Culleton makes Ajax pay penalty
Having controlled lengthy passages of this game, New Ross Town still had to depend on a 80th minute Corin Culleton penalty to give them all three points over a battling Ajax Athletic in this Wexford Football League Division 4 Youths clash at New Ross on Saturday morning.
New Ross Town 2 Ajax Athletic 1
Both sides had eased themselves into this game after a tentative opening 15 minutes, but their finishing was not on a par with their approach play, particularly the home side who having created some golden opportunities failed to deliver in the final passage of play, as they either shot straight at the keeper or pulled their efforts wide of the post.
There was lots of exuberance in the respective sides displays but some of their efforts were borne of frustration when it came to applying the finishing touch, with the result they were denied goals that would have a vital influence on the eventual pattern of the game.
New Ross Town's back four was particularly effective through the opening half, while Kevin Roberts was impressive in midfield, with Corin Culleton and Dean Nolan showing some delightful individual touches up front.
With the result the visitors back four came under lots of first-half pressure but their central defensive pairing of Adam Kirwan and Jamie Murphy was outstanding through this opening period.
The home side had a couple of early efforts on goal through both Culleton and Nolan, but keeper Oisin Cullen showed a safe pair of hands on each occasion, while at the opposite end most the danger arrived through set piece situations where accurate deliveries from Kyle Leacy saw Adam Kirwan have two efforts go just over the top much to the relief of the home side who had looked the more composed side.
After Culleton had a couple of low efforts on goal the eventual breakthrough arrived in the 26th minute.
The home side's Symon Scaz made ground down the left, managed to cut inside several tackles, before delivering a delightful right footed shot to the bottom corner of the net, giving his side a deserved 1-0 lead.
At the opposite end Robbie O'Neill had a header from a Kyle Leacy cross go just over the top, while Corin Culleton came close to adding his sides second goal only to be denied by a fine save from keeper Cullen, leaving the sides to go in 1-0 at the interval.
On the resumption Ajax Athletic showed considerable improvement as Colm O'Brien saw an early effort blocked away for what turned out a fruitless corner. It was the Enniscorthy town side who continued to tease out an equaliser and they were rewarded in the 62nd minute when an O'Brien effort found its way through a packed goalmouth finishing in the corner of the net leaving it 1-1.
The home side with a simple build-up saw Kevin Roberts take the ball inside the area where he was brought down with Corin Culleton dispatching the 80th minute penalty past keeper Cullen making it 2-1.
Both sides in the remaining ten minutes sought out chances but the respective back fours stood firm leaving the Barrowsiders to take their first points of the campaign.
New Ross Town: Michael Cullen; Charlie Guise, Michael Galavan, John Kehoe, Searmus Dauginits, David Forte, Symon Scaz, Kevin Roberts, Corin Culleton, Dean Nolan, David Ruszczyihi. Subs: Dan Lindell, Ronan Moore, Rian Grangell, Shane Kehoe, Jack Cullen.
Ajax Athletic: Oisin Cullen, Dylan Murphy, Ross Moles, Adam Kirwan, Jamie Murphy, Robbie O'Neill, John Ilunga, Peter Collins, Colm O'Brien, Aaron McGuilfoyle, Kyle Leacy. Subs: M J Larkin, Liam Nolan, Barry Sinnott, Jack Dugdale, Sam Murphy.
Referee: Fran Sinnott.