.
It was only two minutes into the first-half when Wicklow Rovers goalkeeper Pat Sammon realised he would have a very busy afternoon.
The 'keeper pulled off two great saves from Kyle Kenny in the opening two minutes, one down to his right while the other was a great stop using his feet to keep out the Gorey Rangers striker.
Rovers had a lucky escape in the ninth minute when they conceded a corner which was whipped in by Dillon Dixon.
Dixon picked out Eoin Quigley at the back post who was unmarked.
Quigley leaped above everyone else to meet the ball with his head but his effort rifled off the bar.
It was in the 25th minute when Gorey Rangers went ahead after a great free-kick from Dillon Dixon.
Although the midfielder was 30 yards out, Dixon went for power and his low driven shot was parried out by Sammon. The ball fell to Oisín Woolmington who back-heeled it to Javier Hernandez, and he fired home to make it 1-0 to the away side.
Dillon Dixon was running the game from centre midfield throughout the second-half.
The playmaker was finding time and space to pick out his team-mates who were making great runs in around the Rovers defence which led to Hernandez and Kenny almost getting in on goal on a number of occasions, but Sammon was quick off his line to recover the loose ball.
There was drama before half-time as Rangers added their second of the game on the 35-minute mark with a great finish from Eoin Quigley, but only two minutes later referee Jay Redmond pointed to the spot and awarded the home side a penalty after Jafaa Ali was brought down with a tackle from behind inside the area.
Nathan Wynne stepped up to take the penalty, and the attacker fired the ball to the 'keeper's right to put his side back in the game just before half-time.
Rangers goalkeeper Jesse Chambers was unlucky not to keep out the penalty as he got a hand to the strike, but the power Wynne put behind the shot helped it into the back of the net and past the number one.
The home side started the second-half much better than the first as each player seemed to up their game going forward. Jafaa Ali was chasing down every loose ball and trying to get in beyond the Gorey defence but often found himself isolated up front when he gained possession.
Rangers took their goal tally to 4-1 after Kyle Kenny and substitute Jordan Kennedy found the back of the net in the 67th and 75th minutes of the game, firing their side to the second round of the LFA Youth Cup.
Rangers just had too much for Rovers on the day with some great performances from midfielder Dillon Dixon and defender Seán Murphy, who were solid for the entirety of the cup tie.
Despite how the scoreline looks, Wicklow Rovers had some great chances to bring the game level in the second-half.
It just wasn't to be though, and even though Rangers hadn't played since October 7 prior to kick-off, they put in a great competitive performance and ultimately it will be the Gorey side in the second round of the competition.
Wicklow Rovers: 1. Pat Sammon, 2. Jack O'Gorman, 3. Daragh Gibney, 4. Conor Collier, 5. David Browne, 6. David McNabb, 7. Luke Durac, 8. Joe Geraghty, 9. Nathan Wynne, 10. Jafaa Ali, 11. Nicky Kearney. Subs. - Jonah Sweeney for David McNabb (55), Drew Campbell for Conor Collier (62), Charlie Williams for Luke Durac (70), Ciaran Byrne for Nathan Wynne (70), Myles Keogh for Daragh Gibney (70).
Gorey Rangers: 1. Jesse Chambers, 2. Eddie Murphy, 3. Conor McDermott, 4. Seán Murphy, 5. Oisín Woolmington, 6. Dillon Dixon, 7. Matthew McCabb, 8. Ethan Vickers, 9. Eoin Quigley, 10. Javier Hernandez, 11. Kyle Kenny. Subs. - Aaron Finn for Matthew McCabb (53), Jordan Kenny for Oisín Woolmington (65), Aymen for Eoin Quigley (72), Nathan Byrne for Conor McDermott (72).
Referee: Jay Redmond.