Heart-breaking late goal denies Youths
A goal from Aaron Conway in the third minute of injury time broke Wexford Youths' hearts as they suffered an agonising defeat in the SSE Airtricity Under-19 League Southern Elite section at Ferrycarrig Park on Saturday.
Wexford Youths 1 Galway United 2
Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen sent in a teasing free-kick from the left sideline and Conway rose highest to steer a header just inside the post.
Galway had cranked up the pressure in the final ten minutes but it was still tough luck on the Youths, who took the lead through Dean George on 23 minutes and held the advantage until Andrew Connolly grabbed an equaliser for the westerners in the 78th minute.
It looked like it was going to be Wexford Youths' day when goalkeeper Corey Chambers pulled off a superb save from a Connolly penalty on the hour mark, but Galway pushed forward in droves in the final quarter and eventually made the breakthrough.
Wexford Youths were impressive during the early exchanges and their goal when it came was a deserved one. Dean George pounced on a defensive mistake and finished powerfully from an acute angle to give them the lead in the 24th minute.
Youths had been knocking on the door up to that point, with Adam Rochford, Eoin Porter and Conor Sutton all trying their luck without really troubling Galway netminder Pat McHale.
The Tribesmen grew into the game as the half wore on and six minutes before the break Andrew Connolly blazed over after a long throw from Ciarán Nugent found its way to his feet.
United continued to press after the break but Wexford Youths were well up for the challenge, working hard all over the field to deny the Galway players time and space.
However, the visitors were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to draw level on 60 minutes when referee Jimmy O'Neill pointed to the spot.
Andrew Connolly stepped up to the take the penalty but Chambers got down superbly to his right to get a strong hand to it and keep Wexford Youths in front.
There was no let-up for the Youths defence though, and moments later Chambers had to be alert to tip a Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen free around the post.
The hosts did come close to doubling their advantage when a Dean George long-range strike was deflected narrowly over the angle of post and crossbar, but they were quickly back on the defensive as Galway went in search of the equaliser.
The breakthrough came on 77 minutes when Andrew Connolly ran on to a pass from Robert Spelman and confidently stroked the ball to the net.
Gary Kinneen blazed over a good chance a minute later, but Wexford Youths weren't finished yet and in the 81st minute Adam Rochford forced Pat McHale to make a save on his near post.
However, there was a real sting in the tail for Wexford Youths as Aaron Conway superbly headed a Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen free-kick to the corner of the net deep into time added on.
Wexford Youths: Corey Chambers, Paul Carton, Seán Duffy, Michael Molloy, Conor Sutton, Eoin Donnelly, Ciarán Murphy, Vincent Quinlan, Eoin Porter, Dean George, Adam Rochford. Subs. - Dylan Bradley for Donnelly, Jack Brazzill for Rochford.
Galway United: Pat McHale, Tommy McClean, Aaron Conway, Maurice Nugent, Gary Kinneen, Ciarán Buckley, Robert Spelman, Ciarán Nugent, Andrew Connolly, Josh Marvesley, Colm Walsh-O'Loghlen. Subs. - Michael Whelan for Nugent, Peter Walsh for Marvesley, Joe McClean for Buckley.
Referee: Jimmy O'Neill.