U-17 boost with shield win in Cobh
Cobh Ramblers 1 Wexford F.C. 2
Wexford snapped a string of five defeats in a row to advance past Cobh Ramblers in the preliminary round of the SSE Airtricity League Under-17 Shield in St. Colman's Park on Sunday.
The Ferrycarrig Park side had been tumbling since their hopes of a top four finish ended in August, but goals in either half from Adham Masood and Liam Berry were enough to see off dangerous opponents.
Realising it was the last chance saloon to keep their season alive, Wexford went after their hosts from the first minute. Masood missed a good chance to open the scoring in the early stages.
Yet, it didn't take long for Wexford to get their breakthrough. Oscar Smith played the provider role, beating a couple of men in midfield before picking out Adham Masood.
The tricky Masood stepped inside and drilled a left-footed finish past the hosts' 'keeper.
While they were off to a flying start, not everything was going swimmingly.
Colum Feeney, who made his debut for the first team recently in the home clash with Shelbourne, was not feeling one hundred per cent going into the game.
He gave it a go but soon had to be replaced, with Gorey lad Caellum Travers-Devlin taking over in the unfamilar position of between the posts.
Wexford continued to play well as the opening quarter came to an end.
However, Cobh had their own gameplan, and it involved getting the ball forward quickly to their dangerous trio in the attacking third.
It paid dividends when Jaze Kabia raced away and was taken down by Cian Foley in the box. It has been a memorable season with first team appearances for Beineon O'Brien-Whitmarsh, and he made no mistake with the resulting penalty to level the game.
While the remainder of the half was fairly even, with Wexford playing the better football, replacement stopper Travers-Devlin made a fantastic save to keep his side level.
Arguably the visitors played even better after the break and exerted more control over the game.
They took the lead in the 54th minute when Masood beat a couple of opponents and pulled it back to Smith, who in turn fed Liam Berry to fire home.
Wexford retreated a little after the goal but never gave up a clearcut chance.
Reece Murphy was the key to their defensive showing, dealing with the big attacker in the second-half as well as he did the speedy one in the first.
With Craig O'Reilly leading by example in a tireless midfield, Wexford gave it absolutely everything they had to hold onto their lead. They did just that to book their quarter-final spot, with the draw set to take place in due course and the fixture to be played the week ending October 15.
Wexford F.C.: Colum Feeney; Conor Signorelli, Reece Murphy, Cian Foley; Paddy Barron, Caellum Travers-Devlin; Oscar Smith, Ciarán Paige, Brandon Deady; Adham Masood, Craig O'Reilly. Subs. - Jason Daly for Feeney, inj. (9), Liam Berry for Daly, inj. (43), James Esser for Deady (80).